After close to two years of revisions and amendments to the proposals for it approval has been given for work to commence on the 1 Undershaft project. This is one of the most ambitious construction projects London has ever seen, and as a consequence presents a number of major challenges.
1 Undershaft – referred to as The Trellis by some due to certain design features – will have a structural height of 951.25 ft (289.94m). This will make it the tallest skyscraper in the Borough of the City of London, and second only to The Shard in terms of the entire capital.
Before work begins on erecting the new 73 storey building an existing structure on the grounds, the Aviva Tower, needs to be dismantled and demolished. The length of the entire project is anticipated to be close to 6 years, with some 25% of that timeframe set aside for the demolition work.
Those familiar with the Square Mile area of the City of London will know that it is a place characterised by considerable space limitations. This is even the case when measured against the usual constraints for building and construction work elsewhere in the capital city. Not surprisingly the lack of space is one of the biggest challenges on the project.
Many of the revisions to the proposals for the project have focused on enabling the required structural propping to be carried out in a way that limits the level of disruption. It is vital to retain stability throughout construction and demolition projects, especially those involving structural alterations in city centres. Even with this though the disruption to other residents in an area and the general public must be anticipated and minimised.
The broader view of the 1 Undershaft project is that it underlines London’s status as the most desirable financial centre in the world to have a presence in. From a construction industry perspective it marks another instance of pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with the skills, talents and vision working in the sector.
With approval given for work to start all attention is now on ensuring that construction is carried out in a safe, unobtrusive and non-disruptive way. We have every confidence that ever higher levels of excellence shall be achieved in this respect.