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Casting Reinforced Concrete in a Live and Challenging Environment

Shanco was appointed by Naylor Concrete Products to provide specialist reinforced concrete services for their new £2m automated, manufacturing facility. The building, which is used to produce extruded concrete lintels, is located on the site of Naylor’s existing plant in Barnsley which remained fully operational throughout the work.

The Solution

Shanco was responsible for casting the 85m long plinth beds prior to the main commissioning of the lintel extrusion plant machinery. The project works also included alterations to the existing service slab to incorporate the new equipment slabs and waste disposal system. This involved the installation of a pre-cast concrete holding tank, requiring Shanco to work closely with Naylor’s design team and Spain-based Prensoland, the manufacturer of the new machinery for the plant.  

The two-metre deep holding tank was installed on top of a cast in-situ reinforced concrete slab. The constrained work area meant the whole excavation had to be supported with temporary sheet pile and frame shoring. The  shoring system also had to be configured to ensure the pre-cast concrete tank panels, each weighing more than 1 tonne, could be safely lowered into position.

Numerous bespoke steel fabrications were cast into the concrete to allow for mounting, aligning and operating the lintel extrusion plant.

Concrete channels were also created for a series of rails in the new plant which will be used to carry out the extrusion work. Shanco’s operatives had to ensure this work was completed with a high level of accuracy to achieve the tolerances required by the design.

Throughout the project, Shanco engineers and managers ensured that Naylor in Barnsley and the Prensoland team in Spain were regularly updated on progress, clearly relaying information at all stages to ensure accurate and unambiguous reporting.



One of the biggest challenges was the location of the site as overheard power lines were close to Shanco’s work area. High voltage electricity can be conducted through plant working close by, so it was crucial this risk was eliminated. This was addressed in the piling design, which used the shortest sheets possible. The configuration of the excavator, sheet pile lifting equipment and the length of the piles were also considered so that height goalposts could be erected. These set a visible maximum operating height and position proximity to ensure the excavator arm remained in the safe working area and out of the danger zone.

Shanco consulted with the shoring supplier and arranged site visits to ensure the frames supporting the sheet piles could be configured correctly through the tank installation phase. This allowed the pre-cast concrete panels to be lowered into the excavation without conflicting with, or having to remove, the excavation support.

Another challenge was that Naylor’s existing facility, including an adjacent office building, remained operational throughout the work. This meant there were vehicles, plant and employees within close proximity to the construction site.

Careful coordination and cooperation with Naylor ensured any disruption was minimised. This stringent planning, along with the nature of the work, also ensured the project could continue safely during the Coronavirus pandemic, when the segregation and distancing of workers was essential.


The new concrete slab works and associated alterations to the existing were completed quickly, safely and effectively while remaining on programme.

The project’s success strengthens a long-standing relationship with Naylor which has seen Shanco deliver numerous varied groundworks solutions for several of its facilities across Yorkshire.


Read more about the Naylor project from Naylor themselves here.

Watch Naylor’s timelapse video of the plant installation here.

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