The product often hidden - with Sheet Pile New Zealand director, David Broad

As consultants and engineers, you'll probably know that sheet piling was used in the City Rail Link project in Auckland to line a vertical hole for the boring machine to begin tunnel excavation. We wanted to know more about sheet piling, and why it's so popular, so we caught up with ACE member and Sheet Pile New Zealand director, David Broad, to find out more.

Sheet pile used for a slip at Sun Valley in Rotorua

David, how does sheet piling work?

Sheet piling is used throughout the world. In New Zealand, places like ports use it for temporary retainers to create water-free areas for construction on wharves. They can also use it for more permanent retaining walls.

Contractors used it in Lake Rotorua so that construction could begin on a boardwalk. Once they've finished, they'll remove the piling, and the water from the lake will flow back under the boardwalk.

And councils have installed sheet pile as a buffer that allows workers to undertake repairs to ruptured stormwater or sewerage pipes.  

It has many uses, as you can see!

The Northern Corridor Improvements project in Albany

What should our members know about you and Sheet Pile New Zealand?

I owned a contracting business for 15 years before I began Sheet Pile New Zealand in 2016. I found it challenging to quickly and easily source sheet pile when I was a contractor and thought, why not do it myself, and do it better? I decided I'd build a company where our point of difference is to make the product readily available throughout New Zealand and that we'd stock a wide range of lengths and profiles.

Fast forward four years, and we have yards strategically placed throughout the country and often get great feedback about our availability. We also pride ourselves on being reliable and easy to do business with.

Our products can also be purchased or hired.

A temporary sheet pile wall to hold out water at the lake in Rotorua

What's your business advantage?

As well as ensuring all our products are available nationwide, we've developed a suite of free-to-access CAD files and detailed technical information. The companies we source the sheet pile from in Asia are notoriously reluctant to part with technical details unless they're guaranteed an order first. We know that the construction industry here in New Zealand need technical data to help with project design.

We're in the process of completing a new CAD file for combination, or high-load walls which support loads ten plus times higher than a standard sheet pile wall. They either have steel casings or H-Beams installed as piles with sheet pile clutches welded to the side, then two to four sheet piles installed in-between to create the wall. For example, a wharf with a pile height of 15 metres to the seabed floor will require piles to be installed around another 20 metres into the seabed.

How do members access your CAD files and tech data?

Everything is available via our website, which we're currently in the process of updating! We're also investing in a mobile app which'll include a portal for consultants and engineers.

Connect with David Broad on LinkedIn