16/07/2013 - 19:47 pm

Mini Cranes Assist in Glazing Project at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park | Construction News

The Aquatics Center at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park shape can be clearly seen as the first panes of glass have now been installed.

One of GGR Group’s  mini spider cranes, a 6 tonne capacity UNIC URW-706, was used with an MRTA611 six-in-line glass vacuum lifter to help glaze the external walls of the venue, now that the temporary seating area used for the London 2012 Olympic Games has been removed.

Filmed by a BBC camera crew for BBC London News, the spider crane and glass sucker were able to lift the first of the 1.5m x 3m glazed panels from a ground level stillage and install them at a 16m height. An impressive 628 pieces of 250kg screen printed glass are to be fitted which will cover 2800m² on the east and west sides of the Aquatics Center and let plenty of natural light into the swimming pool area.

GGR also previously installed glazing during the construction of the Aquatics Center in 2011, using a UNIC URW-506 mini crane and 1000kg capacity Hydraulica 1000 glass vacuum lifter to fit glass panels to the underneath the starting blocks inside of the pool.

Boris Johnson, mayor of London and chairman, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park said: “With the first panes of glass expertly installed in the Aquatics Center, we can start counting down the months to the grand opening of a world class public swimming facility next spring. The magnificent shape of the Zaha Hadid design is forming day by day and the permanent legacy this superb building will become is evident. Whilst the hard work continues, people can get a glimpse of what’s to come at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with an impressive line up of summer concerts, athletic and volunteering celebrations. It is encouraging to see we are on target to deliver legacy sites that visitors and Londoners alike will enjoy for generations to come.”

Balfour Beatty is working on the transformation of the Aquatics Center. Now that the two seating stands have been removed, work has started on installing 2,800m² of glass along the sides of the Aquatics Center allowing lots of natural light into the pool.

The glass-fitting is the latest stage in the ongoing transformation of the former Olympic site into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

When the Aquatics Center opens in spring 2014 it will have a cafe and crèche, a dry dive training area, and a full program of aquatics activities from lane swimming and lessons to aqua-aerobics, water polo and synchronized swimming.

Dennis Hone, chief executive, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park said: “It will take 70 days to install the 628 panes of glass that make up the external walls of this fantastic building. Each pane weighs 200kg and it takes a team of six people to install a single pane. We expect the team to get through 10 panes a day and finish the outside of the Aquatics Center in late September. Once complete the Aquatics Center will be a public swimming pool as well as an elite training facility and competition venue. We are on track to deliver a fantastic new destination and a lasting legacy for east London and are looking forward to the full opening of the Park in the spring next year.”

Since last autumn, huge progress has been made removing temporary venues, improving transport connections across and into the Park, and creating beautiful parkland areas. This building and landscaping work will continue at pace to get the Park ready for next spring.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will open in phases as the construction works completes.  Parts of the North Park – including the new Timber Lodge cafe, Tumbling Bay playground and the Copper Box will open to the public at the end of July. It will be free to visit the parklands, cafe and playground.

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