London Residential Scheme

Wood Wharf


Wood Wharf in London is the first residential scheme to be developed in Canary Wharf. The 136,000m2 area is comprised of 3,500 homes, businesses and retail spaces, as well as a school and NHS facility. The site required the reclamation of 8,500m2 of existing dock area and ByrneLooby was appointed to design a combi-wall cofferdam to allow dewatering of the area, to be followed by foundation construction for the new buildings.

The construction methodology of the combi-wall piles was unusual due to restricted impact driving and the presence of a hard caltite layer within the underlying strata. Oversized holes were drilled, the tubes forming the combi-wall dropped into the bores and the annulus between the bore and the tube filled with sand. This led to difficulties analysing the combi-wall, particularly assessing the level of movement of the wall once the dock was dewatered.

In the original tender proposal the dock silt was to be removed. Given the potential environmental benefits and financial saving that could be achieved by leaving this stratum in place however, ByrneLooby produced a suitable cofferdam design that did not require its removal. This design provided a solution where the clay was consolidated on site and a piling platform constructed above it.

When developing previous Canary Wharf projects, the client had previously used a more conservative twin-walled cofferdam with earth at the centre. This was the first time the client used a single wall in cantilever and thorough analysis alleviated any client’s concerns. Having made the decision to keep the dock silt in place, the client was also concerned with the piling rigs’ ability to operate safely. The advanced capabilities of the Finite Element software Plaxis, coupled with the development of flow and consolidation spreadsheets, allowed ByrneLooby designers to be confident that the subgrade formed would allow the rigs to operate safely.



“Wood Wharf was a significant project with more responsibilities and risks associated than I had experienced on previous projects. During the construction process I had the opportunity to attend several site visits and have close communication with the site team which I found was the biggest benefit to me. One of the main achievements on this project was being able to leave the clays in place, which produced significant environmental benefits and financial savings for the client.”

Pablo, Design Engineer


Project Photos