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Concrete Piling

Now it may seem like as really strange title to a blog post but having been involved with construction now for over 4 years, we’re fascinated it and it’s very rare to witness events like piling on a site.

So on Friday afternoon after a meeting at ITV in London, we found ourselves overlooking Postmark London by Taylor Wimpey.

Postmark London sales suite.

It’s a prestigious development surrounded by Farringdon, Clarkenwell, King’s Cross and Chancery Lane and comprises of studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments complete with exclusive residents facilities including a gym, cinema, 24-hour concierge service, private lounge, rooftop terrace and a beautifully landscaped courtyard.

At the time of writing pricing and availability ranged from £980,000 for a 1 bed 717SQFT apartment to £2,185,000 for a 3 bed 1582 SQFT apartment.

Postmark CGI

Postmark CGI

Currently they’re laying the foundations and we found the piling process captivating to watch.

First of all you dig the hole for the concrete pile with a monstrous rig.

Piling Rig

The height of the actual screw that goes into the ground is approximately the same height as the 4th floor of an office block, so you know this building isn’t going anywhere

Piling Rig

It’s only when the depth has been reached and the screw reverses, that concrete is pumped up and in through the centre core of the screw.

Then a crane brings in the steel to add strength to the concrete. From what we saw about 1 & 1/3 cement mixer loads were poured into this single core.

Piling Rods

Then it’s lowered into the hole with a little help from a digger.

And you can see on another core, a strand of steel being inserted, giving the concrete further strength.

The next stage is to prepare the cores so they can be built upon with more steel and concrete.

So a couple of metres of concrete are chipped away and the steel rods cut down to a unilateral height.

Cut rods

And then more steel frames can be constructed, attached to the top steelwork of the piles, then framed before being filled in with concrete.

We’re really looking forward to see how much this development will have progressed next time we visit.

Time lapse

At Aerial Video TV, we shoot still imagery and video for many construction projects across the UK.

This allows all stakeholders to follow the progression of your project, throughout the build and it’s also great for social media marketing.

We recognise that once the building is complete you can’t go back and see how it looked at various points during its construction, unless that is of course you timelapse the project.

Here’s an example of one of our projects which is 1 year into a 2 year build.

This is the Axis project in Manchester, a 28 floor luxury resi block in the centre of the city.

The camera takes one photo every 10 minutes throughout the working day and those photos are stitched together to make the video. This is made possible using our state of the art timelapse equipment, using 4k cameras with modem/routers containing their own sim card, uploading all images straight to our secure servers.

You can see from the video how impressive it is and at the end of the project, you have a complete record of the entire build. And if there’s a critical part of the build you want a screen grab from, we can do that for you. We can even provide you with a log-in so you can have a look anytime you want.

To chat about timelapse or aerial video and imagery, just click the “contact us” button at the top of the page or pop an email to

*Aerial Video TV are fully GDPR and ICO compliant.





Ordsall Chord

It’s been a long time in the making. In fact there’s been talk about this very short stretch of railway since the late 1970s. For only 300m of new track it’s a major project, costing in the region of £85m, which has been surrounded in controversy. The main concern of this project surrounds the impact on the local area, in particular the Grade 1 listed 1830 railway bridge over the River Irwell. The main reason for the project is to link Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly which will not only enable new direct links to Manchester Airport from across the North of England, improved connectivity across the city and reducing existing congestion at Manchester Piccadilly. The project is being carried out on behalf of Network Rail by Skanska and Bam Nuttall, assisted by AmeySersa and Siemens.


Copyright Network Rail.

Artists impression Ordsall Chord. Copyright Network Rail.

It really is a mammoth project utilising the latest technology and will involve re-aligning existing track, building a new footbridge, a new rail bridge across a river and road, removing disused arches, removal of an old bridge and restoring an existing Grade 1 listed bridge.

Prince's Bridge

Prince’s Bridge


Princes Bridge - demolition.

Prince’s Bridge – demolition. March 2016.

The removal of Prince’s Bridge isn’t of any great loss to the area. It’s been closed to traffic for many years, only being used for pedestrians and cyclists and there’s a new footbridge going in to replace it. The removal of this bridge will firmly  place on display  the Grade 1 listed Stephenson stone railway bridge. He was responsible for the engineering the Liverpool and Manchester railway.

New support structures have to be built to carry the full weight of the new rail bridge and you can see one such structure is being constructed below.

Ordsall Chord - cofferdam.

Ordsall Chord – cofferdam. May 2016.

You can see the yellow box just slightly up and left of the centre of the picture. This is a cofferdam, a temporary enclosure used to create a dry work environment so that construction can take place. You can see from the photo below just how big it is.

Cofferdam close up.

Cofferdam close up.

Large crane on site. August 2016.

Large crane on site. August 2016.

In August you can see a mammoth crane arrives on site, the cofferdam has enabled a concrete structure to emerge from the ground, preparation work continues for the new footbridge and several of the curved structures can be seen on site.

On the other side of Trinity Way, work continues on new supports, which will carry the new bridge and enable it to join the existing track. The other side of the tracks you can see the site of Middlewood Locks, an exciting new waterside development set in 24 acres of land. 2000 new homes, 750 000 sq ft of commercial development space, including offices, hotel, shops restaurants, a convenience store and gym will be built on the site which has been disused for over 20 years.

Trinity Way. August 2016.

Trinity Way. August 2016.

Also in August, something exciting can be seen on site – the new footbridge has been assembled on-site, ready to be lifted into place.

New footbridge assembled on-site. August 2016.

New footbridge assembled on-site. August 2016.

The great thing about the Ordsall Chord project is the amazing empty land surrounding it, which must be a dream for all involved in the project. Further up Trinity Way some of the steels have been manufactured on site.

Trinity Way - steels. August 2016.

Trinity Way – steels. August 2016.

In September there’s a new crossing over the River Irwell.

New River Irwell crossing. September 2016.

New River Irwell crossing. September 2016.

Meanwhile on Water Street, the existing bridge is being widened with new arches being constructed to lay the new track on.

Water street, bridge widening. October 2016.

Water street, bridge widening. October 2016.

Close-up of site around new River Irwell footbridge. October 2016.

Close-up of site around new River Irwell footbridge. October 2016.

It’s about time for a new perspective on the Ordsall Chord, from a different viewpoint.

Full site shot. November 2016.

Full site shot. November 2016.

And incase you’re struggling to picture the route of the new rail bridge. Allow us!

Ordsall Chord - Manchester.

Ordsall Chord – Manchester.

Into December we go and it’s incredible just how fast this project is steaming ahead.

Ordsall Chord December 2016.

Ordsall Chord December 2016.

You can see in this photo the rail bridge across the Irwell is starting to be assembled. On the left of the photo you can see the giant curved arches that will form the arch shape.

Widening of existing track.

Widening of existing track. December 2016.

On the other side of the existing rail tracks you can see how the existing track is being widened and part of the new bridge continues to be assembled.

Mid-December and after a recent weekend of road closures, enabling heavy lifting, the framework for the physical tracks starts to take shape.

It’s becoming very visible now where the new tracks will be.

Very luck to have caught one of the giant steels being lowered into position.

Steel lowering into position.

Meanwhile over on Water Street, you can see how the bridge widening is progressing but also the new track is already being laid. Speedy work!

Water Street. Bridge widening and new track being laid.


Water Street close up.

And of course you can see now how the new footbridge runs underneath the new rail bridge.

River Irwell and City Skyline and Middlewood Locks to the left.

This photo really shows how much development is going on in Manchester right now. To the left, Middlewood Locks (2000 homes), straight up the Irwell on the lefthand side lies the site for 5 new tower blocks (almost 1000 new homes) and top right you can see the glass cladding at Number 1 Spinningfields.

Rail and footbridge from above.

Of course from all the cgi imagery and artists impressions, we saw the iconic waves to the new bridge. I wonder where they currently are?

The path of the new bridge and the iconic waves of steel, waiting to be slotted into position.

Into the New Year we go and it’s amazing what can happen while most people are opening presents and getting merry!

Water Street, January. Two tracks & overhead lines moved sideways onto widened viaduct, and two new bridges installed.




Overhead close-up!


Just an amazing project engineered by some very clever people!


The new fork in the track.

Groundworks continue for the next section of track.

Spanning Trinity Way.

Late January and you can imagine how this new track is going to span Trinity Way.

Can you spot the worker in hi-vis?

From the air, it becomes very clear just how large this new bridge is!

7.11am 21st Feb 2017. Bridge lift day!

It’s been building up to this for many weeks. 600 tonnes of steel arch, being lifted onto the new bridge by two of Europe’s biggest cranes, the larger is the largest crawling crane in the UK.  The arches were made in Bolton by Severfield, who have supplied all 3,500 tonnes of steel for the project.


The arch suspended mid-air.

The arch reaches the max point before the crane needs to crawl forward and be loaded with more ballast so the move can continue.


Ballast being loaded.

The more the new arch was lifted up and out over the River Irwell, more ballast was loaded onto the back of the crane.

Suspended above the River Irwell.

With the crawler crane in its new position, the move can continue. On The Irwell you can see the support boat keeping a safe distance & the arch is gingerly moved closer to its final resting place. The weather proved to be the calmest day in the previous fortnight. Luck was on everyones side.

Nearly there!

Higher perspective!

View from the other side of Trinity Way.


Short clip of the arch being moved, x10 the actual speed.


Close up with the arch in position!

It was a lengthly process but finally the arch arrives at its final resting place where it’s been designed to stay for at least the next 120 years.

Looking down the track towards Deansgate Station.

Job well done to everyone. The cranes feeling very proud of themselves.

So the next major milestone will be the final span across Trinity Way, which of course will include the “swoosh”. Architect Peter Jenkins must be a very proud man!

Trinity Way gap!


Looking down on the new bridge from directly  above.

Meanwhile the work continues alongside Trinity Way, bringing the new bridge in line with the existing tracks. March 2017.

Close-up of last photo.


New curved tracks coming in from the Chord in April 2017.


Love the view down towards Deansgate Station.


May 2017. The cranes arrive and the main structure now crosses Trinity Way.


View from Trinity Way.


Nice little flight across the Chord and Trinity Way with a nice little gap left for the “Swoosh”.

Concrete pour filling The Gap on 6th July.

Close up.


At the Deansgate end of the Chord.

End of July 2017 rough Pano.

Progress further along Trinity Way at the end of July.

There’s something very satisfying about freshly laid dry concrete.

Almost ready for the ballast!

So we’re up to the end of July 2017.

More updates to come as this £85m project progresses and if you work on the project and want to chip in, just send us an email

Drones and construction!

Construction is booming, in fact it’s busier now than just before the last recession hit!

There’s many reasons for using a drone in construction, for mapping and also providing up-to-date imagery of sites during the construction process. After all once the building is complete, you can’t go back and see what it was like during the process. Documenting the project from start to finish allows all elements to view the progress, including investors who may well be overseas.

We’re proud to be working with many large construction companies and architects who are using our imagery not only in the planning process but also during the construction process.
This imagery is also being used across social media, to give regular updates on their sites.

Let’s look at one example. Adelphi Wharf in Salford M3.

This area of Greater Manchester was a thriving area for mills, many years ago located along side the River Irwell.

There were plans for Foundary Wharf which collapsed when the last recession hit and the site has laid empty for many years and as recent as the end of 2014 looked like this.



Adelphi Street, Salford.

Adelphi Street, Salford.

In April 2016, groundworks started on site:


And 6 months later you can see the difference:


In short, it’s a quick, efficient, safer and affordable option for obtaining imagery of a proposed or new construction site, following the project from breaking ground to completion.

Wherever you are in the UK, Manchester, London, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool or York, give us a call today or just drop us an email and see how drone video and imagery can help your project!

Save thousands with an aerial survey!

Here at Aerial Video TV, we don’t claim to be professional surveyors. What we like to do is provide the professionals with a tool which makes their job both easier, quicker and less expensive.

The traditional way to carry out a building inspection is to errect scaffold or hire a cherry picker. At current prices (Apr 2016), you’re looking at around £1400 for a one day hire. And, if you’re operating this on a public road, chances are the council will demand the road is closed – which can cost thousands and take weeks to get approved.

Of course using a cherry picker only gets you so high, which is where drones come into their own.

A couple of weeks ago we were at St Agnes and St Pancras, Toxteth in Liverpool. When we arrived the surveyor was already on site, looking at the building through binoculars.

Recognised by the National Heritage List for England as  Grade 1 listed, it has been described as “the most beautiful Victorian church of Liverpool”. It  was completed in 1885 at a cost of £28,000.

Ornate Victorian ceiling

Flying indoors is much more difficult than outside and of course inside a beautiful building like this, the last thing you want to do is crash and damage either the drone or any part of the building. Indoor we use propellor guards, so if you do get too close to something, you’ll gently bounce off and stay in the air.

Inside the church it was a check on the higher up parts of the building, esp around the windows, looking for cracks in the brickwork.

Checking around window areas for cracks.

Checking around window areas for cracks.

Ceiling view looking down.

Imagine how much scaffold you would need to get to this height and how much it would disrupt the church services?

Outside it was a sweep of specific areas. The beauty of using the drone is that the surveyor can guide us to specific areas they have identified as potential problems and watch live what we see on the drone, using our mobile monitor.

Mobile monitor.

We can either shoot in 4k video (much higher quality than HD) or shoot high definition still images – each has their own advantages. These images can be magnified on your computer so you can really get closer, almost as if you were up there yourself. We can either email the images usually within 4 hours of the shoot or these can be supplied on a memory stick on-site if they’re urgent. (extra charge applies for this)

Lead has come loose.

Lead has come loose.

Ball at top of spire very corroded, not visible from the ground.

Ball at top of spire very corroded, not visible from the ground.

Missing guttering

Missing guttering

Check on the stone work and spotted hole in upper window.

Check on the stone work and spotted hole in upper window.

In short, it’s a quick, efficient, safer and affordable option for obtaining imagery of a building.

Give us a call today or just drop us an email and have a chat if you think we could help you!

Roof survey Liverpool

So last week we were approached by a civil and structural engineering design consultancy. They have been asked to access a building originally built in 1893. Originally it was built as a variety hall, with seating for 600 in the pit and stalls and 500 in the circle.

Park Palace, Liverpool L8.

The Park Palace has seen many uses over the years from a cinema to a chemist shop, from a car spares store to a second hand furniture shop.

Once again it’s about to have a brand new use and as you would imagine with a building build over 100 years ago, there may be some problems. This time it’s a leaky roof. So, we were called upon to find the source of the leaky roof and this was what we found. We were asked to check all roof slopes, gutters, parapets and flashings to see if we could find the source. Here’s what we found.

Park Palace Roof 1This is directly above where the water is coming through.

Park Palace Roof 2

Very clear that with misplaced tiles and timber showing, water is getting through here.
Park Palace Roof 3

Again, exposure to the elements at the end of the roof.

The surveyor in question considered several other options before calling us.

  1. Hiring a cherry picker to inspect the roof.
  2. Getting tower access/scaffold in place to view the roof.

Both of these options proved to be dramatically more expensive that hiring Aerial Video TV.

The surveyor was able to watch what our drone was seeing via an external monitor and direct us as to what specific part of the roof he wanted to see, giving him a hands down superior view on the alternative of scaffold or cherry picker.

Within 2 hours of our survey, the surveyor was in possession of the images taken on-site, enabling him to complete his report straight away.


‘Aerial Video TV provided an efficient and professional service, and enabled us to complete the survey of a roof in south Liverpool in a fraction of the time that it would have taken using traditional methods. High resolution images were provided and we were in receipt of these the same day the survey was completed. Highly recommended.’

Manchester Science Festival

Aerial Video TV was delighted when we got the invitation to take part in the 2015 Manchester Science Festival, sponsored by Siemens, held at The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

Not only was it a great opportunity for us to catch up with fellow members of ARPAS-UK, the professional trade association for Remotely Piloted Aircraft and Systems in the UK but a chance to chat with members of the general public about all things drones.

AVTV One on stage.

AVTV One on stage.

There’s so much press these days about drones, most of it negative, it was nice to actually interact with the public, answer any questions they may have and let them fly some of the smaller toy drones for themselves in “The Cage”.

Trying drone flying for the first time.

Trying drone flying for the first time.

There was definitely an awareness of drones in the UK but most people didn’t know anything about the rules of flying them and the most popular 2 questions of the weekend were, “How much does yours cost?” and “How high can they go?”.

Every hour on the hour, the toy drones were recalled and we entered “The Cage” to demonstrate some simple flying of AVTV 1.

Flying AVTV 1 in the cage.

Flying AVTV 1 in the cage.

All in all a lovely weekend and we came away with some interesting ideas about bringing an experience like this to the masses, well one group in particular….more to come on this.
Oh….and it was also great to see our work up on the massive video wall at the Science Museum.

Aerial Video TV showreel on the video wall at MOSI.

Aerial Video TV showreel on the video wall at MOSI.

Church Survey

So recently we were asked to carry out a survey at St. Mary’s Church in Liverpool.

Flying AV1 inside.

Flying AV1 inside with Neil P. Faulkner from Robinsons Preservation Ltd.

The survey was of great interest to the Church of England and was attended by one of their surveyors.
The problem with these big old buildings is that they’re never built with easy access, so most of the time scaffold is required, which of course is expensive.

Our main mission was to investigate a suspected water leak, which was causing rot and decay in the internal roof.

Internal roof shot showing rot

Internal roof shot showing rot

It was very obvious after a short flight outside where the problem lay.

Water leak coming from suspected blocked drain.

Water leak coming from suspected blocked drain.

When you compare the inside and outside;

Source of leak, inside and out comparison.

Source of leak, inside and out comparison.


We were also able to provide images of the route which will be taken to gain access to the tower, to repair in the internal damage. This tower hasn’t been entered in decades. If you know where you need to put the scaffold before you hire it, it’s saving you time and ultimately money.

Tower access.

Tower access.

Tower access.

Tower access.


And we were able to check the actual roof of the tower too!

Tower overhead.

Tower overhead.

Hi-resolution images means we can zoom in and check specific areas in great detail.

Tower zoom.

Tower zoom.

We also had a look around the rest of the building. In particular the gutters. While Autumn is upon us and leaves are falling, it’s important the gutters are clean and at a cost of £4,000 a time, picking the right time to get the gutters cleaned is crucial!

Gutter inspection.

Gutter inspection.

The good news is the gutters are clear, so the church can hold off on that £4,000 gutter cleaning for now.

So if saving money and time on repairs to your building is something you would be interested in! (sounds like a daft question) Just get in touch and see what we can do for you!

Building inspection!

What we’ve discovered in the last few months is that many developments originate out of London and it’s not convenient for people to visit their sites on a weekly basis.
Aerial imagery provides those vital updates which keeps everyone in the loop, even if they’re not visiting the site on a regular basis!

It’a amazing how much can change on a build on 7 days!

Building surveys!

Imagine if you didn’t have to pay for expensive scaffolding until you knew exactly what area the scaffold needed to be?

Well this is one of the most popular requests from building maintenance companies, construction firms and restoration companies that we’re getting!

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