ArcelorMittalApplicationsUnderground Car Parks
Bristol | UK
2 level underground car park built with the top-down method
Raaks | NL
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Bristol | UK
2 level underground car park built with the top-down method

Raaks | NL

Underground Car Parks

Hot rolled steel sheet pile sections are the ideal material for constructing retaining walls of underground car parks (UCP) and basements.

Main advantages are
  • more cost-effective,
  • faster execution,
  • vertical load bearing capacity; sheet piles can transfer significant vertical loads from the structure above ground to the soil (works simultaneously as a retaining wall and as a foundation element),
  • watertight walls and connections with bottom slabs.
ArcelorMittal mandated in 2018 the renown Dutch consulting engineering firm Royal Haskoning DHV (1) to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the steel sheet pile solution in The Netherlands. To summarize the Dutch study, based on typical Dutch soil conditions and installation techniques, UCP up to 4 levels below ground built with steel sheet piles are the most sustainable solution: up to 50% more cost-efficient than alternative solutionsinstallation up to 2 times faster, and durable solution.

UCP | RH DHV comparison of solutions | 15 m high walls | 2018
UCP | RH DHV comparison of solutions | 15 m high walls | 2018


The fact that steel sheet piles can be driven tight against the boundaries of the site, and that the wall itself has minimum thickness, means that the surface area available for cars is maximised and hence, the cost per bay is minimised.

New installation technologies can prevent installation nuisances in dense urban areas, such as noise and vibrations. Nowadays, steel sheet piles in urban areas are predominantly installed with high frequency, resonance-free vibratory hammers, or hydraulic presses (no vibrations at all).

Besides, the challenging top-down construction method should be compared to the typical bottom-up method, because it can speed up dramatically the execution (allows working simultaneously on the structure below and above ground level).

A large number of UCP were built with steel sheet piles as permanent walls in the Netherlands, Germany, UK, France, USA, Brazil, Argentina,... in the last decades.
(1) Steel Sheet Piles for Underground Parking Facilities. Guide book. Ref.BF7258TPRP1812111356. 19 December 2018. Royal Haskonig DHV - The Netherlands
Last modified: January 16, 2019
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