UON NeW Space (Newcastle)

Gonzalez Steel played a pivotal role in the construction of the University of Newcastle’s NeW Space building.

The project was a complex and multi-faceted endeavour with on time deliverables an extremely high priority. Amongst a range of other work, we devised a safe and efficient method of forming and lifting X columns to build the mega truss structure. This involved a large amount of detailed planning.

We fabricated the central jig and columns off-site and delivered them separately on oversized 29 metre long trailers. The bracing, clamping, ties and central jig were assembled and installed on site before the X columns were lifted and reinforced with castors. This maneuver involved the coordination of a 400 tonne mobile crane as well as two franna cranes for the 45 tonne lift.

The mega truss structure lifting method was unique and developed by Gonzalez Steel for the specific challenges of this project. Two full floors of the truss were connected at ground level before being lifted on top of the X columns as one complete unit. Due to the massive weight of the structure, a tower or crawler crane could not be used. The procedure required careful analysis of tolerances and safe access for bolting connections at height.

Gonzalez Steel contributed greatly to overcoming a number of unique challenges in this project which was awarded the top prize at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2018 Newcastle Architecture Awards.

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