In summer 2019 the team at Mole Group were called on to site to complete a trenchless utilities installation at a new build development in East Finchley, an area with a population of 15,000 and stringent planning restrictions.

As a brand new housing development in an existing settlement, the site needed a full set of utilities installed, with the challenge of avoiding any existing groundworks and completing the work in a confined space. Trenching was not an option given the access and space restrictions so the main contractors decided that our trenchless technology and specialist engineers were the best team for the job.

Increasing pressure on local government to meet the demand for new homes means that spaces which were previously deemed too difficult to develop are now being given the green light. Large scale building projects in cities present a number of challenges for construction companies and these are amplified when it’s a busy part of Greater London.

Working for the main contractor, Deconstruct UK, Mole Group completed a thorough site survey and then prepared a strategy to install ducting for all services; gas, electricity, water, communications in 6 x 110mm drills at 20m each.

As with many city developments, access was tricky as the site was virtually enclosed on all sites by existing buildings. We worked closely with the on-site teams to plan and coordinate for our specialist 2 tonne Grundodrill 4X directional drilling rig to be lifted by crane into the planned launch position on the site ready to complete the drills. The 4X is a compact power packed rig and only requires a small launch space so we knew that we could complete the job when others wouldn’t have been able to get near.

Ground conditions were good, mainly consisting of clay which is smooth to drill through. The site had been radar scanned to verify there were no existing utilities in place. Our team worked closely with the main contractors to coordinate works and completed the six 20m drills successfully in a matter of days.

It was our first time working with Deconstruct UK who were a great team. We’re looking forward to seeing the completed new homes later in the year!