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Top-down construction – Why it is

the new normal


Prof. John Endicott
AECOM Fellow
H.K.U. and H.K.U.S.T.

4th October 2018


Deep excavations normally require
temporary walls with supports.
Steel sheet piling as deep as 15m Deeper concrete diapraghm walls

Pile walls
Cutter for diaphragm walls
Excavation for deep basements

Work commences from ground


level by installing reinforced
concrete walls in slurry filled
trenches below ground
Grab for excavating in weak soils
Bottom-up sequence for constructing deep basements Stages 1 and 2

Install walls from ground level Excavate and install first strut
Bottom-up sequence for constructing deep basements Stages 3 and 3

Excavate deeper and install second strut Excavate to bottom and cast base
Bottom-up sequence for constructing deep basements Stages 5 and 6

Build walls up to second strut Remove strut cast slab on formwork


Bottom-up sequence for constructing deep basements Stages 7 and 8

Cast roof on formwork Remove strut and backfill


Top-down sequence for constructing deep basements Stages 1 and 2

Install walls from ground level Excavate and install first slab
Sometimes the
top slab is at
ground surface,
sometimes it is
blow ground level.
Once it is built it
provides a strong
level works area
Top-down sequence for constructing deep basements Stages 3 and 4

Excavate below top slab cast second slab Excavate to base and cast base slab
and backfill
Beneath
completed
slabs the
works area is
protected.
Diaphragm
walls can be
permanent
walls.
Slabs are cast
on plywood
sheets or
blinding on
the ground.
No formwork
is required.
Diaphragm
walls are
sometimes
hidden by skin
walls to
provide a
vapour barrier
to
accommodate
slight seepage
Design Methods
PLAXIS and others programs can model the sequence in many
stages.
Benefits of Top-down sequence
• Early completion and access at ground level
• Possible Top-down/Bottom up for tower blocks
• No temporary decking for small sites
• Little or no temporary strutting good for oddly
shaped sites
• No formwork
• Much of the work is protected from rain
• Openings can be provided for construction access
across the site
Disadvantages of Top-down sequence
• Waterproofing can not be provided outside
the diaphragm walls.
Examples
Top-down 6 floors basement and
simultaneous commencement of tower

Wynn’s Casino Macau


Examples
Permanent
structure used for
site roads on
railway station site
giving multiple
access for hoisting
muck at modest
radius and though -
site haul road and
vehicle queuing
areas.
High Speed Rail terminus underground
• 600m long
• 200m wide
• 28m deep
• 3 M cum of spoil
Dig a big pit and then construct bottom-up in
the middle and top-down around the edges

200m
Concept of reference Design
Perimeter diaphragm walls

Excavate to 27m deep (B4)

Temporary Side slopes, no struts


G.L. +5.50mPD G.L. +5.50mPD

-6.00mPD -6.35mPD -5.100mPD (B2)

SHEET PILE WALL


-21.10mPD (B4)
-25.00mPD

SHEET PILE WALLS


DIAPHRAGM WALL

22 Presentation to EDC on 26 January 2012


Bottom-up construction in the middle, B4, B3, B2

G.L. +5.50mPD G.L. +5.50mPD

-6.00mPD -6.35mPD -5.100mPD (B2)

SHEET PILE WALL


-21.10mPD (B4)
-25.00mPD

SHEET PILE WALLS


DIAPHRAGM WALL

23 Presentation to EDC on 26 January 2012


Construct B3, B2 around the edge

G.L. +5.50mPD G.L. +5.50mPD

-6.00mPD -6.35mPD -5.100mPD (B2)

SHEET PILE WALL


-21.10mPD (B4)
-25.00mPD

SHEET PILE WALLS


DIAPHRAGM WALL

24 Presentation to EDC on 26 January 2012


Partial Top-down on eastern and western sides
Continue Bottom-up B1 and G/F on middle part

G.L. +5.50mPD G.L. +5.50mPD

-6.00mPD -6.35mPD -5.100mPD (B2)

SHEET PILE WALL


-21.10mPD (B4)
-25.00mPD

SHEET PILE WALLS


DIAPHRAGM WALL

25 Presentation to EDC on 26 January 2012


Option adopted by the northern half

Completer ground level works and


roof structures

Kowloon Austin
Station Station
G.L. +5.50mPD G.L. +5.50mPD

-6.00mPD -6.35mPD -5.100mPD (B2)

SHEET PILE WALL


-21.10mPD (B4)
-25.00mPD

SHEET PILE WALLS


DIAPHRAGM WALL

26 Presentation to EDC on 26 January 2012


Two Main Contracts

North South
used used
reference Top-
design down
Shared haul
road. Top-
down on left
and Bottom-up
on right
Bottom up
core with
28m columns
Going up to
ground level
An
impression
Admiralty Station Hong Kong
E
x
amp
l
eT
Complexity
Schematic of physical interfaces

Ground level
Top-down
permanent
openings
for
escalators
and ducts
3-D numerical modelling
Top-down sequence in
soils for first four levels,

then,

Excavation in rock for five


levels of Bottom-up
sequence
Live tracks being
underpinned
Mined cavern for South
island Line Concourse
Some thing to take away
Temporary sea
walls in a yacht
basin.
Then filled with
sand.
Temporary
island.
Diaphragm
walls in the
sand fill.
Deep
excavation
with steel
struts.
Temporary Island, temporary walls, temporary strutting
bottom up construction for six lanes of vehicular
tunnels
From here on
life gets
complicated

Thank you