20 Fenchurch Street – Building the curved skyscraper at the heart of London

The project

With its distinctive curved profile widening at the top, the glazed 160 metre skyscraper at the heart of the City of London has been dubbed the Walkie Talkie. 20 Fenchurch Street is a new build joint venture by Canary Wharf Contractors and Land Securities providing over 34 stories of office and commercial premises, plus basements and a three level ‘sky garden’ incorporating restaurants and shops.

This prestigious project began in 2009 after demolition of the existing office block, and took five years to complete. At over £200 million in construction value the development required strategic and planned construction site services, and EMS (UK) LTD were awarded a contract to provide site wide temporary services during the construction phase, for three years from December 2011.

Unusual profiles come with challenges

Unique features of this project included the additional ventilation systems required to the south side to decrease the effects of solar gain, and the widening of the structure to higher floor levels, increasing floor space and taking advantage of the increase in rental costs at the higher levels.

The deep excavation required for installation of the foundations and basements necessitated lowering of the ground water table level.
EMS (UK) LTD provided a tailored and strategic dewatering solution for the groundworks phase of the project. EMS (UK) LTD also supplied site wide100% LED lighting to promote energy efficiency during site operations.

Groundwater doesn’t have to mean there’s a flood

The dewatering services EMS (UK) LTD provided secured a dry base on which the ground workers rapidly installed foundations and began basement construction. Strategic co-ordination of EMS (UK) LTD phased services allowed Canary Wharf Contractors to execute construction duties in a sequential run, with minimal disruption to their programme.
The result of EMS (UK) LTD phased and scalable strategic solutions tailored to fit the contractor’s programme meant the project was completed with little disruption, hence saving project costs and increasing valuable resources. On time completion and handover enabled swift building occupancy and business income, and allowed visitors to enjoy panoramic and breathtaking view across London from the sky garden.

 

Building Fenchurch Street, London