Keltbray, a leading UK specialist engineering business, today announces it has signed an exclusive licence agreement with City, University of London for the development of the Sustainable Reusable Pile (or Hollow Pile) as part of its ongoing commitment to reducing carbon emissions across its portfolio of projects.

Keltbray has agreed an exclusive licence of the City, University of London IP for the Hollow pile. The key benefit of the Hollow pile is that it significantly reduces the embodied carbon within bored piling foundations through reducing the total volume of concrete required in each pile.

Keltbray is working with construction partners on combining the product with low carbon concretes in order to further reduce the embodied carbon within the piles by up to 90% (compared to traditional bored piles) depending on the diameter. Further advantages are gained through an increase in productivity from a reduction in concrete pouring times due to the reduced volume required.

Keltbray has also partnered with UK geothermal contracting specialists G-Core to develop the user interface and market for geothermal energy storage and generation within the Hollow piles. Early trials indicate performance enhancement of over 60% in terms of geothermal conductivity compared to traditional energy piles.

The announcement comes following Keltbray and City, University of London receiving funding from Innovate UK in 2018, the United Kingdom’s innovation agency, for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) associate for advancements in deep foundation design and construction.

Stuart Norman, Managing Director for Keltbray’s Piling Division said, “This agreement and transfer of ownership of IP is a major success for the KTP scheme. Implementing the product within construction and infrastructure projects will have a huge impact on carbon-reduction, specifically when considering the whole life cycle costing benefits that the combination of a deep pile foundation with combined energy storage and generation potential will bring”.

Michael Pelken, Innovation Director for Keltbray said, “We have developed a close and extremely productive relationship with City, University of London and are very pleased to exclusively license their hollow pile patent. This is a mutually beneficial collaboration, supported by Innovate UK, that closes acknowledged gaps between academic and industry led research and development models. We are collectively working on solutions that will revolutionise the way deep foundations are utilised, including the use of building integrated energy and environmental control systems. We are also developing component sets designed for manufacture and assembly as part of the Platform Design Program run by the UK Construction Innovation Hub. We aim to do more of such progressive work with our academic partners to support productivity and sustainability in construction.”

Dr Andrew McNamara, Senior Lecturer in City’s Department of Civil Engineering, said, “City has a strong track record of research into performance and innovation in deep foundations.  Hollow piles are an exciting part of our contribution in this area because developers will begin to regard construction of these highly sustainable deep foundations as an investment in a valuable asset that will continue to add value long after they are first constructed. We are delighted that Keltbray have recognised the potential of City’s research and will be commercialising this green technology that has substantial benefits over conventional piling methods, opening up new and exciting opportunities in the construction sector.”



Media Enquiries

Nina Fairfowl, Corporate Communications Manager

Keltbray Group

Tel: 07395 792301

Email: [email protected]

Notes for Editors

About Keltbray

Keltbray is a leading UK specialist engineering and construction services business, offering a unique self-delivery capability spanning key phases of the construction value chain – civil engineering, geotechnical, asbestos management, demolition, piling and reinforced concrete structures, decommissioning, remediation, rail, power distribution and transmission, and environmental services.

The company was founded in 1976 and is privately owned, directly employs over 1,700 people, and is a key delivery partner to blue-chip public and private sector customers, contributing to the development and maintenance of Britain’s rapidly changing economic infrastructure and built environment.

Keltbray provides certainty of delivery to meet the needs of diverse and complex projects. Its professionally trained employees take pride in delivering safely and sustainably, on time, to budget, and with care for the environment and our communities. Keltbray has successfully completed a range of high profile construction projects on schemes including The Shard, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium, St Pancras International, Crossrail, Earls Court, Battersea Power Station, Ferrybridge Power Station decommissioning and HS2.

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.