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03:45 pm: Swiss Centre construction

Swiss Centre construction site 2009-01-07
Swiss Centre construction site 2009-01-07
Haven't posted a Swiss Centre picture for a while. It finished demolition some months ago, and has now entered the construction phase. There are two large blue cranes on site (you can see the bases of them in frame).

Today's new arrival is the upright grey thing in between them. We're not quite sure what it is. They got it a certain amount of assembled and then seem to have taken it apart again, so presumably they are Doing It Wrong. The truck at the bottom has the remainder of it.

We suspect it may be a concrete pourer - any ideas?




(apologies for the very poor shot, on cameraphone and it is VERY COLD on the roof)

Because the building is now not there any more, and it's winter and some of the trees are out of the way, we've noticed we can see the Natwest Tower and the Gherkin from the top floor. I managed to see quite a few more city towers from the roof but didn't stop to identify them.

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[User Picture]
From:nmg
Date:January 7th, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
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Yes, that's a concrete pourer - the tubes give it away.
[User Picture]
From:hairyears
Date:January 7th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
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No, the folded-up thing on the street directly in front of the big grey pillar is a concrete pump. I see no pipes on the pillar itself, and the central bore is way too big for any kind of concrete pump.

See my reply below - I think it's a pillar crane under construction. Nevertheless, you're not completely wrong: it may well be used to lift concrete pumps and piping for the larger pours - but not the actual concrete. That'll either be pumped directly, or lifted in 'pigs' for smaller pours by the main tower cranes.

[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:January 7th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
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There is a pipe apparently somewhat larger than a drainpipe between the main bore and the climbing hoops.
[User Picture]
From:nmg
Date:January 7th, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I was assuming that would couple onto the pipes on the folded up thing in the street.
[User Picture]
From:nmg
Date:January 7th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
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In fact, the four lugs on top of the pillar looks like they will mate onto the matching four lugs visible towards the right of the folded up thing.
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:January 7th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
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The rightmost smaller thing on the pavement is something that they had put on the top of the unit. It looked at this point like they were going to move the larger thing on to this unit - they'd hooked it up to the big crane and everything, but all they appear to have actually done is move it from the back of a vehicle. Since then the rightmost unit was removed and put back on the movement.
[User Picture]
From:hairyears
Date:January 7th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
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Then it's the central pillar for a specialised crane carrying a concrete pump and an extensible hydraulic arm (instead of the usual jib) supporting the pipeline. That's an expensive piece of kit and they must be planning to pour a lot of concrete, over a period of time that makes it economical to rent it in and set it up instead of hiring mobile pump trucks on the days they pour.

I wonder how far down this building will go.

Also: those things are noisy. Expect a hell of a racket and lots of vehicle movements for the concrete itself.

[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:January 7th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
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The odd thing is that it appears to be either brand new, or very well cleaned.

They now appear to have removed the pillar, then added another section to the bottom, and are now doing god knows what with it.
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:January 7th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
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And, it would be impressive to be noiser than the general demolition!

Edited at 2009-01-07 05:04 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:hairyears
Date:January 7th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
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The grey thing?

It's not a structural member (those will be steel I-Beams or square concrete pillars) and it's very thick-walled for a rising main, even for a skyscraper. Your guess that it's a concrete pump is a good one, although it's actually far too large a pipe for that: I think it's the central post of a pillar crane.

It's placed right by the street-level loading bay, and would be used as a dedicated crane for unloading equipment and materials. The big tower crane is used for moving materials around the site, and could probably do the job just as well, so the installation of a dedicated loading-bay crane suggests that it's a long project with a lot of materials and equipment to shift - that, or severe restrictions on the use of their on-street loading space.

[User Picture]
From:katsmeat
Date:January 8th, 2009 07:53 am (UTC)
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It interesting they're going ahead in the current economic climate.

In Norwich, there are a bunch of empty sites. I'm guessing because losing-the-interest-on-the-cost-an-empty-site is better than losing-the-interest-on-the-cost-a-site-plus-the-construction-cost-of-an-empty-building.

Obviously, central London will always be a different universe in terms of land cost and the chances of getting tennents. Regardless of the economic situation.
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:January 8th, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
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Well, yes, it is bang in the middle of central London, and they've already committed to the project: they started to demolish the previous building back in 2007, and haven't really had a good occupancy of it since 2005/2006.
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:January 12th, 2010 05:37 am (UTC)
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Hello. If you are going to spam random posts with links to your website then you might want to make sure that the links go somewhere first. Kthx.
From:bothwill
Date:April 15th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
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It sure looks like a concrete pourer but it can also be a man lift as far as I can see. Looking forward for more updates, there are some interesting things going one there, we may learn something too. In fact I was an intermediate once in an equipment rental once, I may help with few details.
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:April 15th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
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Final proof came a few days after that post was made, when they started pouring concrete from it. which was a fascinating process in itself.
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