Mareterra reaches milestone with 500 piles installed

Development on Mareterra, Monaco’s first eco-district, continues to remain on track, despite the pandemic. Recently, the development team reached the symbolic milestone of installing 500 piles, which will support future construction at Mareterra Monaco.

The installation of the piles started in October 2019, with the development team installing up to 20 per week.

“We ramped up quickly enough to reach the peak of the pace with five drilling machines including a BG55 model, the largest available in Europe,” explains Stéphane Castano, general manager of the Portier Superstructures SAM. “The workforce consisted of around 84 people dedicated to this workshop, which represents about a third of the staff currently working on site.”

Before the start of the installation of the piles a test workshop was carried out to validate the construction methods, with two further test workshops held in the first half of 2020. Once the pile has been placed a probe is used to check the quality of the concrete.

For logistical reasons, the installation of the piles was started at the Port Hercules side of the development. This is where the building signed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano stands, and where the concrete structures will be under the most stress. Here, the longest piles reach nearly 62-metres in length, with a diameter up to 1.8-metres.

Depending on the quality of the soil, two different techniques are used. When the pile is inserted into the ground, the concrete pile is inserted in a metal tube. To adapt to the technical characteristics of the terrain, this tube can either be removed or left in place.

The installation of the piles is made all the more complex due to the significant amount of coactivity on the site.