The Shard – ICE evening lecture

Last night’s ICE Essex evening meeting was exceptional.  The speaker was Dr Richard Mawer of consulting engineers WSP Cantor Seinuk and the subject of the talk was ‘The Shard – Structural Engineering‘.  Before Richard gave his talk we held a short Essex Branch AGM as our constitution requires and it was dispatched within 10 minutes as usual. Continue reading

Reaching for the sky

The Shard at London Bridge is making fantastic progress in its quest for the giddy heights.  I stopped in there this afternoon on my way back from a business meeting in town to have a look and to take some photos. This enormous structure is located next door to London Bridge Station. Map here.

Once completed, The Shard will be the tallest building in London and will be a striking structure.  If you haven’t heard of The Shard then you need to visit their website. An artists impression of the completed building is included below:

 

Artists impression of the finsihed building

The Shard is being built by MACE – one of the biggest players in building construction in London and worldwide. Their webpage for the project is here.

The works are forging ahead as the photos below show.

More photos from my visit can be found on my picasaweb website here.

I also took the piece of video that is included below.  I was amazed at the method used to suspend and place the large curtain wall glazing units on the corner of the building.  Bear in mind they are probably 20 floors up here.

The glazing unit – which must weigh best part of a ton at least – is being lifted by a small crane sat on the floor slab and by a single hook.  I couldn’t figure out how they got the panel out there.  Either it was lifted by the tower crane and then transferred to the small crane (unlikely) or it was taken up in a hoist to that floor and lifted up and over the safety barrier.  I was also surprised that there was no safety wire on the lifting beam.  If any element of the system failed (unlikely) then the glazing panel would crash to street level.

It was fascinating and awe inspiring to see such a massive building going up in a very small site in central London. All credit to the boys and girls making it happen.