Monday, 24 March 2014

Does it look like a building site yet?

Our interactions with the kindergarten left us battling against a number of clear expectations from these little but very astute ones. Quite clearly from their perspective a building site in Singapore is not really a building site without a suitably large crane being visible. Bowing to this pressure we have now got on and installed one on the site.

I hope we have gone up just slightly in the eyes of some our most important customers. 

This crane is a called a "Luffing crane" which is different from many of the cranes that you see in Singapore that have a fixed horizontal beam with the hook moving up and down this beam. The main problem with that traditional type of crane is that it would oversail occupied areas of the school. For pretty obvious safety reasons this is unacceptable to us. 

However the choice of crane does influence various elements of construction and planning, when we are lifting loads at the full extension of the crane, we will be  down to a very low capacity, perhaps just a few tonnes (around 2 and a half cars!) . The heavier loads will  have to be lifted close to the tower or broken into smaller pieces. This is influencing the design of the steel for the roof structures for the theater and the exam hall which will now need to be designed into "bite sized chunks" and then welded together once they have been craned onto the roof...

Assembled like a very large lego set..

The finished product at some 40 metres above the ground and positioned in the middle of our new building.

The crane is operated by a man (or women) sitting in the small cab sitting on top of the crane, these individuals need to be very brave and quite tough as there is no air conditioning up in that glass box and the tower itself moves back and forth as it picks up and drops off heavy loads or if the wind is strong.

You also need to be rather patient as you cant just come down if you forget something! Lunch is usually delivered to the crane operator by him dangling a long rope with a hook down to his team on the ground.