LABC Hillingdon Technical Seminar – Key Points

We attended the LABC Hillingdon Technical Seminar today where John Patch, our Sales and Marketing Director, gave a talk on the reuse of Brownfield sites.

John spoke about how engineered foundations can aid in the economic development of Brownfield sites and the cost effectiveness and sustainability performance of our Housedeck system when compared to traditional foundations.

We heard from the LABC on their Warranty protection and they advised that a staggering 90% of their claims are in relation to water. This highlights the fact that basements have to be well designed with attention to detail and great workmanship along with maintenance and protection of waterproofing systems. We have engineers at Abbey Pynford that are CSSW qualified to provide advice and manage works on site.

The Building Excellence Awards were also mentioned, with Abbey Pynford Sponsoring the Best Educational Building category!

There were a number of other speakers and topics:

Building inspections

New regulations on security and electronic communications. LABC have produced an App for builders.  Building control pick up on over 450,000 errors a year on drawings before they even get to site.


Refurbishment of buildings and the improvements necessary in MEV installations to meet current fire regulations, specifically consideration of how installations can be suitably and safely cleaned/maintained. Particularly relevant post Grenfell fire.

820 fires in London alone caused or made significantly worse as a result of lack of maintenance to kitchen ventilation (from London Fire Brigade).

LABC Acoustics

Typical defects causing failure in Acoustic insulation and measures to avoid or remediate.  Detailing and workmanship on site highlighted as key areas.

Polypipe Terrain

Innovative systems for refurbishment projects including drainage, ventilation and pressurised systems and fire stops.


Insulation systems to help bridge the Performance Gap experienced between designed thermal efficiency and those actually realised.


Abbey Pynford successfully passes ISO9001:2008, BS EN ISO14001:2004 and BS OHSAS18001:2007

We have successfully passed our ISO9001:2008, BS EN ISO14001:2004 and BS OHSAS18001:2007 assessment without any non-conformance and demonstrated compliance with the latest 2015 standards for 9001 and 14001.

These standards represent Abbey Pynford’s commitment to quality, safety and environmental processes throughout our business

Well done to all of those involved.

What is Underpinning?

Ever wondered what underpinning is, when it’s required and methods of doing it? We’ve produced a handy infographic that shows the most popular types of underpinning.

If you would like to know more please get in touch with our underpinning expert Paul Bailey

Do you know how to be award-winning?

Abbey Pynford’s recently appointed Sales and Marketing Director, John Patch, has written about how to be award-winning.

“Doing a great job is not enough to ensure it is award-winning, you need to ensure you present it in an award-winning way too”

Read John’s full article here:

Hopefully with John’s guidance we’ll be on the path to success!


Housedeck Slab Ready to Pour

Another Housedeck slab fixed and ready to pour. Have a project needing a new foundation? Talk to us.

A 180mm void was required due to the potential for heave and was achieved by using our Deck Support Units (DSUs). As the DSUs are recovered a completely clear void is provided.

This project also required a cantilever section and a hybrid flat slab with local down stand thickenings was designed and installed by Abbey Pynford.

Structural works to London vaults

The existing vaults of many London properties, which typically extend beneath the pavement, offer an opportunity to provide additional space for storage or M&E plant. Typically these are low headroom, small spaces and difficult to use effectively.

As such Abbey Pynford Geo Structures are frequently asked to consider structural alterations of vaults; to lower the existing ground floor level, provide openings between adjoining vaults or both.

These works often involve some specific challenges such as;

  • Shallow existing foundations
  • Vaulted ceilings
  • Restricted space and access
  • The strength and structural adequacy of the existing structure may be unknown
  • Lateral thrust at spring points and a reliance upon adjoining vaults
  • Rear walls of vaults retaining highways and subject to surcharge and cyclical loading
  • Internal walls acting as shear walls retaining the rear walls.

Vaults are often adjacent to public highways and therefore are subject to Technical Approval of Highway Structures from the Local Authority

Abbey Pynford Geo Structures can call upon the extensive experience of our in-house Chartered Structural and Civil Engineers along with our extensive Geotechnical knowledge to provide bespoke solutions for these situations.

A recent project within London’s West End that Abbey Pynford Geo Structures were involved with required two vaults to be lowered and the internal supporting masonry wall between the vaults to be removed. The solution proposed by the client team was to underpin the perimeter and install a structural steel box frame in place of the internal wall.

The temporary works required to remove the internal wall and install the steel frame, while retaining the vaulted ceiling over and the soil it supported were detailed and drafted using a 3D BIM model in Revit.

A key requirement of the temporary works was not to significantly inhibit the ability to undertake the demolition of the internal wall and subsequent construction of the steel frame. Within small vaults this is particularly difficult and therefore a cantilever frame within each vault was proposed to enable access to the working area by our operatives.

The innovative design chosen incorporated elements of bespoke structural steelwork with bolted connections which could be manhandled and assembled within the vault and timber beams cut and bolted to follow the ceiling profile. Timber spreaders were used to support the vault between beams.

Following sign off of the design from the Local Highways Authority, the structures were constructed and installed by Abbey Pynford Geo Structure’s skilled labour force.

Abbey Pynford Geo Structures are the recognised market leader in the foundation and complex geostructural engineering sector. We specialise is retro-fit basements, all forms of underpinning, structural opening up (Pynford beams) and lifting and moving of buildings. Projects are undertaken on a D&B or build only basis.

If you have a project that you would like us to look at or just discuss options, please contact us.

RoSPA Centenary Celebration

As a part of RoSPA’s centenary celebrations they are today holding a garden party at Buckingham Palace. At each party around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed! Two of our Contracts Managers are attending representing Abbey Pynford. We are reliably informed that the band were playing Beauty & The Beast when this photo was taken.

National CDM Awards 2017

National CDM Awards: Abbey Pynford Nominated for Project of the Year

Abbey Pynford worked as the specialist basement subcontractor to Willmott Dixon on refurbishment of the Grade II* St Albans Town Hall. The CDMC for the project was so impressed at the combined H&S effort that they nominated the project for Project of the Year at the 10th annual Association of Project Safety (APS) National Construction Design and Management (CDM) Awards. Best of luck to all involved when the results are announced on October 19th.