The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has opened up an engagement process for suppliers to create modular skid mounted assemblies for its Hydrogen-3 Advanced Technology (H3AT) fusion energy facility.

The UKAEA’s notice says it is looking to engage with contractors, SMEs, fabricators and assemblers for the fabrication, assembly and testing of five to 10 modular skid mounted assemblies. These assemblies will make up a number of sub-systems that will form the Tritium Plant at the UKAEA’s under-construction H3AT facility at its Culham site.

The contract is valued at £8.75M. The scope and quantity is to be confirmed at the invitation to tender and is subject to preliminary and detailed engineering design phases.

The units will comprise equipment, valves, instrumentation and interconnecting pipework mounted into containment skids. These skids will be required to accommodate equipment and piping in various sizes, approximate footprints of 0.5×0.5m up to 2.8×1.5m and heights 0.5-2.1m (to be confirmed).

Through this process the UKAEA is looking to open engagement with suppliers with the aim of ensuring there is sufficient production capability and capacity to meet the project’s timeline and design requirements. Following the engagement exercise, the UKAEA will issue tenders to procure services for design and provision of equipment through competitively tendered contracts.

UKAEA head of H3AT Damian Brennan said: “The skid manufacturer will bring all components of the H3AT sub system together.  It is a really significant step in the delivery of the H3AT plant.”

The H3AT facility will provide access to scientists and researchers to inform tritium processes for future fusion programmes.

In April last year, Atkins was appointed by the UKAEA to help design the centre, which will contribute to the ITER, DEMO power plant and Step facility.

It will also allow academic and industrial users to research how to process, store and recycle tritium.

Atkins – supported by supply chain partners including Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Ansaldo Nuclear, and FlexProcess – will deliver the preliminary and detailed design of the H3AT tritium recycling loop, comprising storage beds, a distribution system, impurity processing system, and systems to detritiate water and air.

Designed to facilitate the handling, testing and validation of tritium, the loop will allow a range of tests and experiments to be carried out safely and efficiently.

Source: New Civil Engineer

Saudi Arabia has announced plans for the establishment of Oxagon, which would be the world’s largest floating city when completed.

 

Comprising a large area in the southwest corner of Neom (a planned cross-border city in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia), the urban environment is centered around an integrated port and logistics hub that will house the majority of the city’s anticipated residents.

According to press information, the octagonal design minimises impact on the environment and provides optimal land usage, with the remainder open to preserve 95% of the natural environment. A defining feature of the city is the world’s largest floating structure, which will become a center for Neom’s Blue Economy.

Located on the Red Sea close to the Suez Canal, Oxagon will be a technologically advanced logistics hubs with state-of-the-art integrated port and airport connectivity. The new city will establish the world’s first fully integrated port and supply chain ecosystem.

At Oxagon’s core will be the adoption of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and robotics, all of which are coupled to a network of fully automated distribution centers and autonomous last-mile delivery assets to drive a seamless supply chain.

His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Neom Company Board of Directors, said, “Oxagon, will contribute to redefining the world’s approach to industrial development in the future, protecting the environment while creating jobs and growth for Neom.”

The first manufacturing tenants will enter Oxagon at the beginning of 2022.

 

 

Source: International Construction

Secure, high quality construction depends on easy to use fastening solutions that are guaranteed to perform well in the long term. Nowhere is this more crucial than when attaching building elements to concrete where fasteners must be able to accommodate many different types of load and remain resistant to corrosion throughout their design-life.

Here is where construction fastener specialist EJOT UK is innovating to support the growth in MMC. Its newly extended range of concrete screws and through-bolts enables the safe, secure and rapid on-site assembly of offsite-produced elements with the assurance of European Technical Assessments (ETAs) and the backing of a globally experienced R&D team.

High corrosion resistance for lasting concrete attachments
Developed specifically to meet the needs of the UK market, EJOT has launched an ETA-approved fastener with enhanced corrosion resistance – the JC6-KB. This is a bi-metallic concrete screw manufactured in A4 316 stainless steel with hardened carbon steel lead threads.

As a result, the JC6-KB is suitable for outdoor Option 1 concrete applications approved for environmental classifications ranging from C1 up to C4, in accordance with BS EN 12944.

Its development reflects how the UK R&D team, supported by the EJOT Group team in Germany, is ideally positioned to ensure local customers have the right products they need to apply in the way they prefer. The overall EJOT product portfolio may be designed to suit a global market, but that does not mean UK customers have to adapt the way they work when choosing the EJOT brand.

In fact, the team in Sherburn-in-Elmet is proactively developing UK-focused fasteners that are gaining traction in overseas markets too, making a positive contribution to the global construction market. This benefits from the EJOT strength that brings together the best of British and German engineering – an internationally respected combination.
An expanded concrete screws range with new application potential

The JC6-KB’s development was in tandem with another major concrete screws advance by EJOT globally. Its new JC2 range of carbon steel concrete screws offers greatly extended scope for achieving a secure, reliable attachment for metal fixtures in Option 1 cracked, non-cracked and hollowcore concrete, as well as other hard base materials.
This enables JC2 self-tapping concrete screws to be used as an alternative to anchors or screw/nylon plug combinations in an increased range of construction applications. This could include attaching façade scaffolding, shelving and handrails to battens, cable racks and formwork.

Importantly, as these concrete screws need no expansion, they can be used closer to the edge of the concrete and at smaller spacings than when using anchors. They are also easy to use and install, with no specialist skills required, which can be a big time-saver on site.

Only a small pilot hole is required, which generates a relatively small amount of dust. Once this is removed from the hole, the screws are simply driven into place  – they offer a good degree of adjustability like a standard wood or metal screw which makes them a versatile choice.

The JC2 range offers six fastener types designed by EJOT’s R&D teams in both Germany and the UK to offer superior performance in-situ along with hassle-free installation. All provide the independent assurance of ETA approval and are tested to offer fire resistance to 120 minutes.

Upgrades to EJOT UK’s ETA approved through-bolt range
Whilst the new range of EJOT concrete screws offers greater versatility on-site, a through-bolt is still often the preferred attachment approach for a whole host of reasons.

Here is where EJOT UK has innovated further. Its range of ETA-approved through-bolts – also known as anchor bolts – is the BA Plus, providing a range of Option 1 anchors suitable for both cracked and non-cracked concrete applications.

It builds on the strengths of EJOT’s established BA range of torque-controlled expansion anchors, suitable for concrete and other hard base materials including natural stone. And the benefits are extensive, including being quicker to install, more secure in thinner concrete and a design that reduces the risk of installer error.
BA Plus provides through-bolts for all the most typical cracked and non-cracked concrete applications ≥ C20/25 up to the seismic Option 1 performance. Backed with the independent assurance of ETA approval, the range offers a dependable solution for numerous applications including steel structures, column base plates, heavy duty racking, cable racks, handrails and facades.

But BA Plus is not the only new through-bolt development by EJOT. Its UK team has also developed a new range of through-bolts for Option 7 non-cracked concrete applications, BA-C NC. This provides a class-leading anchor for many other applications including warehouse racking and stadium seating – again backed by the third party assurance of an ETA.

Find out more and access technical support

EJOT UK is a full manufacturing member of the CFA (Critical Fixings Association). Full details about the EJOT range of fastening systems for concrete are available on the below website, where new brochures for the various ranges can also be requested.

www.ejot.co.uk

The superior airtightness performance qualities of the Wraptite® air barrier system from the A. Proctor Group will enhance a new state-of-the-art development at St Dunstan’s College – a co-educational independent school in Catford, London.

Contractor Willmott Dixon will deliver the new Junior School, STEM building and Sixth Form Hub at St Dunstan’s.
Designed by Bond Bryan Architects, the new development will be sited adjacent to the existing historic Headmaster’s House and connected by a glass atrium. Phase one includes a new junior school with specialist facilities for art, music and performance, and phase two includes the construction of the STEM Centre and Sixth Form Hub.
A vital element of the design and construction is to maximise the energy efficiency of the new buildings: Wraptite airtightness membrane, the only self-adhering vapour permeable air barrier certified by the BBA, will form a crucial part of the solution.
The inclusion of Wraptite within the facade will ensure “as-designed” performance, narrowing the gap between as-designed and actual energy performance and reducing the likelihood of potential failures to meet required airtightness levels.
Wraptite is a self-adhesive breather membrane applied externally, quickly and efficiently as part of the rainscreen system. The self-adhesive Wraptite membrane fully bonds directly to the substrate, requiring no mechanical attachment and little seals or tapes to suppress air leakage around junctions or penetrations.
Wraptite combines the critical properties of vapour permeability and airtightness in one self-adhering membrane, providing high levels of protection to the building fabric beneath the cladding. As a result, the Wraptite system allows the substrate beneath to dry quickly and moisture vapour to escape and reduces the likelihood of mould, mildew, condensation, timber distortion and metal corrosion.
Wraptite is compliant with Part B regulation changes and also has BBA approval for unrestricted use in buildings over 18m in England and 11m in Scotland.

www.proctorgroup.com

With pressure on the construction industry to utilise more sustainable building methods and product choices, specifying a PVC-U solution is increasingly being seen as a way to further drive the green agenda.

Eurocell is supporting sustainability options for housebuilding and commercial projects through its market-leading PVC-U recycling and manufacturing processes that are substantially reducing the amount of plastic waste heading for landfill and helping to tackle the problem of carbon reduction. The company offers an extensive range of high performing PVC-U window and door solutions that not only look good, but also help organisations satisfy their sustainability ambitions.

Momentum is building across all parts of society as consumers, businesses and politicians look for answers to the escalating climate crisis.  Consumers want to see action and as a result, companies are looking closely at how their activities and processes are impacting the world. In the UK, the government has set out bold carbon reduction targets as part of its net zero strategy.  One key area is the nation’s housing stock and policy makers looking to deliver a difference have the construction industry firmly in its sights.

The new Part L Building Regulation and the Future Homes Standard – which is seeking a 75% reduction in CO2, compared to current levels, in new builds by the middle of the decade – is tasking architects, specifiers, developers, and construction firms with uncovering the right construction methods and building fabric product choices to support a more sustainable, energy efficient and less wasteful future.

PVC-U is already playing its part in helping the construction sector meet important environmental and regulatory obligations.  Set against other potential product choices such as aluminium or timber composite, PVC-U offers long-term durability and high performance, attractive aesthetics to support design visions, cost effective value and, through Eurocell’s vision and industry leading recycling processes, a truly sustainable answer.

Recycling with a purpose
Eurocell has been committed to supporting the aims and ambitions of recycling for over twenty years.  Recognising a corporate need to do what is required to minimise plastic waste and where possible reuse materials across large scale manufacturing processes, the company has moved from externally purchasing recycled plastic to the establishment of its own nationwide waste recycling system, used to supply Eurocell’s manufacturing operation with recycled plastic raw material.

Such has been the success of Eurocell Recycle, the result of its processes now see it account for around 80 – 90% of all the material Eurocell’s manufacturing business requires to generate an extensive range of brand-new extruded plastic products.  As part of this, Eurocell now recycles around 3.5 million discarded frames per annum, with such post-consumer waste combined with virgin PVC-U to produce extruded material used for new frames and other products such as cavity closers.

Without this service, a high proportion of the PVC-U waste generated by large manufactures, fabricators and installers would simply end up in landfill and contribute further to the waste disposal challenge the UK continually faces.

‘Closed loop’
The ‘closed loop’ system is a six-stage recycling process.  Starting with a national collection service operated by Eurocell Recycle.  Old and discarded PVC-U windows, door frames and other PVC-U offcuts are collated by Eurocell Recycle’s fleet from company locations and waste management centres across the UK.  On arrival at one of the recycling processing plants, the material undergoes an extensive sorting and separation process which divides metals, white polymer, and coloured materials, as well as capturing material which is ultimately non-recyclable.
After a transformative process which creates a powder or pellet form that matches virgin PVC-U material, the recycled plastic is used by Eurocell to manufacture its extensive range of extruded PVC-U products.   The fabrication of new products such as window and door profiles then follow, leading to the installation of many new products in homes and commercial buildings ultimately fashioned from thousands of old windows and door frames that have reached the end of their working life.

And the recycling process promises much for the future.  New PVC-U windows using recycled polymer can last up to 35 years and the material can be further recycled up to ten times delivering ongoing sustainability benefit for generations to come.

PVC-U performance
When set against alternative product choices for windows and doors, PVC-U is proven to deliver an enhanced thermal performance. Combined with effective glazing solutions, buildings can be better insulated and use less energy with PVC-U’s ability to offer a lower U-value for lower cost.   For large scale housebuilding developments or commercial projects, the option to achieve excellent thermal performance results through a cost-efficient product choice without compromise, is a reason why PVC-U and popular Eurocell solutions such as MODUS and LOGIK windows that contain high levels of recycled content, are becoming the sustainable product choice for many.

Proven benefit
With carbon saving the true test of strategic sustainability plans, Eurocell is committed to working with the sector to deliver tangible results and undoubted benefit.
By transforming waste PVC-U material destined for landfill into a high performing, thermally efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and cost-effective PVC-U window and door solutions, Eurocell is the proven sustainability choice for the construction sector at a time when it is needed more than ever.
For more information about Eurocell’s extensive range of PVC-U solutions and its commitment to a sustainable future, please visit the website.

www.eurocell.co.uk

By James Mead, projects director at Saint-Gobain Weber.

If you ask most people what their house is made of, the chances are they’ll tell you it’s made of bricks. In fact, around 70% of the UK’s new homes are built with a brick façade proving that this traditional style has retained its popularity since 7000BC, when the people of Jericho made the first bricks from mud and dried them out in the sun for hardening.

Today’s bricks are kiln dried and are much heavier than a mud brick – so the costs in terms of freight, emissions, weight, space, and storage are significant. The other pressing issue with bricks is bricklayers: They’re in very short supply and laying bricks is such a skilled craft, it takes a long time to gain the experience to do a decent job.

With a call for bricklayers to be added along with lorry drivers to the Government’s Shortage Occupation List, and existing bricklayers charging a premium, we need to find a way to construct buildings that are traditional in style but modern in construction.

Those building homes in the social housing sector also have another concern: the Government’s Affordable Homes Plan, delivered through Homes England, specifies that the projects it funds must contain a minimum of 25% MMC. It also sets a measure against which MMC projects will be assessed – the Pre-Manufactured Value (PMV). This is the financial proportion of a project’s gross construction cost through pre-manufacturing. To pass Homes England’s MMC test you need to have at least a 55% PMV.

 

Calculating PMV

To calculate a building’s PMV, each element that is delivered through an MMC process or product will add to the overall percentage. There are seven categories awarding percentage points. For example, in category one is ‘Pre-manufactured 3D primary structural systems’ like a volumetric modular housing unit. This will give you the highest percentage. In category three ‘Pre-manufacturing components (non-systemised primary structure) components’ – such as beams, staircases or trusses would also boost your percentage.

Category six deals with building products and systems that reduce labour on site and improve productivity. One area where it’s easy to specify a PMV improving element is using a modern alternative to traditional brickwork.

Encouraging MMC in the private sector

Of course, it’s not just in the social housing sector where the principles of MMC and increasing the use of off-site manufacturing are important. Private housing developers must also adopt MMC to play their part in the fight against climate change.
The construction industry is responsible for 38% of CO2 emissions, so any products that can reduce both wastage and HGV deliveries to sites are going to make a huge impact on this figure. MMC also addresses labour shortages by using products made in factories without the need for specialist skills, and off-site manufacturing reduces construction waste which accounts for 59% of waste produced in the UK.

Traditional in appearance, modern in application

Saint-Gobain Weber has developed weberwall brick to help bridge the gap between traditional and modern methods of construction. We have developed a façade alternative that gives the appearance of brick but can be fitted without the need for specialist labour on site. Once applied, it feels and looks just like the real thing.

Ideal for developments or refurbishment projects where planning permission requires a brick façade, weberwall brick is lightweight and quick to apply taking around 17 minutes to install 2sq m. Cladding the equivalent area in brick slips takes just under an hour and when the whole build is taken into account it can be up to 50% faster than using a traditional brick slip
The lightweight brick slip system can be applied directly to the substrate with a specially formulated render. It is then pointed in the same way as a standard brick so, once installed, looks no different to traditional masonry.

It can be programmed into CAD systems to minimise waste and is designed for use with the most commonly used MMC systems so ideal for steel, wooden frame and panellised systems. weberwall brick forms part of BBA approved systems and is suitable for new build or refurbishment projects where it can give a building a completely new look.

If developers are going to truly grasp MMC to combat the housing crisis through centralised funding, they are going to need to adopt creative and innovative solutions to increase their project’s PMV whilst conquering the multiple difficulties posed by today’s construction industry, weberwall brick is certainly up to the challenge.

www.uk.weber

Parkside is a new 1,500m2 building designed and built as a collaborative and creative space for Imperial War Museums’ staff in Southwark, London. The three-storey building provides a flexible workspace for 180 staff with formal and informal meeting areas, a café and breakout spaces.

Parkside is designed to support IWM in fulfilling its vital mission to improve public understanding of war and conflict through its exhibitions, events and programming. The new space will also support IWM’s commitment to develop smarter working practices across the whole organization.

Architects Jestico + Whiles developed IWM’s vision into a striking design and Reds10, delivered the building using the latest off-site construction techniques.

Eurobrick has over 30 years’ experience working with off-site construction companies to provide a flexible, real brick finish that allows for some creativity in the finished design. They offer brick and stone slip systems to suit any project and supplied their popular P-Clad system for the IWM project, having worked with Reds10 on a number of projects already.

 

Approximately 890m2 of the P-Clad system was supplied, along with Wienerberger Marziale bricks which were specially ordered and cut. Marziale is a brick with bright buff tones and distressed features that give it a weathered, traditional look. Eurobrick supplied whole Marziale bricks for the construction of a boundary wall, along with specially cut brick slips, headers and corners.

The design of the brickwork was technically challenging, with a mixture of vertical and horizontal stretcher bond and bespoke brick soffits and sills, which Eurobrick also supplied. The recessed bays were laid in vertical stretcher bond with alternating thicknesses of brick slips to create a relief effect in the brick courses. The narrow brickwork columns between the windows were detailed with corner bricks returns into the reveals. The columns were laid in horizontal stretcher bond, with bespoke vertical stretcher bond window heads and soffits and bespoke vertical stretcher bond angled sills.

It was a challenging layout and one of Eurobrick’s most experienced approved installers, Façade Install, fitted all of the brick cladding. Some of the brick slip installation was completed in the factory and some in-situ, once the modular building had been delivered to site. Using P-Clad helped this complex design become a reality and assisted with successful project delivery. Eurobrick’s systems are adaptable and ideal for the demands of contemporary modular architecture.

“The IWM project used brick slips as the external finish throughout but incorporated a number of challenging details. Eurobrick helped develop and deliver solutions to enable these details to be constructed. Reds10, the architects and client are delighted with the new facility. We have worked with Eurobrick on a number of projects and found them very helpful and responsive, providing excellent service.” Reds10

The project brought together offsite and traditional construction techniques to deliver a complex modular build, with difficult site conditions in Central London. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was successfully completed in 2020. The end result is an impressive building with a level of detail that proves the versatility of P-Clad perfectly.

 

For more information on Eurobrick systems and products, please visit www.eurobrick.co.uk or call 0117 971 7117.

 

 

A new concept in affordable housing is being proposed in Bristol for council owned eco homes to be built on a disused garage plot in the city.

The ‘Gap House’ concept and designs have been put forward by international architecture practice BDP’s Bristol studio, in partnership with the Bristol Housing Festival and a potential site has been identified in Horfield in the north of the city.

Early design proposals for a row of nine affordable, one-bedroom, two-storey, modular constructed homes have now been put forward for consultation with the local community.

The Gap Houses would be contemporary, cost effective, net zero homes, largely factory built using modern methods of construction (MMC), in order to minimise disruption in the existing neighbourhood.

 

Designed to fit into small garage sites which are often disused in many cities and neighbourhoods, the homes will be super-insulated for minimal heating requirements and include renewable energy with solar PV panels and air source heat pumps, resulting in minimal environmental impact and low running costs.

The stylish, contemporary design is made up of an open-plan kitchen-living area and bathroom on the ground floor, with a bedroom and storage on the first floor. Large windows allow for maximum natural light. The houses generously meet national space standards for a one bedroom unit.

Proposals are being developed in partnership with Project Etopia – an MMC Zero Carbon housebuilder.

The proposed development site sits between two rows of back gardens from existing homes and would also include shared green space, community gardens and outdoor seating in front of each home to encourage local community connections.

This new concept is the latest in a series of innovations supported by Bristol City Council and the Bristol Housing Festival to tackle the city’s housing crisis.  The Gap House is part of a wider research, development and innovation programme, funded by Innovate UK looking at the potential for Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in increasing the scale and pace of the delivery of beautiful, quality, sustainable affordable homes in the city. 

Martin Jones, landscape architect director in BDP’s Bristol studio says the ‘Gap House’ concept has the potential to be rolled out in cities and towns across the UK,

“These contemporary and cost-effective Gap Houses are designed to fit on to urban garage plots and to be highly sustainable. They are designed with large windows and low energy lighting and fitted with solar panels and air source heat pumps – and importantly they are stylish and attractive.

“Many disused garage plots on housing estates across Britain have fallen into disrepair, becoming a magnet for anti-social behaviour. Placing these new, carefully designed houses in their place will not only help deliver much-needed homes, it will also bring new energy and life, revitalising neighbourhoods and helping to build stronger, more resilient communities.”

 

Councillor Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes at Bristol City Council commented:

“The consultation relating to the site near Bell Close in Horfield, Bristol is proposing nine affordable and highly sustainable homes with shared green space, community gardens and outdoor seating areas.

“The Gap House concept has the potential to revitalise this disused garage plot and deliver much needed affordable housing. Manufacture of the houses would largely be carried out off-site which would cause less disruption than a traditional build during the construction phase.”

 

Jez Sweetland, Director, Bristol Housing Festival said:

“We are delighted to see this derelict site be used not only to deliver affordable homes but revitalise the neighbourhood and help to build stronger, more resilient communities.”

Grégoire Capron, architect designer for Project Etopia added:

“We are extremely excited to be working with BCC on such an innovative project, providing the opportunity to showcase the homes of the future and how we can achieve them. This scheme has the potential to impact on every local authority in the Country demonstrating how to improve smaller sites and deliver more affordable homes.

“We are here to prove that sustainable homes are not just a luxury, but accessible to all, as they should be.”

The consultation is open until 14 July and available on Bristol City Council’s Consultation Hub here.

 

 

Starship to deliver first factory built Zero Carbon affordable homes at site of Wirral blast.

Property Development Group Starship has launched its first zero carbon affordable homes at the site of the 2017 gas explosion on the Wirral. The explosion ripped through New Ferry injuring over 80 people damaging or destroying nearly 70 properties and it’s the first regeneration project to launch at the site.

These first Carbon Zero homes will provide over 105 M2 of modern, affordable living space which will be installed in as little as 7 days ready for internal fit out.

Starship’s unique panelised model means that a new home can be delivered and installed anywhere where a refuse collection vehicle can fit, with no special arrangements or unnecessary disruption to the community. Their focus on driving local enterprise means that local contractors are used to provide internal fit out and finishing works meaning that maximum economic impact is delivered locally.

Starship have provisionally agreed a deal with a registered provider to acquire these homes and are working with other providers and private investors to deliver more of these innovate affordable homes.

About Starship

Starship Group was formed in 2020 following the acquisition and merger of several existing property development and construction businesses and is backed by a private investment fund. The newly branded group has previously built over £75m of residential projects across the North West, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire. The group already has over £30m of developments in progress with a further £50m in negation

In addition to its core property development activities Starship is investing in cutting edge modern construction methods to meet the UKs growing housing demand. In 2020 Starship launched its first manufacturing facility in Deeside which is the first of several planned manufacturing centres that will open across 2021/22.

Dave Dargan, Director of Starship commented:

“We are delighted to be delivering these innovative low carbon homes in a community that has seen some significant challenges over the past 5 years. To be bringing such an exciting project to the area is fantastic and creating a real buzz. These spacious homes will have the lowest running costs of any property in the immediate area and are delivering more affordable living for local people.

Our homes are hand build in our manufacturing centres and finished by local contractors so each home we deliver creates real jobs and real local opportunities for people”

 

 

Mammoet supports the new construction of one of the heaviest bridges in Linz, Precision engineering safeguards the project’s tight schedule
As the over 100-year-old railway bridge crossing the Danube in Linz, Austria could not be reconstructed, it was decided that a new combined road and railway bridge would be built. Weighing 8,400t (pure steel weight of the supporting structure), this would be one of the heaviest bridges installed in Austria in recent years.

Mammoet was trusted with the project by MCE GmbH, a company of the HABAU GROUP, because it had already successfully executed numerous similar waterborne bridge installation and could assure the use of its own equipment to avoid interfaces that could have delayed the project. The task for Mammoet was to move the two main supporting structures of the new bridge – each weighing around 2,800t, 100m long and 32m wide – from the pre-assembly area on the side of the Danube to the piers in the middle of the river.

 

 

Early in the planning phase, a tight schedule was drawn up in cooperation with the customer to minimize disruptions and interruptions to shipping traffic on the highly-frequented waterway. The engineering concept was to use Mammoet’s Mega Jack 800 for the jacking of the two bridge segments. This system was capable of raising the 2,800t bridge segments from their pre-assembly height to the float-in height quickly and safely.

During the preparatory engineering phase, Mammoet’s team received the information that the two steel structures would be heavier than first planned, due to necessary additional strengthening measures. Thus, the original engineering concept had to be adapted as quickly as possible without jeopardizing the project’s tight schedule.

Mammoet’s engineers planned to move the bridge sections from their point of assembly via SPMTs, driving them onto barges, which would then be accurately positioned above the bridge foundations for installation to take place. The water level always had to be monitored, as high or low water would have meant delays in the schedule.

Other challenges were provided by the very confined pre-assembly area at the side of the Danube, and by the difference in center of gravity between the two bridge structures, which naturally needed to be accounted for in the engineering plan.

After the completion of the intensive planning phase, the execution took place under the interested gaze of the public via live streaming. Four barges were coupled together forming a single vessel and 120 axle lines of SPMT including supports were installed and moved onto the barges.

The first bridge section was jacked up with four Mega Jack 800 towers. The SPMTs were driven from the barge back onto land and took over the weight of the first bridge section.

The bridge segment could now be driven onto the barges with the SPMTs and precisely rotated into its final position with winches, floated in and then lowered onto the bridge piers for installation.

In another multi-day operation, the second bridge section followed accordingly: jacking up, driving onto the barges, rotating, floating in and installing. Due to the heavier weight of the second bridge section and its off-center center of gravity, the engineering concept was adapted so that the second bridge segment could be jacked up by six Mega Jack 800 towers instead of only four.

These operations took eleven days in total. On the day of rotation of the first bridge segment unforeseen morning fog caused a time delay. Mammoet was able to make up some of the lost hours and the closure of the Danube could be lifted after a short delay.

Due to precise planning and excellent cooperation, both bridge segments were safely floated in and installed, and the Danube could be re-opened ahead of schedule several times. The bridge is expected to be completed in October 2021 and, as a key project, will greatly relieve urban traffic in Linz in the future.

 www.mammoet.com