ABeam from Akela Ground Engineering on a recent site

ABeam from Akela an industry-first for housebuilding and light commercial

New precast beam system offers controlled onsite install

New joint system does not require any insitu concrete or follow up trades

One of Scotland’s leading engineering specialists, Akela Ground Engineering (part of Akela Group), has launched an innovative precast concrete beam system which could dramatically speed up the delivery of new homes.


‘ABeam’ from Akela, features a special mechanical pinned joint, allowing for prefabricated ground beams to be installed in a matter of hours.

By combining precise off site fabrication, alignment, interlocking sections with secure fastening, this joint design ensures a robust, reliable and efficient way to connect precast ground beams.

Officially launched at the National House Building Council (NHBC) Construction roadshow in Glasgow last week, ABeam offers housebuilders an exciting new and sustainable alternative to ground beam installation.

Officially approved and signed off on “live” projects by the NHBC, ABeam could help housebuilders lay foundations for up to three plots per day.  Following significant investment, including the creation of a state-of-the-art fabrication facility at Akela’s headquarters near Glasgow, ABeam has been specifically designed to offer housebuilders greater efficiencies in delivery of new homes.

Will Payne, General Manager, Akela Ground Engineering, said:

“After reviewing the precast ground beam options available on the market, we found many still had considerable downsides, the use of pile caps, insitu concrete and tie bars were common, this requires sequencing of works and could also be impacted by weather conditions, all of this leads to considerably longer installation times.

“Akela’s new ABeam precast system eliminates all of these issues and offers significant advantages in terms of construction install, performance and overall project quality.”

Akela’s purpose-built facility at Thornliebank has the capability to fabricate the Abeams in a controlled environment to ensure quality and production output. The company has also invested in renewable ground source heating for curing the concrete to lower the carbon impact on the environment.

Will Payne continues: “In addition to the significant time savings and efficiencies, our new ABeam system can be delivered using the same plant equipment for full the installation process, with lighter bearing pressures from our JCB JX driven piling rigs.

“Using sustainable methods of production at our purpose-built facility and existing equipment for installation, we’re able to reduce our carbon footprint and offer developers a more modern and energy efficient alternative to existing ground beam options. For example, with ABeam, clients will no longer need to install crane platforms or hard standings at their sites.”

Andy Borland, Construction Director at Bellway Homes, said: “Akela’s ABeam system has meant we were able to release plots to our wider teams a lot faster compared to other precast ground systems we have previously used. Our bricklayers were working on multiple plots within three days of pile installations at this development, rather than taking over a week and relying on the weather. We also didn’t need to install any crane platforms as Akela used the same excavated plant for the entire installation process, saving us money on preparatory works that other precast ground beams systems require.”