Client: Scottish Canals 

Job DetailsSupply and installation of  our Flex MSE vegetated wall system as a green cladding 

Date: January 2021

As part of the works to reinstate the Union Canal, which was extensively breached in August 2020, HBB were contracted to design, supply and install our Flex MSE vegetated wall system as a ‘green’ cladding on a 60m long x 1.4m high section of sheet piling.

A soft, vegetated finish was required on this 60m section of sheet pilling as this was a designated mooring point for canal boats.

With this being a very niche Flex MSE application we had to think ‘out the box’ in terms of how the Flex MSE units could be fixed to the vertical steel piles. Working with our 3rd party designers, SLR Consulting, a design was formulated which would see steel battens, with bolt holes, welded along the entire 60m length and at predetermined heights. Geogrid was then fixed with another batten strip being bolted to the welded batten and every second course of Flex MSE units were wrapped with geogrid and fixed to the next predetermined height of batten.

Pea gravel was also placed in behind the Flex MSE units to fill the cavity of the sheet piles.

Once the build was completed the Flex MSE units above water level were hydro-seeded.

Testimonial: Peter Robinson, Scottish Canals, Head of Engineering  

‘In our response to the Union Canal breach of 12th August 2020 we committed to reinstate and build back better.  As part of this we have been able to incorporate additional mooring areas along the reinstated embankment and, in discussion with Historic Environment Scotland looked to incorporate soft landscaping as far as practicable.  Using Flex MSE, we’ve been able to create a vertical vegetated wall against the sheet pile strengthening works, where boaters will be able to moor up and enjoy the natural surroundings.  This has created a unique composite solution comprising of the strength and assurance of the sheet pile, with a vegetated front and navigable depth.

We are incredibly grateful to all of the teams who worked to support us from local partners at the time of the incident to those who have designed and delivered the final solution and, whilst 2020 gave everyone unique challenges, it’s good to have some positives to look back on and knowledge of the security for this reach for many years to come.’

Once the build was completed the Flex MSE units above water level were hydro-seeded.

In our response to the Union Canal breach of 12th August 2020 we committed to reinstate and build back better.  As part of this we have been able to incorporate additional mooring areas along the reinstated embankment and, in discussion with Historic Environment Scotland looked to incorporate soft landscaping as far as practicable.  Using Flex MSE, we’ve been able to create a vertical vegetated wall against the sheet pile strengthening works, where boaters will be able to moor up and enjoy the natural surroundings.  This has created a unique composite solution comprising of the strength and assurance of the sheet pile, with a vegetated front and navigable depth.

We are incredibly grateful to all of the teams who worked to support us from local partners at the time of the incident to those who have designed and delivered the final solution and, whilst 2020 gave everyone unique challenges, it’s good to have some positives to look back on and knowledge of the security for this reach for many years to come.’