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SmartShell™ is the design and use of a high performance steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) as a tunnel lining material, cast ‘in place’ using a full-round shutter. Developed through an extensive experimental programme supported by physical testing at the Building Research Establishment with the University of Warwick, it has been implemented for simpler and safer construction of the secondary lining for the Lee Tunnel, Thames Water’s largest project in 20 years.

On the Lee Tunnel project SmartShell™ has delivered:

  • Enhanced durability of the tunnel lining
  • A saving of 15,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement
  • Improved buildability of the structure with increased safety
  • Cost savings of £13.5 million
  • An optimised construction cycle