Author: J. Maltezos and T. Harman (both Laing O'Rourke)
2 July 2018
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J. Maltezos and T. Harman (both Laing O'Rourke)
Tottenham Court Road consists of two entrances on the east (Goslett Yard Box) and west (Western Ticket Hall) sides of Soho Square, each of which has a ventilation tower equipped to ventilate the 250m long new platforms and running tunnels located 25m below ground. The ventilation towers are two of the largest overground structures on the entire Crossrail project, and presented a vast array of challenges due to their locations as well as their technical complexity.
Following the award of the contract to Laing O’Rourke, discussions were held about changing the design of the superstructures to precast concrete. However, due to the design process that would have been required to alter the concept, and lead time for bespoke precast elements, there was not sufficient time to alter the construction methodology. Therefore, a traditional in situ concrete approach was used. In fact, due to the precise planning and coordination of this approach, it resulted in a more economical solution than the precast option.
There is something special about megaprojects that brings out the best in engineering design and construction. It could be that the longer-term durations for the planning, design and build phases allow more measured and thoughtful decision making; it could be that the weight of public exposure and expectation creates an added incentive to succeed; it could be that the prestige of being part of the programme attracts the best teams in the best organisations; it could be that the extended schedule nurtures a team spirit and a collaborative way of working that is difficult to achieve in a typical shorter-term project.
All the articles from the July 2018 issue - a special issue on 'Structural engineering for the Elizabeth line'.
Michael Dickson, Past President of the Institution, passed away on Monday 28 May 2018 after a battle with cancer. An inspirational man in so many ways, he was one of the great leaders, thinkers and mentors in our profession.