Heathrow Terminal 5

LaserShell™ method

Design Safety Award Winner 2002

MultiMode™ TBM

We provided temporary and permanent works engineering support to the Morgan VINCI joint venture that delivered this project at one of the busiest airports in the world.

The project involved the construction of all tunnelling works on the prestigious Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 extension. The tunnelling works featured both conventional Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM)-driven, segmentally-lined tunnels, and innovative sprayed concrete shafts, cross passages and large sumps.

To improve safety at the tunnel face, UnPS developed the LaserShell™ method of tunnelling, which was first used on this project and has subsequently become common practice for Sprayed Concrete Lining tunnelling on many other schemes. This method replaces traditional reinforcement with high performance, steel-fibre reinforced sprayed concrete, and for profile control we replaced the traditional lattice girders with a new realtime 3D survey system, TunnelBeamer™.

  • Customer: BAA (now Heathrow Airport Limited)
  • Completed: 2002
  • Delivered as part of Morgan VINCI joint venture
  • Some of the nine metre diameter tunnels for this project were designed to pass below runways at depths as shallow as five metres
  • In order to allow the airport to operate safely and without disruption, UnPS developed the MultiMode™ TBM for this project to ensure that settlement was controlled to within extremely tight tolerances