The Shard foundations

Using multiple piling techniques, we installed over 160 piles to support this 87-storey iconic London skyscraper

At 310 metres high, the Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe. Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering delivered complex piling works for main contractor Mace, forming the first phase of the £2 billion London Bridge Quarter regeneration works.

A heavy load

Working on the site of an existing tower block, our design team developed an innovative solution to overcome the obstruction of existing piles. Secant piles were used to form a retaining wall and carry the vertical load of the structure. A range of firm and structural piles up to 1.8m diameter were also installed at depths of 25 to 50 metres.

We employed a top-down method that allowed us to continue piling work as construction began on the building. Using a unique hydraulic frame, we installed plunge columns of multiple sizes, increased the vertical tolerance of the piles and reduced the overall programme by six months


million project


month duration


load bearing piles