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Design & Construct Contract Award

Knights Brown will be undertaking the contract for the design and construction of the extension of the cruise berth at Portsmouth International Port. This work will allow the port to receive ships up to 255m in length and welcome 150,000 cruise passengers each year. We arrived on site in November and in this quick turnaround project, were scheduled for a finish in the spring.

Our track record

Knights Brown has been delivering technically complex projects in coastal, marine and river environments along the south coast for many years. Our practical experience and range of skills were instrumental in helping us secure this high profile contract.

Our skill set is further demonstrated in these example projects:

Bid Manager, Nick Gibb, says: “We work closely as a team, listening to each expert and finding ways to solve challenges together. Every project meets hurdles and the best way to beat them is to work together. Because we are a business where we can all act decisively, we don’t waste time; we can make decisions and move on. This is great for our customers and getting the job done.”

In this blog we look at how we will be delivering the new cruise berth.

Design Management & Value Engineering

We work with trusted design partners who we know have the skills and knowledge to match the complexity of the task. Working together from an early stage allows us to use our influence and experience to achieve a practical design solution that can be safely and efficiently constructed on site.

Every project has challenges but we are skilled at finding innovative solutions that bring benefits such as a reduction in programme and cost and improved safety and sustainability, by questioning conventional solutions.

Pre-casting Concrete On Site

We will be pre-casting all the concrete units for the berth extension on site:

  • We elected for self-delivery of this element to better control the operation given the short procurement timeframe. Reduced lead in times ensured units would be produced to meet critical programme dates and required quality in a controlled environment.

Prefabricating the Dolphin Off Site

The new dolphin structure including a prefabricated steel carousel, will be built off site and transported to Portsmouth by barge. The carousel structure (weighing around 60t) will be lifted and placed over a central pile. The carousel will act as a piling gate to drive the six perimeter piles through. Once all the piles are driven to depth, it will be welded in position. This will be both quicker and more cost-effective than alternative methods.

Reusing assets

  • We have looked at reusing structures wherever possible. In the original specification the relatively new, dolphin structure was going to be removed but we could see potential for it to be incorporated into the new berth arrangement.
  • We have incorporated sacrificial anodes (cathodic protection) into the design to extend the useful working life of the existing steel pile assets.

We will help to achieve better value and provide a more sustainable and responsible outcome through this approach .

Marine Environments

We will be taking extra precautions to protect the local habitat and manage impacts on the location of the marine environment. We will ensure we are prepared with as much information as possible by conducting site surveys, all of which will be used to inform our design and de-risk the construction phase.

We will conduct surveys for:

  • UXO to identify any unexploded ordnance within the footprint of the site.
  • Ground investigations to determine the optimum pile design prior to driving a borehole into the seabed.
  • Topography so structures can be accurately incorporated into the design.

Working in Portsmouth International Port

The port will be remaining fully operational throughout our works and of course, will be busy with frequent ship movements. We will also be keeping a close eye on tidal and wind conditions, that always add to the complexity of a project.

We will work flexibly to facilitate the port’s operations as they continue to serve their customers and passengers over the six months we are on site. This will include creating a temporary mooring and berthing arrangements to allow two cruise vessels to berth over the Christmas period.