Keltbray and City, University of London, have today announced the signing of a collaborative agreement to develop innovative technical solutions which will result in unprecedented efficiencies in the design and construction of foundations.

The identified work streams will span the entire value chain, with the goal of developing lean and efficient products and services which have been projected to enter the civil engineering marketplace within the next two years.

Both Keltbray and City recognise the centrality of the construction industry in the UK economy, and fully embrace the Government’s industrial strategy and vision for Construction 2025.

Principally the challenges as set out by the UK Government are:

• Targeting 33% lower initial construction costs and the whole life cost of as-built assets
• A 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for new build and refurbished assets
• A 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment
• A 50% improvement in the trade gap between total exports and imports for construction products and materials

Keltbray Group Innovation director Michael Pelken said:

“In the risk-averse field of construction, the creation of technologically progressive, environmentally ground-breaking or economically disruptive solutions have been compromised by slow innovation cycles. We are looking to close acknowledged gaps between academic and industry-led research and development models by intensifying the knowledge and technology transfer between the two settings. This collaboration agreement is part of our wider ambition to increase our technological awareness and progress a number of innovative ideas that we have. The scope hereby spans from development to deployment and the dissemination of new knowledge. We can only achieve this through new, exciting collaboration models between leading industry, supply chain, and academic partners.”

Stuart Norman, Managing Director of Keltbray Piling said:

“Our shared goals are appropriately outlined within the construction 2025 agenda and we recognise that strong leadership and collaboration across different sectors of the industry is required in order to drive larger industry change. We are excited about the plans we have made for significant short, mid and longer term impact”.

Head of City’s Civil Engineering Department, Professor Sarah Stallebrass, added:

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Keltbray to exploit current and future innovation and research in order to drive a step change in foundation construction methodology. The collaboration will result in genuine benefits to both the construction industry and the UK economy, alongside significant improvements in sustainability. We are already developing a close and productive partnership leading to optimised solutions and which we hope will be sustained for many years.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Dr Andrew McNamara, Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering at City, said:

“Solid partnerships between academia and industry are rare and our relationship with Keltbray Piling will enable City to model a wide range of innovations in deep foundations that can be rigorously analysed and evaluated in the field. Developments in piling over the last 50 years are mostly limited to the construction of ever larger, deeper and, consequently, less efficient foundations. Our partnership will transform the way that foundations are designed and constructed. We aim to bring piling in line with other aspects of construction where positive change has been ingrained in the design and construction of sustainable structures above ground”.


Notes for Editors

About City, University of London
City, University of London is a global higher education institution committed to academic excellence, with a focus on business and the professions and an enviable central London location.

City’s academic range is broadly-based with world-leading strengths in business; law; health sciences; mathematics; computer science; engineering; social sciences; and the arts including journalism and music.

City has around 18,000 students (35% at postgraduate level) from more than 160 countries and staff from over 75 countries.

In the last REF, City doubled the proportion of its total academic staff producing world-leading or internationally excellent research.

More than 130,000 former students from over 180 countries are members of the City Alumni Network.

The University’s history dates from 1894, with the foundation of the Northampton Institute on what is now the main part of City’s campus. In 1966, City was granted University status by Royal Charter and the Lord Mayor of London became its Chancellor. In September 2016, City joined the University of London and HRH the Princess Royal became City’s Chancellor. Led by President, Professor Sir Paul Curran since 2010, City has made significant investments in its academic staff, its estate and its infrastructure and continues to work towards realising its vision of being a leading global university: it has recently agreed a new Vision & Strategy 2026.

About Keltbray Group

Keltbray Group is the UK’s leading specialist business, which offers engineering, construction, asbestos management, demolition, piling, decommissioning, remediation, rail, power distribution and transmission, reinforced concrete structures and environmental services. The company dates back to 1976, employs more than 1,800 people, and is a key player in developing and maintaining Britain’s built environment. Keltbray provides services to meet the needs of diverse and complex projects, and its well qualified people take pride in delivering projects safely and efficiently, on time and to budget, and with care for the environment and our communities. Keltbray has contributed to a range of high profile construction projects including The Shard, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium, St Pancras International, Crossrail, Earls Court, Battersea Power Station and HS2.