asBuilt November 2020 2 min read

Bridging the gaps to smarter construction

While many of us slept in on labour weekend, a crew of skilled engineers and crane operators from Fletcher Construction undertook the nerve wracking, two day task of installing an 85 tonne, 30 metre long air bridge across Hobson Street.

asBuilt-Hobson Street Bridge-HD-1080 MP4

Almost one year to the day after the devastating New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) fire in central Auckland, it’s a significant visible milestone in its re-building.

Sitting approximately 11 metres above road level, Hobson Bridge links Sky City to the new 303 bed Horizon Hotel.

The project was always going to be exceptionally challenging! To de-risk it, a decision was made to use digital models to prove the designs and simulate the installation methodology.

asBuilt worked with Project Engineers to identify the best way to install the 85 tonne bridge in a singular piece.

Digitisation would inform engineers and prove that the bridge would fit as designed.

As part of the digital process, asBuilt created a point cloud scan of the entire existing buildings and modelled the built structures digitally (Casino on one side and hotel on the other). Engineers used this to help them ensure that the existing buildings could support the new bridge.

The digital model in conjunction with 360 degree photos and the point cloud scan, also helped teams understand which pieces of the existing building needed to be demolished to enable the solution to fit into a super tight space. With only 50mm tolerance at the ends of the bridge – this was vital to get right!", says Prashanth Ravichelvan, Digital Engineering Manager, asBuilt.

The digital model in conjunction with 360 degree photos and the point cloud scan, also helped teams understand which pieces of the existing building needed to be demolished to enable the solution to fit into a super tight space. With only 50mm tolerance at the ends of the bridge – this was vital to get right!

The large bridge structure was pre-fabricated near Palmerston North. Due to its size and weight, the structure could only be transported at night. After a three-day journey, it made a spectacular entrance into Auckland on 17 September, flanked by a flotilla of pilot vehicles. It was then moved into the NZICC building, where its glass facade, other cladding elements and roofing material were added ahead of the lift at Labour weekend. A reinforced concrete floor will be cast once the bridge is installed.

The Horizon Hotel is due to open next year and the convention centre next to it, in 2023.

With our thanks to the following parties:

Planning and methodology
- Prashanth Ravichelvan, Digital Engineering Manager, asBuilt
- Laura Campbell
- Barnabas Ilko
- Gordon Carle

Airlift Installation
- Fletcher Construction

For the time lapse video
- Chris Farhi, Strategic Advisory, Colliers

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