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  • Writer's pictureIan

Our Work: Different options for bank protection in Greenford Green, London

Piling to water level with concrete coping


The Rothen Group were approached by Galldris Construction Ltd at the ECI stage to deliver the marine elements of their ambitious redevelopment works to the Glaxo Smith Klein factory site in Greenford Green, London. The project involved:

  • Input into design of the bank protection required & finish

  • Liaising with Canal & River Trust engineers and clients to approve design

  • Sourcing specialist suppliers for one-off copings with exacting finishes (over 12 different finishes were supplied for analysis & sampling)

  • Undertaking piling works including all marine plant & experienced team

  • Laying copings to landscape architect specification


Wide beam digger pontoon with 8t excavator & vibratory piling hammer
Wide beam digger pontoon with 8t excavator & vibratory piling hammer

Precast concrete coping installed
Precast concrete coping installed

The Project


Following the closure of two large factories in the area, the industrial land adjacent to the Grand Union Canal in South Ealing stood derelict. Its proximity to the City of London meant the site held huge redevelopment potential, and it was selected to be revitalised. Spanning over 26 acres, the new Greenford Green development would consist of 1,965 residential units, shops, offices, leisure facilities and a two-form entry primary school and nursery.

Alongside these ambitious plans, the Grand Union Canal, which ran through the centre of the site, would be the basis of a ‘green corridor’ and open space for the large redevelopment works. The integrity of the existing canal wall needed to be stabilised and strengthened in order to make this possible.

David Easter, Site Surveyor for Galldris, explained: “We had little experience working near canals or with the Canal and River Trust, so wished to engage the services of a company who could carry out these specialist services. Upon meeting The Rothen Group, it was clear they had significant experience to carry out the scope of works required in this challenging environment.”

After the tendering process and extensive consultation with Galldris’s designers in the early stages of the project, The Rothen Group were able to provide an all-in service. This included the installation of sheet piles to maintain the integrity of the existing canal wall, and laying a purpose-made coping stones to cap them.

The Rothen Group specified a wide array of machinery suited to the canal environment. This included a wide beam digger pontoon, 8t marine ready excavator, pusher tug & hoppers, coping stone lifters and vibratory and air piling hammers.


The successful completion of the bank stabilisation works has resulted in improved canal-side access, allowing Galldris to transport materials to the site for additional development works. Furthermore, it has led to the installation of a new 30-metre-long footbridge over the Grand Union Canal, providing both sides of Greenford Green’s waterfront community with a vital transport link.

David, concluded: “We are thrilled The Rothen Group were able to assist us in the redevelopment of this site. The work was carried out quickly to the required parameters in a demanding site environment, and the company proved extremely professional and approachable throughout.”

Piling back tied with approx. 300mm above water


We install a range of piling using this back tied method. The height of freeboard (pile seen above water level) varies for each site, dependent upon the requirements of the bank, structural integrity, aesthetics, CRT requirements etc. The length of sheets varies from 1.2m to 4m long piles which are back tied every 3rd pile with an anchor pile & tie rod or every 6th pile. The piles can then be backfilled with a range of substrates from topsoil/wildflowers to concrete or stone, dependent upon the application required.



Piling at front with back tie & anchor pile
Piling at front with back tie & anchor pile

Piling to water level with metal waler at water level, with brickwork above. Mooring rings have been installed within the stone back fill
Piling to water level with metal waler at water level, with brickwork above. Mooring rings have been installed within the stone back fill

Piling with pre planted coir roll behind
Piling with pre planted coir roll behind

Rock rolls & coir roll options with no piling
Rock rolls & coir roll options with no piling

Rock rolls installed
Rock rolls installed

Nicospan with hazel faggots & pre planted coir rolls
Nicospan with hazel faggots & pre planted coir rolls

Nicospan & coir rolls
Nicospan & coir rolls

Installing posts & nicospan
Installing posts & nicospan

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