North Foreshore Film Studios

North Foreshore Film Studios

Location: Belfast
Contractor: O'Hare & McGovern
Architects: RPP, Belfast
Completion: May 2017

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Client’s challenge
North Foreshore Film Studios was built next to Belfast Lough, on the site of an old landfill. The ground was very weak in places, raising concerns about differential settlement of car parking and other hardstanding areas.

Tensar solution
Tensar’s Spectra Pavement Optimization system, incorporating TriAx geogrid, was used to mechanically stabilized the pavements’ granular layers, enabling them to be built over the weak ground. This mitigated the risk of differential settlement and, as less excavation was required, reduced the amount of imported fill needed, saving time and money.

Project background
Belfast Harbour’s £20M North Foreshore Film Studios, next to Belfast Lough, includes studios, sound stages, workshops and offices covering 3ha. The facility was built to capitalise on Northern Ireland’s growing reputation as a place to make films and television series, such as HBO’s Game of Thrones.

The studios were built on a former landfill site, with very weak ground in places, with CBRs as low as 1%. As a result, there were concerns that differential settlement could occur, which would damage the pavement of car parking and hardstanding areas.

Tensar worked with contractor O’Hare & McGovern and consultant RPS Group to develop pavement designs using its Spectra Pavement Optimization system. This mitigated the risk of differential settlement and eliminated the need to import fill to provide a stable founding layer.

Spectra Pavement Optimization uses TriAx geogrid incorporated into a road’s granular layers to create a mechanically stabilized layer that increases flexural rigidity of the entire pavement structure.

When load is applied, granular particles partially penetrate the geogrid’s apertures, which confine and restrain them from moving both vertically and laterally, helping to deliver roads and pavements capable of carrying anticipated traffic loads over the weakest ground.

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