Terex Brings London’s Shard to Tallest Height in EU

Wed May 09, 2012 - National Edition
Terex Cranes

Terex CTL180-16, erected 656 ft. (200 m) above ground level on gigantic steel framework and Terex CTL260-18 climbed below.
Terex CTL180-16, erected 656 ft. (200 m) above ground level on gigantic steel framework and Terex CTL260-18 climbed below.

Select Plant Hire has chosen eight Terex luffing jib tower cranes to help construct The Shard, London's latest iconic landmark for Mace Construction Ltd. This comes as part of the spectacular 3 billion London Bridge Quarter regeneration project on the south bank of the river Thames.

Soon to become the tallest building in the European Union, the glass-clad tower designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano will dominate the London skyline at a height of 1,016 ft. (310 m). Covering an area of approximately 920,000 sq. ft. (85,470 sq m), over 87 floors, it will include a five-star hotel, several bars, restaurants, viewing galleries, luxury apartments and offices for approximately 7,000 people.

"Our team is proud to be a part of this amazing project that is using the latest technology available in our tower crane line. At these breathtaking and incredible heights, our sincere thank you to Select Plant Hire and the operators that put their trust in our products" said Steve Filipov, president of developing markets and strategic accounts of Terex.

Reporting to Filipov and sharing the experience and forward-thinking spirit gained working with her father Ferruccio, Martina Moritsch, managing director, Terex tower cranes explained, "In addition to the proven capabilities of our products, we believe that the success of today's most challenging projects is based on the balance between excellent products and working closely with our customers."

Accompanying Customers Daily is Paramount

Since construction started in March 2009, the eight Terex CTL luffing jib tower cranes have worked close together around the tower, allowing rapid progress of the construction. The Shard is effectively a perfect example of how the complex designs of modern architecture are increasing the need for customers to rely on specially tailored solutions and expert advice to accompany their projects on a daily basis from planning to finish.

For the Terex Tower Crane Application Engineering Team working with its customer Select, visits to the job site, regular contact and mutual confidence have been paramount to tackle the Shard's unique challenges.

"One of the most tried and trusted solutions applied in today's high-rise building sector involves the use of reinforced steel 'ties,' to anchor cranes to a building's core." said Francesco Valente, tower crane application engineering manager, Terex Cranes, Fontanafredda.

On mainstream high-rise construction projects, ties are generally of a standard size. However, since it is shaped like a prism, The Shard is very broad at the base, growing substantially narrower towards the summit. This results in an increasingly wider distance between the cranes' centerline and the building's core. Consequently, creating a special solution adapted to the tower's unusual shape and extreme dimensions was necessary in specific crane configurations beyond a certain height.

"Select came up with a really impressive 'Mega-tie' system," said Valente. "Built using 20-meter-long lattice steel structures made by an experienced local U.K. engineering team, they needed us to cross verify that it could withstand wind forces and the weight of the crane under load safely."

The first and heaviest crane models used on the project were two Terex CTL 400-24 luffing jib tower cranes configured with 131.2 ft. (40 m) and 164 ft. (50-m) jib lengths to lift prefabricated concrete and steel components weighing up to 21.4 tons (19.5 t). Model one was mounted on a steel cantilever grillage erected to a final height of 610 ft. (186 m). Model two was erected to a final height of 433 ft. (132 m) on reinforced concrete foundations and anchored with a "Mega-tie" at 305 ft. (93 m).

Verifying crane erection and dismantling processes, checking the "Mega- tie" system to be anchored to the building's core and calculating the combined impact of heavy lifting and wind forces have all been part of the wide variety of complex calculations and verifications carried out by the application engineering team on The Shard project.

Highest Crane Used in U.K. Lifts Final Tower Pinnacle

Six months from completion, one of the most impressive solutions employed on the job site is the use of a 275.5-ft. (84 m) high Terex CTL 180-16, erected 656 ft. (200 m) above ground level on a gigantic steel framework. The crane has been "jumped" or "climbed" into place and sits at floor 56 to enable work on The Shard's final spire where it will lift 551 tons (500 t) of steel into place over the coming weeks. The spire itself will form the top 23 floors of the tower starting at viewing gallery level 72 and rise to level 96. It is anticipated that the erection of the spire will entail approximately 100 lifts to raise the large floor and façade elements into place.

Each of the spire's façade sections can measure up to three floors. Comprised of 800 separate pieces of steel, entire sections will be pre-mounted off-site, then transported to the building to be lifted into place. When fully extended, the Terex CTL 180-16 will sit 1,040 ft. (317 m) above ground level, which represents 23 ft. (7 m) taller than the tower's estimated highest point, setting the record of the highest crane ever used in the U.K.

Lifted by the Terex CTL 180-16, part of the tower's 59,800 sq. yds. (56,000 sq m) of low iron content glass panels have already been fitted. Crystal clear, instead of a pale shade of green, the specially manufactured glass provides the iceberg effect that Piano expected.

Even though it is impossible to say how long The Shard will hold the record for the tallest building in the European Union, it will remain one of the most technologically advanced constructions built in its time and the highest ever tower in London. Due to limits set by the Civil Aviation, nothing in London can be built higher.

The eight Terex tower cranes operated by Select Plant Hire on The Shard include one Terex CTL140-8, one Terex CTL180-16, four Terex CTL 260-18, and two Terex CTL400-24 luffing jib tower crane models.

About The Terex

CTL Crane Range

Combining more than 20 years' experience and the latest in specialist Terex tower crane innovation and technology, Terex CTL luffing jib tower cranes are a popular choice among leading crane companies worldwide, according to the manufacturer. Particularly well-matched to the construction of high-rise buildings on urban job sites, Terex CTL luffing jib tower cranes are designed to work together in a wide variety of configurations efficiently and safely. The Terex CTL luffing jib tower crane range includes 14 models offering maximum lifting capacities from 8.8 to 35.3 tons (8 to 32 t) and maximum jib lengths from 164 to 196.9 ft. (50 to 60 m). All models are available in a broad selection of freestanding heights and versions.

About Select Plant Hire

Established in 1985, Select Plant Hire is part of the Laing O'Rourke group and one of the largest plant hire companies in the U.K.

As well as being the largest tower crane provider in the U.K., Select also is the distributor of Terex tower cranes in the U.K. and Ireland. Wherever the location and whatever the requirement, Select can provide the tower crane most suited to the job. Some of the Terex tower crane models provided by Select include the Terex CTT 331-16, Terex CTL 630-32 which will lift 9.9 tons (9 t) with a maximum jib length of 196 ft. (60 m), and the Terex CTT 721-40 capable of lifting 3.7 tons (3.4 t) at 275 ft. (84 m.)

With 11 depots and tool hire shops across the U.K. and Ireland, Select has the trained staff ready to help and support customers throughout their projects.

For more information, visit www.selectplanthire.com.

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