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Don Valley Viaduct Bridge Strengthening Architectural impression of the Tower of Light - Picture courtesy of Tonkin Liu architects”

Van Elle installs the foundations for Manchester’s Tower of Light – An architectural beacon for carbon reduction within the Civic Quarter


Working for Vital Energi, one of the UK’s leading energy system consultants, we’ve been installing the foundations for the constriction of an iconic tower that will provide the shell to support five flue outlets. These outlets are part of the new energy centre that is being built in the heart of Manchester.

As part of the project we are using our versatile and powerful Klemm 709 & 708 piling rigs. They have the flexibility and capability to get through the most complex ground conditions and be compact in size and configuration to manoeuvre around extremely restricted sites.

Over the three week project, the Klemm 709 & 708 and our team of highly skilled operatives installed over a hundred 300mm and 450mm Sectional Flight Augured (SFA) piles up to 10m in depth. Piling was completed on programme to enable construction of the tower.

Once constructed the energy centre will provide the heat for some of the most iconic landmark buildings within the Civic Quarter, including the Town Hall, Central Library, Manchester Convention Centre, Bridgewater Hall and Heron House, becoming the heartbeat of a district heating system. This is one of the most carbon efficient ways of generating and distributing heat.

Klemm 708

Van Elle’s versatile Klemm 709

The ‘Tower of Light’, designed by award-winning architects Tonkin Lui, will provide a sculptural landmark for the heart of the city and a real visual beacon of sustainable energy solutions.

For further details on the Tower of Light project within Manchester click here.

Dave Warner, Construction Director for Van Elle stated:

“We worked on a piling solution that provided the client with an efficient and effective way to deliver the appropriate foundations, but at the same time minimise temporary works requirements. The Klemm 709 & 708 rigs, are real stars within our fleet, and are the perfect machines to deliver restricted access piling solutions, coupled with a skilled operational and back-office team the project was a real success.”