Similar to the metro itself, the Kochi metro construction undertook a journey, from piling construction to securing the final structure, establishing it as one of the fastest-completed metro construction in India. It is also the only one in the country which connects rail, road and water transport facilities.

Heritage Infraspace India Limited (HIPL) takes pride in being the diaphragm wall construction company in India that has worked on this prestigious project for L&T Construction.

Through this case study, we unravel the details of the diaphragm wall construction and successful execution of diaphragm piles by HIPL, in building the metro rail stations from Aluva, Kalamassery, and Muttom for the project despite facing several challenges.

Let us begin!

What are Diaphragm Walls?

Diaphragm walls are underground structural elements constructed with the aim to support the excavation work and provide a stable foundation for building structures. They are constructed by digging a trench, installing steel reinforcement and pouring concrete into the trench to create a wall that extends to the desired depth. 

As an essential part of geotechnical engineering, they are used for a variety of applications, including building basements, tunnels and retaining walls. They are an efficient and effective solution for deep basement construction, as they provide a strong and stable foundation.

The Client – L&T Construction and Kochi Metro Rail Limited

  • L&T Construction is a part of the larger Indian multinational group Larsen & Toubro (L&T). The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) contracted it to build the metro rail infrastructure for Kochi Metro in 2013.
  • L&T Construction trusted HIPL to execute diaphragm piles in the construction of elevated metro rail stations between Aluva, Kalamassery and Muttom.
  • KMRL, being one of the most progressive public sector companies, encouraged innovation in civil and geotechnical engineering to build an efficient, clean and green mode of travel in the shortest possible time.

Apart from the Kochi metro construction, HIPL and L&T Constructions have come together for diaphragm wall construction for the Central Vista Project, Ahmedabad metro, DMRC Chattarpur station and more.

HIPL’s Projects for Kochi Metro Construction in India

  • HIPL was tasked with another metro construction in India, this time with the job of executing diaphragm piles for the construction of elevated metro rail stations of Kochi Metro.
  • Piling construction is an older format of deep foundation construction technique, used with the focus of transmitting the building load to the deep strong strata underground.
  • Diaphragm piles are circular or square shaped cross-section columns of reinforced concrete, timber or steel-concrete composite materials.
  • HIPL completed 300 piles in 2 months for Aluva, Kalamaserry and Muttom stations.
  • The team also installed water stoppers to prevent any kind of leakages during or after the piling construction process.
  • The original deadline for the project was 3 months.
kochi metro construction

Building formidable foundations for modern transport
– Kochi Metro

Challenges faced during this project

  • Like most metro construction in India, Kochi metro was located amidst the busy city. This made the project more challenging.
  • Secondly stood the soil conditions. HIPL’s strict quality checks make it the best diaphragm wall construction company in India. Since the site was previously used as a dumping ground, the soil quality was extremely poor.
  • There existed a burial cemetery nearby the construction site, making the process more sensitive.
  • The heavy shower across Kerala also disrupted the flow and pace of construction. While deteriorating the soil conditions.
  • Another significant challenge faced by HIPL was accessing the location and no contractor in India was willing to pick up the project.

Solutions provided by HIPL during this project

  • HIPL overcame the logistical challenge by deploying a team with experience working in difficult terrains.
  • The engineers and technicians put their best foot forward to complete the project. The team inserted 300 piles of 1000/1200 MM diameter in soil and rock.
  • The engineers and technicians worked relentlessly to complete the project despite the challenging conditions.

Equipment & Machinery used in this project

  • Casagrande B125 Diaphragm Wall Grab Rig: HIPL used this specialised equipment to perform large-diameter rotary and continuous flight auger (CFA) piling for the construction of diaphragm walls. The rig is designed specifically for this kind of work and allowed HIPL to work quickly and effectively on the project.
  • Casagrande B200 Diaphragm Wall Grab Rig: This equipment is a powerful tool for diaphragm wall construction, with a 240 kN winch and a high-torque rotary head capable of producing up to 210 kNm of torque and 34 RPM. HIPL utilises this rig to accelerate the pace of work and complete the project on time.
kochi metro site

A piling rig from HIPL in action at Kochi Metro

  • Mait HR180 Piling Rig: This is a heavy-duty construction equipment designed for performing drilling and piling operations. It is equipped with a high-performance hydraulic drilling system that allows for drilling in various soil conditions. The rig also has a sophisticated control system that ensures precise and efficient drilling operations. The Mait HR180 is used for a range of applications, such as constructing foundations for buildings, bridges, and other large-scale infrastructure projects.

The Results

  • Despite the challenges faced during the project, HIPL was able to complete the task well in advance.
  • The team completed 300 piles from Aluva to Kalamaserry in just two months, setting the bar for executing difficult metro station construction projects under tough conditions.
  • The success of this project led to HIPL receiving subsequent projects such as the Delhi Metro, Lucknow Metro, Agra Metro, Ahmedabad Metro and more.
  • Several of HIPL’s engineers who worked on the Kochi Metro project were promoted to higher positions in the company and now lead critical portfolios of the company.

To conclude…

The Kochi Metro project was a significant challenge for HIPL, but the team was able to execute it successfully by deploying modern equipment and machinery and deploying a team with the necessary expertise and experience.

The success of the project set the bar for executing difficult metro construction projects under tough conditions. HIPL’s engineers and technicians’ relentless efforts and dedication led to the successful completion of the project, and the company received subsequent projects as a result of the success of this project.

If you are looking for an expert construction company in India that builds reliable and modern geotechnical solutions like diaphragm wall in dams, metros, deep basements and more, call at 07926840355 or send an email to info@heritageconstruction.

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