A property on Brewer Street in London included several redundant vaults used as coal sheds in the basement. The client wanted these sheds filling to secure the area and prevent deterioration.

One of the vaults, formerly used as a coal shed

One of the vaults, formerly used as a coal bunker

Project background

Brewer Street is a busy road in central London; the client needed a solution to fill five coal sheds with minimum disruption to the street and particularly its tenant in the property above the sheds, Cafe Nero. The sheds were deteriorating, and a fill material would secure them and negate further erosion.

Alternative solutions

The voids could have been filled with cementitious materials such as foam concrete. However, there were limitations due to the location and the requisite from the client. The street and location of the site were not in an area where plant vehicles could operate, which meant the client had to seek a non-cementitious solution. 

Geobear’s solution

We proposed to use one of our expansive geopolymer materials to fill the voids. Using a mobile unit with a pump adjacent to the cafe, we would be able to use a hose to pump material to the voids.

Our unit was stationed outside Cafe Nero on four overnight shifts to minimise disruption to the cafe and other businesses. We used a two-component material, pumped from our unit directly into the void; when the two components meet a reaction occurs which creates an expansive geopolymer fill material. The five coal sheds, which equated to 40 cubic metres, were successfully filled and during the four consecutive nights and sealed using wooden panels. 

Why was Geobear chosen?

The client opted to use Geobear as the disruption to the local area was minimal. We only had one mobile unit on-site throughout the works and using our hoses the material could be delivered into the basement coal sheds via ventilation shafts from Cafe Nero above. 

Furthermore, the material we use can be excavated with ease should the client want to open up the vaults again. The geopolymer resin can be easily dug out using hand shovels, whereas cementitious fill would require plant machinery. 

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