Work on the new Gandel Wing, on Wattletree Road at the corner of Isabella Street, is progressing well with the new building on-track to open in 2019.
Following a complex demolition project, the bottom of the large hole has been reached, achieving a major project milestone.
The construction phase of the project is now underway, according to William Gullifer, Project Manager at Kane Constructions. “We hope to have the structure built to ground level by early September 2018, as long as the weather remains kind”.
He says that excavation has been greatly assisted by Melbourne’s warm weather during March and April of this year: “Removal of dry earth is a lot easier than taking out wet deposits, and we have made good progress to reach our current position, which is well on target”.
Cabrini and Kane Constructions thank our staff, doctors, patients and neighbours for their patience and support during the demolition stage.
- Demolition of the old medical centre (known as MC1) is now complete. Approximately 320 tonnes of existing structure both above and below ground has been demolished and removed. The old medical centre served its purpose well for many years, and will now make way for a major new complex of services in the Gandel Wing.
- All retention and piling works at basement 2 and 3 levels have been completed. This was a complex phase, with excavation occurring in close proximity to the existing hospital. ‘Piling’ (see below) was the technique used in the excavation and retention work. Safe excavation has been achieved, and the piling holes reinforced with concrete. This high risk phase of the construction has been achieved incident-free, with close collaboration between Kane Constructions and Cabrini.
- Bulk excavation works are now completed, with removal of 52,000 cubic metres of earth during this process.
- All ground anchoring is now complete with an end to associated drilling work. This was complex work to permit builders to excavate without any risk of geological instability.
- More visible signs of the new hospital building will emerge over the coming weeks and months. Framework material is now being delivered and concrete trucks are starting to arrive.
- Well advanced, but not easily visible, is the procurement of the façade. The majority of the window wall and the bespoke terracotta secondary screen has been fabricated and now waits in storage.
- Our patient lifts are about to arrive from Germany, and will await customs clearance for the site.
- The tower crane was erected incident-free, and stands 32 m above ground and has a 52m boom. Its maximum lift capacity is 24 tonnes at a 10 metre radius.
What is to come next?
Now that the crane is operational and the hole is finished, building can commence. To facilitate this stage of the project, the other delivery loading bay along Wattletree Road will be opened. This will ease traffic along Isabella Street, a positive development for neighbours and commuters. Weather permitting, the structure is scheduled to be built to ground level by early September 2018.
Definitions for building terms
- Piling: a building technique that involves use of a large piling rig, which drills into the earth, pumping concrete and installing steel reinforcement into the holes. In the construction of the Gandel Wing the piles are spaced two metres and once installed, provide for safe excavation of the earth. The holes are further reinforced with concrete being sprayed between the piles.
- Ground anchoring: is when ground anchors are drilled through the retention piles and into the earth behind the retention system, permitting builders to continue to excavate down into the earth without any geological instability.
- Footings: are an important part of foundation construction. These enable the transfers of load from the building to the foundation. They are typically made of concrete with reinforcement that is poured into an excavated trench, and stop the building shifting from its intended position.