How to fit a basement dig through a 660mm alleyway

Coveya saves basement dig team invaluable time in 'impossibly' small space

When local building contractors were called in to dig out the basement to add a floor underneath a flat located near Bristol city centre, they faced an unusual challenge. Site manager, Steven and his team needed to remove tonnes of spoil but the site was only accessible through a one-metre wide alley – one of the smallest spaces they had ever had to work in. Steven needed to find a solution to get the job done quickly, effectively, and safely.

The project

If you walk down Jacob’s Wells Road in Bristol, you’ll have a hard time spotting the flat our conveyor is working in. In fact, unless you’re looking for it, you’d never know it existed. The flat sits at the back of a 20m long alleyway that is 660mm at its narrowest! Sandwiched between a converted chapel and a block of flats, the basement dig is certainly packed away in a tight space.

Access to the basement narrows to 600mmAccess to the basement narrows to 600mm

The challenge

Steven and his team needed to dig out the basement so that a new floor could be added underneath the existing flat. On a job like this, with tonnes of spoil to move, they would normally use cranes, diggers, dumpers, and other excavation equipment. Yet, Steven was faced with a significant challenge: with such a small space to work in, another solution needed to be found.

Initially, moving the material by hand was considered and priced up. Steven calculated that if a crew of six with wheelbarrows worked non-stop, the project could be completed in the time quoted. However, given the distance to the skip and the challenging terrain, only one barrow could be in motion at a time. Not to mention that the digging teams would almost certainly be exhausted.

From a health and safety point of view, this project was a minefield. Shifting all the soil, working in enclosed spaces, foot traffic impediment, repetitive motion, and lifting the barrows of bricks and soil into a skip would have all increased the danger to the labourers.

Coveya installed a tailored modular conveyor solutionCoveya installed a tailored modular conveyor solution

The solution

Coveya has provided the solution that Steven and his team had been searching for. By installing a tailored system of two Easikit 300 modular conveyors, the crew can move the spoil to the skip without leaving the basement site, which has considerably reduced downtime for everyone.

Instead of six wheelbarrows and considerable manual lifting, tonnes of material are shovelled straight from the basement into the conveyor hopper. The 300mm-wide belt snakes down the alleyway, and the conveyors (12.1m and 10.9m) run the entire distance from basement to skip. The second conveyor includes an incline at the end, where it discharges the spoil straight into the skip. Coveya has also installed a support system, allowing the conveyor to incline up and over the pavement, so foot traffic is not impeded at all.

Coveya is helping to save many hours of work for the team, creating an effective, time- and labour-saving solution for a project that had been considered almost impossible from the start. Importantly, using these conveyor belts has enabled Steven to overcome key health and safety hazards he was worried about, and has significantly reduced the risk of injury to a member of his team.

If you walk down Jacob’s Wells Road in the next few weeks, you still won’t be able to see our basement dig. All you’ll see is an overhanging wooden support and some blue tarpaulin covering a skip. You won’t hear much except for the gentle hum of an electric conveyor system and the occasional splash of soil piling up in the skip. But you’ll know that Steven and his small team are hard at work clearing out the basement down at the end of the long alleyway.

Why not let Coveya see how much time and money you could save?

For more information contact us on:

0800 915 9195


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