HAKI installs suspended Stair Tower at DEEP underwater living facility in Wales


Project Overview

Located on the southern edge of the Wye Valley in Chepstow you can find the DEEP Campus which is used to trial and test industry leading underwater systems. This former diving site and quarry is now being used to develop technology to permit underwater living through its Sentinel System but this wasn’t the case when HAKI were contacted. 


In summer 2023 HAKI were presented with the challenge of providing a solution for safe access, egress and rescue into the flooded quarry which has a deepest underwater point of 80 meters. This solution needed to have multiple levels above and below the water to provide employees access to the research facility and the 360m2 pontoon for deploying subs.


Rare challenges

Having such a unique project presented one-off challenges for the build team such as the constant risk of falling debris from the uneven rock face which has developed after years of controlled explosions. Site operatives also worked around a colony of endangered bats, thus delaying the build for a considerable period of time while the bats were relocated.


Hybrid solution

HAKI were required to design a hybrid solution to suit the application required on-site. A combination of HAKI Public Access Stair (PAS) with HAKI 450 Beams and HAKI Universal for the main walkway; all secured to the bespoke steel supports going out over the quarry. HAKI 750 Beams were then used to brace the suspended stairs into the water below. For support HAKI 450 Beams and Universal were deployed for the ties into the rock face wall at two different levels with corrugated sheeting and netting fitted to create a barrier for debris. 


The result was an impressive 23.5 meter Suspended Stair Tower including two lifts below the water that were expertly installed by the DEEP dive team. 



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