Speedy Steel for amp;quot;New City&quot Retail Park

Structural steel firm AMSE Ltd erected an average of 1000 tonnes of steel per month at the 80m (£54.4m) Abbeylands shopping complex in Ferrybank, Co. Waterford. This project is transforming a seven acre site into a major shopping attraction in the region with subsequent plans having been announced to develop Ferrybank into a new Irish city

Engineering Director at AMSE, Denis McNelis, explained the fast-track nature of the scheme.

"We were appointed to the project in early 2007 and contracted to detail, fabricate and erect the primary structural steelwork. The structure is a 5 storey beam and column frame, with wide-slab pre-cast concrete floors, and a complex curved Kalzip roof. AMSE were also contracted to provide 1hour fire protection using intumescent paint, with a sealer coat on the basement car park and around the floor perimeters.

"A procurement model was quickly produced by AMSE technicians to allow 5,500 tonnes of steel to be ordered from Corus Mills rollings before the March deadline. This was achieved as AMSE engineers worked in close co-operation with Michael Punch and Partners during this critical stage of the project, to assist in bottoming out the final design.

"This partnership approach allowed 3D procurement models to be drawn in time to meet the extremely tight material procurement window. At the same time, AMSE's operations team liaised with main contractors John Paul Construction throughout February and March to agree sequencing schedules," he added.

Fabrication commenced at AMSE's production facility in Moate in early April and the first load was delivered to site on the first week in May. In order to satisfy an ambitious accelerated programme, within a confined site due to the phasing of other trades, the structure needed to be planned, fabricated, delivered to site and erected in a carefully planned and choreographed sequence. Foundations, concrete stairwells, lift shafts and 2 storey deep perimeter retaining walls were being constructed concurrently with the steel erection, which determined which areas of the site were available for erection.

This required that the erection of the beam and column structure was divided into 15 phases, and the erection of the roof structure into 4 phases. AMSE erection crews, under the supervision of AMSE contracts manager Rory Harris, erected four levels of steel at a time, using mobile cranes and MEWPs. The roof had to be erected using three site tower cranes as access for mobile cranes was no longer possible.

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