Title: Crossrail Tunnelling
and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA)
Location: Ilford, east London
Contract Type: N/A
Start/Completion: 2010 - 2011
Capita Symonds provided multidisciplinary services on
the new Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) that
Crossrail is sponsoring at Aldersbrook Sidings, east
3500 employees from the Crossrail supply chain will be trained
at TUCA before being allowed to work underground on the programme.
Areas of study will include the Tunnel Safety Card (TSC), sprayed
concrete lining and Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) operations.
Crossrail intends to establish a new ‘not for profit’ establishment
to manage TUCA.
Capita Symonds provided design, environment, planning,
mechanical and electrical engineering and structural engineering
services on the project which is situated on the previous
Aldersbrook Sidings site on former railway land to the west of
Ilford Station. The TUCA site is ‘self contained’ with railway
sidings to the north, the Alders Brook to the south west and the
River Roding to the east.
Facilities at the spacious new facility will include a simulated
TBM environment and Back Up Area and a Locomotive and Narrow Gauge
Rail. There will also be a mezzanine level to house four classrooms
The main body of the building is encapsulated within a rhythmic
horizontal skin of mat black cladding panels which wraps around a
simple portal frame construction. The punctuated cladding is cut
across the south façade by a red coloured wall before opening up to
a grand entrance, foyer and dining area.
TUCA started to offer training in summer 2011. Following the
completion of Crossrail, TUCA will remain open providing a lasting
legacy for London and the UK construction industry.
Capita Symonds also devised the planning application strategy
for the project which required an unusual approach as the project
proposals fell, in part, outside the Crossrail Act and thus
required amendments to the existing conditions on the site.
The company then prepared the environmental statement in support
of the application that, as well as meeting the normal requirements
for such schemes, also had to ensure the project fell within
Crossrail’s minimum environmental requirements. Noise and flood
risk were also particular issues for the site, requiring detailed
input from Capita Symonds environmental and internal noise
specialists, as well as its flood risk and drainage
Capita Symonds’ role came via its place on the Crossrail Design
Consultant Framework – the contracting mechanism being used to
deliver the designs for all infrastructure in the central tunnel
section of the scheme. Capita Symonds won a place on the framework
for three lots - tunnels, portals and central stations - late in
All images © Crossrail