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High Energy Impact Compaction (HEIC) Application

LANDPAC Ground Engineering Ltd Continuous Impact Response (CIR) Monitoring
Intelligent Ground Improvement Continuous Induced Settlement (CIS) Monitoring


Project Facts:

• Project Name: Heartlands Development

• Site is on the former Polkemmet Colliery, west of Whitburn,
south of M8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland
• Project Site Area: 600 Hectares
• 30 000 000m3 Total Open Cast Dig for Coal
• 10,000,000m3 HEIC Engineered Development Platform for 5,000
• 1.2m Thick Layer Work Compaction
• Average dig depth 30m (deepest being 42m)
• Average Production 200,000m3 per week
• The Specification for the works required an end product dry
density of 95 % of standard proctor to be achieved
• Project Start Date June 2004
• Project End Date June 2009 (+ 6 months)
• Client – Ecosse Regeneration Ltd
• Funded – RBS & sale of Coal
• Consultant – WA Fairhurst & Partners
• Mining Contractor – J Fenton & Sons and Minrec
• NHBC Approval – Pending June 09 first 5 Cells
• End Development includes: CIR overlay on one of the many HEIC thick layer work (TLW)
o 5,000 Houses ground Improvement Cells
o 2 x Championship Golf Courses
o Business/Industrial Park LANDPAC introduced it it’ss own unique ground response monitoring
o New Junction 4A on M8 (Edinburgh to Glasgow) system to the project. The Continuous Impact Response (CIR)
monitoring system is a recording application, which captures
LANDPAC was key on delivering this project due to the high continuously, stiffness profile data of the improved materials during
productivity resulting from open cast mine operations with 20 x the HEIC procedure. As a result this GPS integrated live
CAT777’s and 4 x RH120 excavators, the shear scale of the area and monitoring system dictated the testing program throughout the
depth of the site and the very tight time constraints in which to project. The stiffness profile data basically indentified the weaker
accomplish the desired completion date for the client. This was no areas of the compacted layer (being 1.2m thick), in return allowed
ordinary open cast mine operation, where over-burden materials that pin-point testing to be implemented, rather than costly “blanket
are cut are generally backfilled into excavated cells with no controlled testing”. This further fast-tracked the project as greater volumes of
compaction effort. The project required continuous ground materials were tested comprehensively, but with less laboratory
improvement engineering, precise test monitoring and simultaneous test frequencies. Thus allowing greater integrity of the improved
all party approval on a scale never attempted before. This was one materials as displayed by the stiffness profile data captured at a
on the largest civil engineering projects within Europe and was largely frequency of 4m3 through CIR which minimised Laboratory testing
un-known due to it being an open cast mine operation. Now that all by to one test per 2,500m3.
the coal has finally been taken off-site and delivered to surrounding
power stations, concentration is on final design levels, preparing Verification testing was carried out at the site under the supervision
surface infrastructure and gaining NHBC approval for all HEIC of WA Fairhurst & Partners. The testing included in-situ density
engineered development platforms,
platforms to allow house construction to testing using Nuclear Density tests and Sand Replacement testing,testing
start. Plate Load Testing, Zone Load Testing and monitoring of
settlement pins. The testing was carried out with the benefit of
If, as was investigated in early 2004, conventional compaction plant LANDPACs CIR monitoring system, which allowed the Engineer to
was to be used on the project then the project would never have been target the testing at the most critical portions of the site, i.e. those
given the green light. As quoted by Alex Muirhead – Project Manager areas which were indicated on the CIR maps as being weaker than
for Ecosse Regeneration Ltd “A standard heavy roller would the surrounding soils. This ability to target the testing resulted
normally only compact up to 400mm, if we did that, we’d have to in the test program being cut by 50% over what was originally
roll each layer three times to reach 1.2m depth (HEIC layer works envisaged.
capability) if that were the case,
capability), case we
we’dd still be doing it in 10 years
time” – refer Construction News, issue 7105, pages 20 & 21, dated The results of the testing, to date, confirmed compliance with the
Thursday 19th Feb 2009. Specification.


In-situ Ground Improvement Temporary Working Platforms Thick Layer Works Void Creation

A former industrial site in central

Scotland is proving to be one of the UK’s
mostt challenging
h ll i regeneration ti projects
j t

Coal production in the UK isn’t which reportedly produced of sandstone, shale, mud stone and community centre.
PROJECT REPORT what it used to be. It reached its 4,000 tonnes a day in the and waste coal that was volatile With merits aplenty, planning
peak during the early 1900s 1950s. By the time the gates and noxious. approval was duly granted in
MARK ALEXANDER when over 250 million tonnes of were closed in 1985, it was Underground, numerous coal 2004 with 137 planning
the black stuff was produced losing more than £8 for every seams crisscrossed the site. conditions. Work started
Funding value: £500 million annually. The industry was tonne of coal it extracted. The main ones – Armadale Ball, immediately, although at that
Developer: Ecosse enjoying its heyday, responding Turning the clock forward, Armadale Main, Colinburn and stage the land still bore the
Regeneration to growing demand for energy the deep underground workings the Mill – ran virtually the length scars of its industrial past which
Compaction subcontractor: and pushing the boundaries of and smouldering heaps of spoil of the plot at different depths Alex Muirhead, project manager
engineering by sinking shafts to needed serious measures to and overlapped each other. for Ecosse Regeneration, will
greater depths and extending ready Heartlands for a several This was a site with a corrosive never forget.
Remaining-coal extractor:
underground workings further hundred million investment. legacy that had been disfigured “It was the most
J Fenton & Son (Contractors)
into the ground. Over 60 years of production had by decades of industry both contaminated site in Scotland,”
Development: Business park, When the industry’s decline left Polkemmet blackened and above and below the ground. It he says. “It was big, desolate
up to 5,000 houses, two golf came, it was swift and brutal scarred. Worse still, the was unloved and had been left and unfriendly. Everywhere you
courses, two hotels, a school with few escaping the cull. remnants of the mining to rot, but it was ideal for looked you could see white
and community centre Among the pits to be operations had been left redevelopment. running water filled with
Fill material per week: unceremoniously shut was smouldering in large mountains aluminium, burntout cars and
200,000 cum Polkemmet colliery, one of of spoil, otherwise known as Plan of action black tips. It was completely
Site area: 611 ha central Scotland’s most bings. The largest was a 2 About 120 ha of dereliction, depressing.”
successful mines million cu m pile never mind 83 ha of blanket
bog, 31 ha of conifer woodland Foundation work
and 3.7 km of watercourses, The challenge was
was a formidable undertaking. considerable. At 4.9 km,
Taking on Polkemmet would be Polkemmet was the deepest pit
a huge commitment, offset by in Scotland. It also had other
the substantial strategic value mines entering it which had
offered by the site and the been worked from outside the
surrounding pockets of land. area. One of the mainstays of
Located between Edinburgh the regeneration plan was to
and Glasgow and adjacent to mitigate the mines and make
the M9 motorway, the site’s the ground safe to build on.
appeal attracted a string of “The deepest part of the site
applications to West Lothian we dug was 42 m, and we
Council to resolve the compacted earth from that level
contamination issues. Each was upwards,” says Mr. Muirhead.
rejected by the authority, “Anything within 16 m we had
unconvinced the schemes to grout or remove, although
would benefit the local where we had the opportunity
community. we’d take out all the old
The planners remained workings. We shifted 30 million
unmoved until they saw the bid cu m of rock and spoil and that
presented by Ecosse started in 2004, with the last
Regeneration, a development piece of coal being taken out in
vehicle specifically set up to February 2008.
manage the rejuvenation of We re still putting the
Polkemmet and Heartlands. restoration in so we have
Funded by the Royal Bank of competent golf course contours
Scotland, the plan was to and build platforms.”
transform the entire 611 ha site The engineered platforms at
using £500 million to create a Heartlands were created on
business park, up to 5,000 land devastated both above and
houses, two 18-hole below ground level. The
championship golf courses, two process of rectifying these
hotels, a school areas
involved excavating large
swathes of land and then
refilling the holes with
compacted earth. Because
200,000 cu m of material was
shifted every week and used for
fill, conventional methods of
compaction were unsuitable. A
quicker solution was needed.
“We imported a compaction
unit it that
th t gave us dynamic
d i
compaction on the move,” says
Mr. Muirhead. “It has rubber
track tyres and it tows a
concentric wheel that puts
energy into the ground. It
compacts thicker layers quickly.
We set the limit at 1.2 m, but
we know it influences below
that because we do split-layer
The Landpac system relies
on high energy impact
compaction (HEIC) which
compresses in-situ materials,
creating soil with increased
engineering properties.
The process appears simple
with a tractor unit pulling a
normally pentagonal-shaped
steel drum weighing up to 14
tonnes across the ground. The
depth of influence, however,
can reach 2 m to 4 m,
depending on the drum weight
and its rotational drop height.
“A standard 72 tonne roller
would normally only compact up
to 400 mm,” says Mr. Muirhead.
“If we did that, we’d have to roll
each layer three times to reach
the 1.2m depth. If that were the
case, we’d still be doing it in 10

years’ time.” Bing was 2 million cu m of you get one covering the bing were no flare-ups or nasty smells to
material, 30m high,” says Mr. stringent, so to find out what lay trouble the local community.
Burnout Muirhead. “There was a fuel of these beneath, Mr. Muirhead ordered Like the rest of the site, the
The problems at Heartlands source, which was the coal, and a survey. land where Bing 3 once stood
weren’t confined to the mine oxygen which had been trapped
opportunities in a “Before we started, we drilled bears little resemblance to the
k Enormous
E piles
il off debris
d bi within
ithi it.
it So
S allll you needed
d d was lifetime It’s
lifetime. It s like th bing
the bi t find
to fi d outt where
h th
the d li ti that
dereliction th t once prevailed.
il d
littered the site, with one bing a heat source, which could have hotspots were,” he says. “We The green fields and build
regarded by many as West come from compression or an being a painter drilled down until we hit 50 deg platforms that currently
Lothian’s worst eyesore. external source. As soon as you with a blank C then filled up the hole. At one dominate Heartlands belie the
Unfortunately, a combustible opened it up, it would explode. point the driller reached 50 deg remarkable remedial work that
mix of oxygen, heat and fuel “Previous attempts to move canvas.” C a metre below the surface.” has taken place here.
(coal) not only made Bing 3 the bing in the late 1980s had The next step was to cap the “I’ve never worked on such a
unsightly, it also made it polluted the whole of Whitburn ALEX MUIRHEAD burning areas of the bing with complex, constrained and
hazardous. Previous attempts and down towards Edinburgh. ECOSSE RGERERATION boulder clay, which not only monitored site,” says Mr.
to remove the mound had The smell of rotten eggs was killed the smouldering, but also Muirhead. “But you get one of
merely exacerbated the pronounced. Black plums restricted the smell. Site these opportunities in a lifetime.
situation resulting in violent covered the town, kids went to workers then removed debris It’s like being a painter with a
explosions. hospital with asthma and cars and compacted it in a purposely blank canvas.”
It wasn’t something Ecosse was were pitted by acid rain.” built hole. The process was With the canvas ready, it’ll be
about to repeat. “The Burning The planning stipulations surprisingly straightforward, with interesting to see what Mr.
Muirhead will produce.

Compacting Basics

Direction of Travel

Cam Drops by approx

approx. 230mm