Rendel, INGEROP’s UK subsidiary, appointed as a member of the Bouygues Travaux Publics/Cimolai JV as the lead checking engineer for Category III design check, has succeeded a one-of-a-kind technological challenge.

The Garden Bridge is a new 366 m long footbridge that will cross the River Thames between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge. The bridge will carry an expansive garden, featuring trees, shrubs and plants, together with many paved footpaths and pedestrian areas.

Structurally, the bridge consists of a series of radial and circumferential steel trusses originating at the two main river piers. The trusses are enclosed by an upper ‘soil’ deck and a lower copper-nickel soffit shell of complex geometry which will give the bridge an elegant and unique appearance.

Key facts :

  • First bridge of its kind
  • Bridge to be fabricated in six pieces in North-Eastern Italy and travel 5,500 km by sea to Tilbury, Essex
  • Bridge to be clad in a distinctive copper-nickel skin
  • Approximately 10,000 tonnes of soil will be placed on the bridge
  • Garden to contain 33 tree, 5 hedge and 32 shrub species
  • Construction due for completion in 2018
  • More than seven million people will cross the bridge annually

Due to the complex geometry of this project, the standard approach for an independent check was not the selected method by RENDEL. As a matter of fact, for the Garden Bridge – as for many other Design and Build contracts – the design and checking phases are being carried out almost simultaneously. This created the additional difficulty of checking something which was still in the process of being designed; hence there was a certain amount of iterations expected.

With a full three-dimensional Rhinoceros model with the geometrical data supplied by the designer, RENDEL succeeded between January and September 2016 to develop over 300 Visual Basic Scripts which allowed the team to generate a complete, error-free, working FE model and also to have a complete auditability of the modelling process.


Sophie Rapatel
Head of Communication

Tél. +33 1 49 04 55 08