The first three days of the Constructionarium course have flown by and the projects are really beginning to take shape. Over the past two days there have been several more concrete pours, with the Ravenspurn Oil Rig team casting the walls of their rig, the Kingsgate bridge team casting their bridge deck and piers and the nuclear island team casting the walls of their chamber.
For Kingsgate there has been some very challenging setting out (positioning of the elements), the deck is cast in two halves and swings together so it is vital that the supports are in the correct place for it to work, this has meant lots of measuring and re measuring to ensure accuracy. The next stage will be positioning the supports for the deck into the pivoting plate which has been cast into the concrete piers, ready to lift the deck into place at the end of the week.
For the Ravenspurn team the caisson is starting to take shape, with the base slab and walls cast, the next stage is to cast the top deck, remembering to leave a hole which can be used to flood the caisson to sink the rig when in position. The team have also been working on levelling the base of the lake where the rig will be positioned, this has involved making several boat trips and emptying buckets of ballast to bring the bed to the correct height. The next stage for the rig team is to assemble the top of the rig ready to lift into place on top of the caisson.
For nuclear island there has been lots of formwork and concrete pours. The base slab was cast ready for the construction of the formwork for the walls. The dome, which is to be lifted on top of the walls has also been formed and cast, this took a lot of work to ensure an even thickness of concrete over the entire dome to make sure there were no weak points in the structure. The team have also been constructing the pressure vessel to sit inside the concrete structure, this has been filled with water and pressure tested to ensure its suitability.
All teams have also met each evening to provide progress reports to the client and the other teams, discussing progress and problems faced, cost and finance and health and safety of their project.
There is still a long way to go before the projects are finished but the students are working hard and the progress has been excellent, with all projects being on schedule for completion at the end of the week.