Constructionarium is a hands on construction experience for students to put theory into practice by running and building their own construction project. This week all first year built environment students are taking part in the programme working in teams to build three projects which include a scaled down version of Ravenspurn oil platform, Kingsgate footbridge and a nuclear facility known as nuclear island. The work takes place at the national construction college in Norfolk, which is the largest of its type in the world.
Work began on site at 07.45 with the three teams preparing programmes, method statements and risk assessment which needed to be signed off before work could start, by lunch time paper work was complete and work on site began. Each group has a variety of tasks, Ravenspurn needed to pump the dry dock where they are building their rig of water, prepare shuttering and steel work and just as the sun was setting had concrete delivered for the first pour of the week!
Kingsgate had to build a damn across their body of water and pump one side dry so they could begin construction of the piers later in the week, their first attempt wasn’t stopping the water from re-filling the dry side so adjustments had to be made – providing a great problem solving exercise in real time. Other tasks involved setting out the position of the bridge and building formwork ready to cast the concrete elements later in the week.
Finally, nuclear island had to prepare their formwork, set out the position of their reactor and excavate for the base to be cast as well as begin the steel work. This team have the added complication of a secure site – replicating the real life obstacles that they may face, this means that they have a gate person monitoring who is on site and granting access only to those who need to be there.
Finally, students ended their day with an evening session, working in teams to prepare the programmes for tomorrow activities and reporting to their client on progress made on site today. All this has made for a long but very rewarding first day on site – check back later in the week for more updates on progress of all three teams.