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SockFix anchors avoid arch reconstruction

Client: Linden Homes
Location: Shepton Mallet, Somerset
Approved Installer: Brick-Tie Preservation
Reference No: CS117

As part of the redevelopment of the former Norah Fry Hospital into private homes some seven years ago, a concrete decorative arch was built to span a public footpath and right of way on the estate. However, during the recent process of adopting the roads/right of way network, Somerset County Council deemed the arch could be a 'Dangerous Structure' under specific conditions, which would delay the adoption. The arch, a 4.2m single span, is constructed from interlocking precast concrete blocks arranged in a pair of adjoining spanning sections or halves. It joins a dwelling at one end and a 700mm wide free-standing boundary wall at the other, which the Council's Building Control Dept. deemed inadequate to support the 3 tonne outward thrust generated by the arch under certain load conditions. A simple, cost-effective means of reinforcing and securing the arch was required that would overcome the alternative of reconstructing both the arch and the supporting wall, which would have been costly, time consuming and required the extended closure of the footpath.

The Helifix Solution

Helifix proposed installing just two of its heavy duty SockFix grouted anchors, one in each half of the arch. Helifix carried out the necessary calculations and design in-house, to the satisfaction of the local authority engineer, showing that the SockFix anchors would enable the arch to meet the high loads.

  • Two clearance holes were drilled through the boundary wall and the entire width of the arch. Each of the 4.5m long x 12mm SockFix anchors was then installed into the holes and pumped full of specially formulated cementitious grout, filling the mesh sock and any surrounding voids.
  • The grout cured in a composite action with the threaded bar inside the sock and the concrete panels of the arch, forming a strong mechanical-chemical bond and becoming an integral part of the structure.
  • Drilling and installation was completed in just two days with minimal disruption to residents or pedestrians. Costs were substantially less than reconstruction and, with the drilled cores replaced, the repairs were fully concealed, retaining the original aesthetic appearance of the arch and stone wall. Click here to download the project case study.