The final tower crane has been removed (by a mobile crane) at the 21 Moorfields development site and Sir Robert McAlpine (SRA) celebrated this with an invitation to the local children and families to a workshop to learn more about the engineering involved in tower cranes.
The children had a great day learning how tower cranes work using models, and learning the hand signals used by slingers to communicate with tower crane drivers.
Much fun was had in a LEGO and DUPLO challenge, meeting a tower crane driver, seeing the mobile tower crane moving and visiting the construction site.
The SRA Digital Construction team came to the party with a virtual reality (VR) 360 tower crane driver experience; this involved the children wearing a VR headset and viewing a 360 video of what it is like to sit in the cab of a tower crane, so they could experience what it was like to be a tower crane driver.
The mobile crane – fun facts:
- The mobile crane is a LMT 1650-8.1
- The reach of the crane is 154m up and 110m across.
- The total weight of the crane is 96 tonnes, which is approx. the weight of 20 African elephants.
- It can lift up to 700 tonnes.
- There are now 2 in the UK, but there was only 1 in the UK when SRA were planning this operation.
- What makes this crane interesting is the capacity vs. the size. That it can lift heavy weights, at awkward angles, considering its small size.
The dismantling of the final tower crane:
The mobile crane was used to remove Tower Crane 3 from site. It was chosen, because it was the only crane able to complete this lifting operation over the top of Tenter House.
The road was closed for 9 days. The first 2 of these were used to rig the mobile crane, then 3 days were used to remove tower crane 3, 2 days were used to fill in the hole left by tower crane 3, and then 2 days were used to de-rig the mobile crane.
These works were interesting because they were carried out right above two escalators linking the Northern Line to the Metropolitan Line and next to the basements of 3 neighbouring buildings.