Rubber Consultants test bearings for Park House, Oxford St, London, W1
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RC test bearings for Park House, Oxford St, London, W1
The building is located on the south side of Oxford Street opposite the Selfridges department store and occupies a whole city block. Park House is approximately 10 metres from the London Underground’s Central Line structure and on one of the busiest streets in Europe.
It is for this reason that the building is being isolated from considerable noise and vibrations by approximately 2500 rubber bearings varying in size from small donut bearings 120mm in diameter to 500 x 400 x 270 mm bearings designed to take loads of up to 300 tonnes. The isolation bearings are individually designed to make them perform uniquely at different parts within the construction making it vital that they are placed in their specific location.
Ashley Haines is the Design Manager of the ANDRE Division of Trelleborg Ridderkerk and was in charge of the design and manufacture of the rubber anti-vibration bearings used for Park House. He says, “ the Park House project is the most complex isolation project I have ever worked on and is unique not only because it is the largest development on Oxford Street for 40 years but because of the vast range of different bearing designs used in its innovative structure”.
The bearings installed on the bottom five floors, on -2, -1, Ground Floor, +1 and +2 levels. The building consists of two concrete ‘towers’ each a quarter of the way from the two ends of the building.
The blue sections of the diagram on the right illustrate the parts of the structure designed to be isolated from all noise.
Ashley explained the positioning of the bearings, “These two tower structures carry the staircases and lift shafts. The towers are built on a two metre thick floating concrete slab mounted on 363 of the largest rubber bearings. They are separated from the fixed basement with an air gap all the way around isolating them from ground borne vibrations”.
“In addition the towers are isolated around their perimeter from the basement concrete slab horizontally by 58 rubber bearings mounted vertically. This specialized ‘flat jack’ technology is designed to ensure the bearings withstand wind forces hitting the building”, explained Ashley.
These and other bearings are also installed up to level +2 to support steel columns and to isolate the concrete towers from vibrating floor beams. These vast numbers of bearings are used within the design to ensure that the residential and commercial floors above +2 will be isolated from the noise and vibration caused by the busy street and the central tube line below.
There are also a few hundred smaller exterior cladding isolation bearings at level +1 to prevent any vibration from the lower levels being transmitted to the skeletal structure of the office space and residential space above. The façade of the whole structure will then be covered in tinted glass, which will hang from level +2 and pass through guides at level +1.
Rubber Consultants has been the main independent testing body for the dynamic testing on the structural bearings used in the Park House structure. This is beacuse the 2.5MN Schenck at Rubber Consultants is one of few machines capable of carrying out dynamic tests at the loads required by Trelleborg Ridderkerk to prove the design of their bearings.
The 2.5MN Schenck servo-hydrolics test machine was used to carry out quasi-static conditioning and dynamic tests on the bearings. The loads on some of the bearings reached 2,400 kN, whilst the dynamic tests were carried out at frequencies of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 HZ with peak to peak amplitudes of 0.1 and 0.01mm.
Ashley went on to say, “I have used Rubber Consultants for various project based-testing for over 20 years now and have very good ties with the engineers and rubber technologists there”.
Ashley concluded, “Park House is a one-off special project that has given me one of the most challenging pieces of design work I have accomplished in the last 20 years. Rubber Consultants has provided me with a service that gives myself and ultimately the client piece of mind that these bearings will perform in the way they were designed to within a unique structure of this type.”
For more information on Trelleborg please contact Ashley Haines. E: Ashley.Haines@trelleborg.com
For more information on Park House please take a look at Land Securities official website at: www.landsecuritieslondon.com/properties/park-house or to view the progression of construction take a look at the web cam at www.parkhousew1.co.uk/webcam/
Conceptual artwork and webcam image courtesy of Land Securities Group PLC
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