Benefits of the Platipus Earth Anchoring System for our residential project at Briar Row, Durham

Every site has its own unique challenges, but we are particularly proud of the innovations that we have employed in preparing our site at Briar Row in Pity Me, Durham. This site featured a steep, overgrown bank to the rear of the proposed houses and alongside clearance and excavations for construction, further groundworks were also needed to stabilize the ground and avoid the possibility of future subsidence for neighbouring properties at the top of the slope.

Together with BGP we assessed five possible solutions including Gabion baskets, UniLogs and sheet piling. Each had their own advantages and disadvantages, but when BGP suggested Platipus Anchors we could immediately see the benefits both in terms of aesthetics and the relative ease of installation.

Site Manager Gary Singleton said: “There are several advantages to using Platipus Anchors. Firstly, for neighbours, installation is relatively quiet in comparison to sheet piling, in fact there is very little disturbance to neighbours in regards to noise, vibration or dust. Secondly, all the installation kit is portable so in a tight, restricted site there is no need for industrial sized plant as there would be for other retaining methods. Installation was carried out by in-house staff, so providing we worked to standards and design produced by Platipus and indemnity insurance was provided by an independent structural engineer, there was no need for us to subcontract the work out. Installation time was also reduced as we progressed through the job once we got familiar with the product, so overall this was a cost-effective solution compared to other retaining methods.”

Despite providing the requisite support for a steep 5m drop, Platipus is not bulky or rigid, which allowed us not only to save a huge amount of space to the benefit of our properties but also to follow the curve of the bank round in an attractive, naturalistic way.

The finished bank is neat and the hexagons have been filled with earth and planted with scarlet clover, which will provide a consistent and bee-friendly groundcover effect for the short term. Eventually, lush, green ivy will cover this bank – helping to stabilise it further, absorbing run-off from heavy rain and providing maintenance-free habitat for wildlife as well as an attractive, evergreen backdrop to the garden spaces behind the houses. This covering combined with the hexagon shapes will also help to absorb noise pollution from nearby traffic, thereby creating a quieter, more tranquil space for residents using their back gardens.

We’re delighted with the product and have had great feedback from Hossein Khansari at Platipus Earth Anchoring Systems who commended our team’s “technical excellence” in installing the product.

We would be happy to share our experience in more detail should anyone be considering using the Platipus system on their project.

Installation of Platipus Anchors at Briar Row, Pity Me

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