Project Description

Enhancing Stability: Ensuring Tunnel Integrity at Rivermount Gardens

Rivermount Gardens, nestled within Guildford, Surrey, and developed by Mattwell Homes, this modern three-story townhouse block showcases contemporary design and functionality. SWJ Consulting was entrusted with a pivotal role in this project by the developer due to a unique challenge—an adjacent Network Rail tunnel. The objective was simple: ensure that the addition of these new homes would have no adverse impact on the integrity of the existing tunnel.

With the issue confined to one end of the development, we embarked on an effective, economical solution. By strategically deepening the trench fill foundations, we aimed to manage pressures without resorting to more expensive piling options. The key was to strike a balance between foundation depth and the associated pressures.

The intricacies of this challenge led us to enlist the expertise of a geotechnical consultant. Leveraging the Boussinesq method, they assessed pressures on the tunnel, ensuring that any potential risks were mitigated. Crucially, Network Rail deemed the resulting pressure levels as acceptable. Collaborating closely with our geotechnical engineering partner, we presented the developer with a cost-effective and secure alternative foundation solution, promoting both financial prudence and safety assurance.


Project Team

Client: Mattwell Homes

Architect: Burlens Architecture & Planning

Contractor: Mattwell Homes

Above the ground, the superstructure followed a traditional loadbearing masonry approach. Isolated steel beams harmoniously complemented timber trussed roofs adorned with spandrel panels.

Rivermount Gardens is more than just a residential complex—it’s a testament to astute engineering and innovative solutions. As we continue to navigate intricate challenges, we stand ready to provide expertise that elevates projects to their full potential.

If you’re seeking to discuss a housing development, require a second opinion, or need value engineering advice, we invite you to connect with us at 02381 920656 or email Let’s explore how SWJ Consulting can be the catalyst for transforming your housing project into a visionary reality.