About This ProjectEast Village is a vibrant new neighbourhood in Stratford, East London. Developed alongside the Olympic Park, East Village was the former Athlete’s Village during the 2012 Olympics and now is home to over 6,000 residents, retailers, bars and restaurants. As part of the 2005 Stratford City Masterplan, work continues on the second phase of development with two new residential towers in plot N08 having just been completed. Leading construction company Mace Limited won the project to build the two towers which stand at 30 and 26 storeys high and comprise 482 homes.
‘Rising factory’ concept
The construction of the towers adopted the innovative ‘Rising Factory’ which climbed weekly on pinned climbing jack systems. This Rising Factory concept was used to create a waterproof factory environment for construction and fit out of each floor, and facilitated the use of a modular and precast construction tower form. The scheme involved construction of a temporary steel factory building erected over the top of each residential tower during construction, with two overhead gantry cranes (15 and 30 tonnes) for material distribution. Construction of each tower progressed with the factory at a rate of one floor per week. After each floor was constructed, the temporary steel rising factory was lifted 3.3m by the 4 x DL-CP250 pinned climbing jacks , allowing the next floor to be built. The total weight of each rising factory during operation was approximately 600 tonnes.
With the implementation of this rising factory concept, the structural monitoring of the site was crucial to measure, record and understand the load impact to the supporting steel columns, as well as to uphold the highest standards of safety, and safeguard against any potential risks before they arise. So, Mace turned to the monitoring team at Murphy Geospatial to provide the skills and expertise to monitor the loads in the Permanent Works structure that would hold up the 600 tonne rising factory.
Accurate real-time load monitoring system
The team installed a strain gauge monitoring system on each of the four corner columns of the taller tower to accurately monitor the load in real-time and measure the resulting strain in the columns resulting from the factory’s operations. The system intelligently collects, converts and delivers the real-time data on the load pressure of the columns to a remote server via its embedded GPRS module. The system reported micro strain which by application of simple calculations were converted to kilonewton. The easy to use interface and reporting capability allowed us to provide the client with real-time data to enable them to accurately assess the actual columns loads against the design loads. This both validated the design assumptions but also lead to the client being able to exploit this data to introduce efficiencies in the temporary works.
Strain gauge monitoring
Wind Monitoring System
As part of the project, a wind monitoring system was installed to monitor the wind speed, direction and load. Working at such heights, wind conditions can have an impact on the movement and load on the structure.
Matthias Gropp, Director, Murphy Geospatial comments:
“The rising factory concept is a radical new method and involves the complete construction of a floor being built before being jacked up into place. This method is highly effective and efficient but places a large amount of pressure for the steel columns. So, it’s imperative to the success and safety of the project that the load on steel columns is continually monitored to record the strain and pressure resulting from this process. This intelligent data will give our client the peace of mind that the columns will do their job and the project can continue on time and without delay.”
“We’re delighted that MACE has been recognised for this innovative rising factories concept having recently won numerous industry awards including the ‘Productivity in Construction Initiative of the Year’ at the British Construction Industry Awards. And we’re proud to have worked on the project to ensure the highest standards of safety are met.”
“The use of strain gauges on the steel columns supporting the factory provide us with vital data to enable validation of the actual real time loads“
Commented a spokesperson from Mace
The project has won the following awards:
- NCE 100 Awards – Construction Innovator
- Estates Gazette Tech Awards – Infrastructure and Construction Property Innovation
- Construction News Awards – Best Innovation
- Construction News Awards – The Inaugural Sir Michael Latham Award
- British Construction Industry Awards – Productivity in Construction Initiative of the Year
- Mace Health and Safety Awards – Innovation Award
- Building Awards – Product / Technical Innovation of the Year