Ground Improvement Specialists.

Bringing innovative cost-effective ground improvement techniques to the UK.

Vibro Menard Finalists at Ground Engineering Awards

Vibro Menard, one of the UK’s leading Ground Improvement specialists has been short-listed at the prestigious 2017 Ground Engineering Awards.

It is the first time the company has been short-listed in the Contractor of the Year category and recognises Vibro Menard’s dedication to delivering innovation, quality and value over the last twelve months.

The awards, well respected across the construction industry, are the highlight of the Ground Engineering calendar and are a fantastic showcase of the engineering excellence the sector has to offer.

Ground Engineering editor Claire Smith commented: “The entries to the GE Awards never cease to amaze me in terms of the innovation and challenges successfully overcome by the UK’s geotechnical sector – and this year is no exception.”

Vibro Menard’s general manger, Marc Evans added: “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for these industry leading awards.  The recognition reflects the dedication and commitment our employees have given to improving the business and delivering an outstanding service to our customers.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony being held on 5 July 2017, at the Hilton Park Lane Hotel in London.

Building for Tomorrow 2017

Vibro Menard will be attending a series of events across the UK, hosted the NHBC. The Building for Tomorrow series will focus on the ‘route to quality’ and will target how house-builders can identify and improve certain areas to achieve fantastic results, first time, every time.

Vibro Menard offers a range of ground improvement solutions to the residential sector including; stone columns, controlled modulus columns (CMC’s), dynamic compaction, vibro compaction, and band drains. If you are attending any of the events below please drop by the stand to discuss how we can help your business.

  • 7 March – Cumbernauld, Scotland
  • 9 March – Haydock, Merseyside (sold out)
  • 16 March – Esher, Surrey
  • 28 March, Birmingham
  • 30 March, York (sold out)

This popular series of events are ticket only, therefore if you haven’t already secured your place then please email or visit for further information.

Vibro Menard Launch Scottish Office

Vibro Menard has continued its growth strategy, and commitment to the Scottish market, by opening a new office in Coatbridge, on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Headed up by bid manager, Denis Mason, the Coatbridge office will see Vibro Menard operate across a range of sectors from residential to retail, education to health, and warehousing to transport.  The team offer a wide range of solutions including; stone columns, controlled modulus columns (CMC’s), dynamic compaction, vibro compaction, and band drains.

The business operates its own dedicated fleet of 11 specialist rigs, and when required, can draw on the resource of the wider Menard group, ensuring clients have the right plant and equipment to meet the demands of their project.

Vibro Menard’s general manager Marc Evans commented: “We have a rich history of working with companies in Scotland and see this an area where we can add real value to projects requiring a ground improvement solution.   The opening of the new office shows our commitment to this region, providing our clients with a face-to-face service and enabling our employees to have a greater understanding of their requirements.”

For more information, or if you would like presentation on Vibro Menard’s techniques, please contact or call 01698 863418 or 07970 110915.

Soletanche Bachy – 2014 Portfolio

Ground Engineering Next Generation Awards

Vibro Menard are proud to be supporting the Ground Engineering Next Generation in 2014.

We are sponsoring the Young Geoenvironmental Engineer of the Year Award.


First International Safety Week

From 20 to 27 October 2014, we are one and all committed on the occasion of the first International Safety Week.

All over the world, in every Business Unit, in every workshop and depot, on every worksite, at the head office, events are organised to reinforce health and safety awareness.

Let’s get committed in order to convert this week into a remarkable event for the Soletanche Freyssinet Group, as part of its progression towards the « zero accidents ».

Vibro Menard begins work at Avonmouth Wind Power Project using innovative technique

Vibro Menard, one of the UK’s leading ground improvement specialists, has started work on the ground engineering for four wind turbines at the Avonmouth Wind Power Project at Bristol Sewerage Treatment Works for main contractor, Lagan Construction, using an innovative Bio-modulus Column technique for the first time in the UK.

Vibro Menard is offering the innovative Bio-Modulus Column technique and ground improvement solution to accommodate a foundation load of 150KPA and a slab load of 50KPA for each of the four turbines. The Bio-Modulus Columns consist of combined CMC and Stone Columns, which work in synergy to create a more robust structure; with the CMC Columns supporting the load through weak soil to the compact soil, which lies underneath, and the Upper Stone Columns reducing the risk of punching through the load transfer platform.

In total, Vibro Menard will install 2,719 columns at the facility in Avonmouth. The columns have a diameter of 320mm by a minimum depth of 9m and a maximum depth of 17m. The total meterage of the columns spans to 31,289m.

Gerry Crawford, General Manager for Vibro Menard, commented:

“This has been an exciting job for Vibro Menard as, due to the tricky soil matrix, we have introduced the Bio-Modulus technique to the UK for the first time. The project has also been conducted in three shifts; two for the CMCs and one for the Stone Columns. The key with this technique is precision and planning, something we feel we have successfully applied to the project’s design.”

The project was initially designed as C.M.C with intermediate Vertical Drains to accelerate the settlement in the recent clay fill used to create the working platform.  The original design was to include the drains but, owing to concerns that these drains could create a pathway for surface contamination, to reach depth an alternative design was developed.

Vibro Menard re-designed the system very quickly adopting a Bi-Modulus Column which is essentially a C.M.C to a given depth depending on a good refusal, then a stone column on top of the wet C.M.C which stopped short of the surface.

The C.M.C’s stopped 2.0m from EGL in the case of the foundations and 1.0m from EGL in the case of the floor treatment, this allowed the contractor to excavate foundations into stone columns and not onto set concrete.

Simplex Westpile and Vibro Menard undertake foundation works for RES wind farm site

Leading specialist contractor within the UK piling industry, Simplex Westpile, has started work on a new piling contract at Roos Wind Farm, which lies approximately 15 miles to the east of Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The main civils contractor, for whom Simplex Westpile is undertaking the piling work, is Forkers Ltd, working on behalf of renewable energy company, RES.

The £569,000 contract will see Simplex Westpile undertake piling works for five wind turbines and a met mast. On completion, Roos Wind Farm will host a total of nine wind turbines, which will provide sufficient renewable energy for the national grid to meet the annual average requirements of up to 14,000 homes.

The foundations for the wind turbines have been installed using a CFA rig and the depth of the piles, which were installed to RES’ specification, range from approximately 25 to 30 meters, depending on the locations of each turbine. Simplex Westpile started work on site during June 2012, with the 92 600mm diameter piles and 30 750mm diameter piles due to be completed by the 10th September 2012.

The contract has seen Simplex Westpile apply specialist piling techniques in challenging ground conditions with strict compliance to all planning and environmental constraints at the site in relation to the wind turbine foundation design and construction.

Joining Simplex Westpile on the project is specialist ground improvement contractor Vibro Menard. The ground improvement contractor is working on the installation of Control Modulus Columns (CMCs) to achieve a bearing capacity of 200kPa for crane hardstandings at the five turbine bases and meteorological mast, with a total settlement no greater than 20mm. Vibro Menard’s £900k contract has involved the installation of 5000 320mm diameter CMCs to achieve an overall grid pattern of 1.2m centres, at depths ranging from 7m to 21m. Testing involved one preliminary zone test to 180T and, when works commence, a further one percent of CMCs will be plate tested to 30T.

Rob Howarth, Piling Manager for Simplex Westpile, said:

“The need to invest in renewable energy is undeniable and the development of Roos Wind Farm will make an important contribution to the amount of clean energy produced in the UK. The work conducted by Simplex Westpile and Vibro Menard is vital to the longevity of the project and plays a crucial role in optimising generating efficiency.”

Vibro Menard uses new technique in Manchester Waste PFI ground improvement

Working with main contractor Costain, ground improvement specialist, Vibro Menard has successfully completed the ground improvement work for the new Manchester Waste Private Finance Initiative (PFI) building in Bolton. The contract is worth approximately £250k and uses CMC a new technique for the UK market.

Vibro Menard is installing 1793no. Controlled Modulus Columns (CMC), up to 3-12m deep and 320mm in diameter. The soils below the Waste Intake and Maturation building weighbridge area and amenity building present soft conditions composed of made ground over clay. The area that needs to be improved is approximateley 90,000m2.

In the area where the buildings will be built, some earthworks cut and fill was required, with a maximum fill of approximately 3.5m and a maximum cut of 3m. Construction of the structures without soil improvement or soil replacement would lead to unacceptable post construction settlements and deformation. The completed slab at the Bolton site will measure 89m by 260m. The 250mm thick concrete slab will be built on a 600mm thick load transfer platform, formed in two layers of high-quality granular fill with the first 300m placed ahead of the ground improvement work to act as a working platform for Vibro’s rig.

Vibro Menard’s Controlled Modulus Columns (CMCs) are used to improve the soil’s characteristics in weak ground and to reduce imposed settlements caused by the proposed structure. CMCs are installed using a specially designed auger that displaces the in situ soils laterally, with virtually no vibration or spoil, and reduced risk of contamination.

The auger is screwed in to soils to the designed depth, which increases the density of the surrounding soil, and as such increases its strength and/or bearing capacity. When the auger is extracted a column is developed by pressure grouting, at less than 5 bar, to improve the surrounding soils. The result is a composite ground improvement solution offering enhanced stiffness characteristics, allowing the CMCs and the surrounding soil to share the imposed loadings. After installation, CMCs are covered by a designed load transfer platform, between 0.4 and 0.8m thick, to efficiently transfer load from the structure to the CMC/soil matrix.

Gerry Crawford, Vibro Menard’s General Manager, said:

“Using ground improvement was more cost effective for the client; a piled solution would have required spoil disposal and a suspended floor slab that would have had to have been thicker and need more reinforcement. We were also extremely confident that the work could be delivered in three weeks rather than the originally proposed seven, representing an additional time saving benefit.”

Gabriel Portillo, one of Vibro Menard’s senior estimators, continued:

“Costain originally asked us to price a conventional vibro stone column solution for the site but analysis showed that the differential settlement from this approach was too much. We offered the CMC solution to help reduce the settlement by transferring load to the stiffer layers within the underlying geology.”

The CMCs are realised using concrete with a minimum compressive strength of 12 MPa, and will be 3 to 10 m long, depending on the local characteristics of the soil. CMCs were developed by Menard in 1994 and are now used in many countries around the world. Current practice is to install CMCs with a diameter of between 250 and 450mm.

Vibro Menard Launch

Vibro Projects and Menard have joined forces with the formation of a new company, VibroMenard, which will target major ground improvement work in the UK. Its first project is the year long scheme, which sees Vibro compaction ground improvement works being carried out on the dredged granular fill at London Gateway Port in Essex, deposited by Laing O’Rourke/Dredging International JV in the Thames Estuary.

Following a successful trial in January 2011, VibroMenard is improving over 1.3 million cubic metres of sand and gravel to form the new land that will be behind the new Port’s 1250m long quay wall. The new team is to carry out 4220 Sand Compaction points, between 20 and 25m deep, to achieve a relative density of 65% and a 37-degree angle of shearing resistance. To date Vibro Menard has completed the majority of this work, using double and single shifts, and is due to complete the current phase during October.

As a fellow Soletanche Freyssinet company, Menard is one of the world leaders in ground improvement and brings a number of techniques not currently offered by Vibro Projects including Controlled Modulus Columns (CMCs), Vacuum Consolidation, Deep Stone Columns, Deep Band Drains, Vibro Compaction, High Energy Dynamic Compaction and Dynamic Replacement.

Gerry Crawford, General Manager for Vibro Projects, said:

“The rationale behind VibroMenard is to bring innovative cost-effective ground improvement techniques not widely offered in the UK, to the UK. With the niche skills of both companies, we are confident that the London Gateway Port will be a great starting point.”

Based in Preston alongside Vibro Projects, VibroMenard will focus on larger scale ground improvements contracts.