The Shard


The Shard is a landmark tower on London’s skyline which stands at 1000ft high and has a 15metre deep basement. ByrneLooby was the detailed designer of the substructure and facilitated a reduced programme with a practical and buildable design of a top down construction sequence for the triple level basement. The foundations comprised up to 60m deep 1.8m diameter bored piles founded in the underlying Thanet Sand.

As the project was adjacent to London Bridge station, a central hub on London’s rail network, the rail authority (Network Rail) required detailed analysis of the effect of the basement excavation on the Victorian station structure. ByrneLooby undertook finite element analysis of the basement excavation to assess the likely deflections of the retaining wall and successfully satisfied Network Rail and their technical advisors to gain approval of the design.

The solution designed by ByrneLooby included a secant piled wall to allow for the deep excavation, a piled foundation and plunge columns. The original concept involved the piles being base grouted. Following a successful preliminary pile test, to record settlements and strains at various levels, ByrneLooby argued that base grouting was not necessary and proved our design worked. 

Ongoing work with the client continued throughout the project to validate the initial design. ByrneLooby worked consistently with the client to get approval of their methodology and to assist them in progressing the work in a timely and cost efficient manner.


Staff Insight

“This was one of the early jobs that ByrneLooby completed in England and one of the first jobs out of the office in Guildford.  It really got our name known. I documented the results of the pile test in a paper published by Ground Engineering, co-authored with Mark Pennington of BBGE and Matthew Sharratt of WSP Group.”

David, Director

Project Photos