6000 Tonnes of Structural Steel

Mar 31, 2016

The erection of 6000 tonnes of structural steel for the new state-of-the-art Acute Services Building at Christchurch Hospital is a mammoth task.  But what makes this project especially challenging is the logistical exercise involved in receipting and organising the tens of thousands of individual structural components and over 100,000 nuts and bolts.

The first shipment of steel (1300t) arrives in Lyttleton Port from Thailand on 3 April and the project team expects to deal with up to 100 truck movements from the port in a little over a week. 

Our project management identified very early that this would be a significant logistical challenge so Fitzroy is applying innovation to the project delivery.  The Fitzroy IT staff have developed a material management system that will allow the team to track all material via barcode throughout the lifecycle of receipting, inspecting, dispatching & erecting.  The system will integrate material data, shipping lists, our erection plans and AFC drawings into a web based system accessible via tablets.   With many thousands of fabricated items and drawings to manage, such innovation is the only way to successfully administer this work.

Fitzroy Engineering has been contracted by CPB Contractors Pty Limited to erect the imported primary structural steel work for this project.  The Acute Services Building is being constructed to an Importance  Level 4 (IL4) standard. This is the highest safety rating a public building can have – 180% of the building code. The construction incorporates 79 lead rubber bearings that recently arrived from Malaysia, and which will be used in the base isolation system.  The base isolators sit on concrete columns above the foundation slab and isolate the floors above from the effects of any lateral (sideways) ground movement during an earthquake.

This is a huge project and the foundations alone have used around 2400 km of reinforcing steel rods, which if laid end to end would be enough to reach from Christchurch to Melbourne.

Fitzroy Engineering have recently completed the structural steel fabrication and erection at Cashel Square (1500t) and are currently working on the same at the new Aranui Community Campus school (1100t), both also in Christchurch.   By way of comparison the Acute Services Building project is more than double the size of those two projects combined and in the next week the team will receive more fabricated steel than was delivered over the complete duration of the Aranui project (approx. 6 months). 

Fitzroy has is establishing a core crew of 30-35 people in Christchurch which will be supported by the project team in New Plymouth.  It is envisaged that during particularly busy periods this crew will grow to over 40 tradesmen.   The team includes Fitzroy staff, Fitzroy contractors, local Christchurch contractors and a range of other service providers – engineering, surveying, transport, cranes, access equipment and others all required to deliver the project. 

This project is very significant for Fitzroy Engineering as we continue with our diversification strategy and in particular our growth in the structural steel market.  It further demonstrates our capability and desire to take on large, challenging projects across Australasia and the Pacific.