From Concrete, Precast to Aggregates
International Marine and Antarctic Studies
JMK (for John Holland / Fairbrother JV)
The opening of the University of Tasmania's $45 million Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) headquarters on Hobart's Princes Wharf on 24 January 2014 cements Tasmania's reputation as a global leader in research and teaching.
The five-star Green Star-rated building will house 290 staff and students, five purpose-built, state-of-the-art laboratories, a 92-seat waterfront lecture theatre and a public exhibition area.
Premier Lara Giddings, Tasmanian Liberal Senator David Bushby and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen opened the building. Professor Rathjen described the building as ‘a magnificent emblem of our university's strategic direction and our aspirations for Tasmania’.
Hanson’s positive long-term relationship with JMK and Fairbrother was a critical element in the winning of the project, along with our strong technical capability and our reputation for successfully delivering on projects of a larger scale.
Challenges and Solutions
In terms of mix, the challenge lay in balancing the cement to the fly ash replacement, and gaining sufficient early strength to enable post-stressing within a tight build schedule.
From a supply and logistics point of view, the build was challenging as it occurred in a busy, high-visibility area of Hobart, adjacent to the iconic Salamanca Place.
The difficulty as far as the supply of raw material was concerned, was that as there is no continuous supply of fly ash in Tasmania, so it had to be shipped in specifically for this project with significant lead-time.
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Falcon Street Overpass
North Sydney, NSW
Reed Civil Contractors
Sydney’s Falcon Street pedestrian overpass spans 220 metres across the Warringah Freeway in North Sydney. The overpass provides a much-needed passage for thousands of pedestrians and cyclists who travel between the congested business centres of Neutral Bay, Crows Nest and North Sydney.
The official opening ceremony, held by the RTA on 17 August 2009, marked the end of a long and challenging project for Hanson's Artarmon concrete plant.
Challenges and Solutions
‘The bridge took fifty weeks to build’, said Petro Flokis, Artarmon Customer Service Manager at the time. ‘During that time, we supplied over 3000 cubic metres of high-strength RTA mixes. From day one there was absolutely no room for error with the column pours, mix quality and most of all, the delivery schedule.’
The RTA required Artarmon to deliver each load for the columns strictly between 7.00 am and
9.30 am each morning.
‘Each truck could take no longer than 45 minutes from the first batch until the final discharge, and they had to arrive within five minute intervals of each other’, Petro added.
‘However, the RTA’s faith in our ability to deliver this high quality customer service was how we originally secured the project.’
The demanding delivery schedule required occasional backup from the nearby Blackwattle Bay plant, and a full-time traffic control program that included highway clearways and restrictions.
One lane of the freeway was blocked off during the critical delivery period.
The Falcon Street Overpass was built by Reed Civil Contractors at a cost of $12.4 million. The project received strong community support as the footway eliminated illegal and dangerous road crossings on Falcon Street.
Clem 7 Tunnel
Brisbane City Council
The construction of the 4.8 km Clem Jones Tunnel (CLEM7) was part of Brisbane’s Transport Plan to reduce traffic congestion. It was one of Queensland’s largest infrastructure projects and was valued at around $3 billion.
In total, Hanson supplied 249,850 cubic metres of concrete for the CLEM7 project between 2007 and 2009, often as part of a twenty-four hour, seven-day weekly delivery schedule.
Challenges and Solutions
Hanson had to meet rigorous standards for strength, toughness, permeability and fire retardation. They also had to conduct extensive testing to meet the tunnel’s 100-year design life and Main Roads Specifications (MRS).
Hanson’s technical team introduced strict procedures to control the quality of raw materials, the mix design approval process and the water to cement ratio. It was crucial to achieve consistency across all raw materials and field trialling. Extensive testing for slump, shrinkage, compressive strength and concrete temperatures was carried out on each product. A large product development mix and trial mix process was also performed. This resulted in multiple customised mixes for individual sections of the tunnel, including the barrier kerbs, cross passages, road-barriers and smoke duct. All met stringent MRS and LBBJV requirements.
Baulderstone Pty Ltd for Sydney Airport
In 2009, Hanson supplied a self-compacting concrete mix for Sydney Airport and Baulderstone $100 million Runway End Safety Area (RESA) development.
A RESA is a cleared ground area located at the end of each runway and built to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) requirements. The end of the easy-west runway at Sydney Airport has been an awkward u-shape design, which meant standard compacting and finishing techniques could not be used, and a self-compacting concrete alternative was required.
The project had two objectives. The first was to develop a self-compacting mix that achieved sufficient flowability and strength, with high resistance to segregation. With a fluid flow above 650 mm, the mix avoided the need for internal and external vibration for compaction, without causing segregation or bleeding. The hardened self-compacting concrete was still dense, homogenous and offered the same engineering properties and durability as traditionally vibrated concrete. This meant the concrete achieved the workability and strength required to carry a fully laden Airbus A380 weighing over 600 tonnes.
Self-compacting concrete is rarely used in Australia, so Hanson followed overseas guidelines and standards. A 50 MPa mix design achieved improved workability with the addition of chemical admixtures and by optimising the mix proportions. Numerous trials confirmed the final water/cement ratio and placement properties. By utilising supplementary cementitious materials, the overall heat of hydration was minimised, reducing the likelihood of thermal cracking. The required maximum drying shrinkage was exceeded by selecting aggregates with low shrinkage properties.
A comprehensive testing regime for the product included in-house laboratory trial mixes, trial production mixes at the Blackwattle Bay concrete plant and full-scale on-site tests at Sydney Airport. This allowed Hanson to achieve the specifications developed by Sydney Airport’s consulting engineers, Aurecon, and to meet the three critical performance properties of self-compacting concrete: the ability to flow into and completely fill intricate and complex forms under its own weight; the ability to pass through and bond to congested reinforcement under its own weight; and high resistance to aggregate segregation.
Rapid Growth Project 5
Pilbara Region, WA
Hanson’s Yandi mobile plant in Western Australia has produced concrete for BHP Billitons $6 billion RGP5 at the Yandi mine since 2001. RGP5 is part of Billiton’s iron ore expansion in WA’s Pilbara region.
A new plant was constructed as part of RGP5 to increase installed capacity across BHP Billion’s Western Australia Iron Ore operations by 50 million tonnes to 205 million tonnes per annum. Materials produced by the plant help deliver significant infrastructure upgrades in Western Australia, including additional shipping berths at the Port Hedland inner harbour (Finucane Island); a second track for the company’s rail system between the Yandi mine and Port Hedland; and additional crushing, screening and stockpiling facilities at the Yandi mine.
Hanson was commissioned to supply 30,000 cubic metres of concrete, mostly for the mine’s infrastructure requirements.
Hanson’s Yandi mobile plant is located approximately 150 kilometres north of Newman in regional Western Australia. The twin-silo plant has a 65 cubic metre an hour capacity and has provided a dedicated concrete supply for BHP Billiton’s Yandi mine for the past eight years, having started as a six-week contract.
Challenges and Solutions
As a Most Responsible supplier, the Hanson Yandi mobile plant needed to implement an innovative waste management solution for the wash-down facility. The team designed and built an innovative facility that recycles water and captures all of its alkaline slurry. The system received wide acclaim within BHP Billiton, and was promoted internally within the company as a best-practice environmental initiative.
The wash-down facility allows concrete trucks to wash out excess slurry in the bund at the front
of the facility, draining any water off the slurry through a series of holes at the rear of the bund.
The water then enters the pit and is recycled, either in the standpipe at the front of the bund or
the spray gun located at the rear wash-down pad.
‘The new facility is excellent’, confirmed Glen Bolton, Environmental Superintendent at the RGP5 Yandi Mine project. ‘The way it was designed makes it easy for loaders to access and then remove the waste materials. The front of the bund has removable gates, the pit is ramped and the concrete apron around the facility slopes into the water pit. 'After Yandi built the wash-down facility, a poster explaining how it works was developed and then circulated through BHP and to their contractors’, says Chris Boak, Hanson’s Western Australia Mobile Projects Manager. ‘Those contractors include Fluor Australia and Sinclair Knight Merz.’
The mobile plant has operated solely for BHP’s Yandi mine since 2001, and the acclaim received by
the plant’s wash-down facility confirmed Hanson’s status as a leader in waste-management innovation.
Houghton Highway Bridge
Queensland Main Roads (QMR)
In 2008, Hanson was contracted as the major supplier for the $315 million Houghton Highway Bridge duplication project. The project involved the construction of a 2.7 km bridge, featuring three traffic lanes, a pedestrian/cycle path and a dedicated fishing platform, between Brisbane and Redcliffe. The bridge was to be situated 35 m east of the existing Houghton Highway Bridge. Hanson supplied 35,000 cubic metres between 2008 and 2010 from its Northgate plant.
Hanson faced a number of challenges, including numerous changes in concrete mix design and issues with thermal cracking in concrete.
Technical priorities included the development and modification of mixes to meet QMR’s and Hull/Albem’s stringent specifications. Hanson was also required to conduct an extensive testing regime, and to reduce concrete temperatures in the bridge’s headstocks to avoid thermal cracking. QMR recorded every mix design, modification, test and temperature control mechanism. This meticulous record keeping resulted in the use of the Houghton Highway Bridge duplication project as a test case for concrete specifications in future bridge construction in Queensland.
Hanson initially submitted mix designs of its standard range of QMR mixes, including a mix at 32, 40
and 50 MPa to meet QMR Specification MRS1170. For the standard QMR mixes, Hull/Albem was supplied with certificates for aggregates, cement/fly-ash and admixtures from Hanson’s previous trial mixes conducted in accordance with QMR Specification 11.70. In this case, the concrete was to be pumped 350 metres across a false work bridge to the new bridge. This meant new mixes were also required. Hanson conducted trials to replicate pumping concrete 350 metres. Concrete was sampled to provide data for QMR, with four different mixes supplied on two separate occasions. The resultant mix included water-reducing admixtures and super-plasticisers. This provided it with sufficient flowability and ensured Hanson achieved both strict water-cement ratios required by Hull/Albem and the higher 150 mm slump requirements of the piling sections. Hull/Albem also trialled other versions of these special mixes to the satisfaction of QMR.
In January 2009, Hull/Albem and QMR noticed excessive bleeding in the piles. Hanson, in conjunction with Hull/Albem, instigated a three-month redevelopment process for the piling mix. Hanson also supplied an agitator truck and trial mix from its Northgate plant so engineers could complete time trials, including slump tests completed at thirty-minute intervals over a four-hour period.
The trials determined the maximum period allowed between loading and placing, while still maintaining the product’s strength and workability requirements. Based on the test results, Hull/Albem gained approval from QMR to extend strict placement times to accommodate the distance between the construction site and Hanson’s Northgate plant.
Hanson’s most significant technical challenge occurred in June 2009, after temperature tests conducted by QMR confirmed issues with cracking in the headstocks. This was caused by excessive concrete temperatures in the headstocks that were reaching up to 90°C during initial curing.
The final mix, supplied by Hanson in November and December 2009, included temperature control methods that ensured Hanson successfully minimised risk of tensile stress and thermal cracking. These measures included substituting ice for water in the mix prior to loading at a 1 to 1 ratio; introducing slag to reduce the heat of hydration as a cement-replacing supplementary cementitious material; using a retarder to decrease setting times and allow mass concrete placing under higher temperatures; and washing down all coarse aggregates used in the production process with water. Concrete temperatures were then carefully monitored by Hull/Albem, with the hardwiring
of temperature probes into the framework of some of the headstocks.
Night pours served as an additional temperature control method. All pours were carried out from the Northgate plant between 1.30 am and 2.00 am. Night pours also allowed Hanson to guarantee the quality and timing of deliveries.
To prepare for these pours, all required aggregates were delivered from Hanson’s Wolffdene quarry during standard trading hours. Six to seven trucks were pre–loaded before delivery. Moisture levels were also set several hours prior to delivery, then checked periodically.
In total, there were three types of pours. These included 76 pours of 170 cubic metres for the bridge’s deck panels; 76 pours of 70 cubic metres for the headstocks and 76 pours of 40 to 50 cubic metres for the piles.
‘Despite the numerous changes in concrete mix designs and the issues that would occasionally arise, they were always dealt with in a professional manner while maintaining a very healthy working relationship.
‘I’d like to thank all of those who were involved in working Friday and Sunday nights throughout the duration of these works. This occurred on numerous occasions over the last 18 months and without the commitment and professionalism of Hanson staff, we would not have completed this component of the project prior to Christmas 2009.’ Paul Fitzgerald, Senior Project Engineer.
Cape Preston, WA
China Metallurgical Corporation (MCC Mining)
The massive Sino Iron Project development at Cape Preston is located 100 kilometres southwest of Karratha in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Developed by CITIC Pacific Mining, it is currently the largest magnetite mining and processing operation under construction in Australia, with an estimated value of $5.2 billion.
With the concrete component in excess of 300,000 cubic metres, Hanson was one of three concrete plants on the project contracted directly to China Metallurgical Corporation (MCC Mining). MCC Mining is the head contractor for the project construction and a 20 per cent stakeholder for the Sino Iron project.
Over a 15-month production period, Hanson supplied 53,000 cubic metres of concrete required for the construction of the desalination plant, port facility, mine process buildings, power station and power transfer towers.
The stringent safety and environmental requirements and the remoteness of the location demanded a Best Team, Most Reliable and Most Responsible response from our Cape Preston team.
The Hanson mobile plant was located on the Mardie Station in the low-lying wetlands of the north-western Cape. This area is rated as a Category A Sanctuary Zone by the Department of Environment and Conservation, so environmental responsibility was high on the priority list for the project developer and Hanson.
The Hanson team set out to be the best performing concrete plant environmentally, competing against over 40 contractor companies on site at any given time. The team achieved the Number 1 position as Best Performing Environmental Contractor four times out of the six reporting periods that covered their time on site. They were awarded second place in the other two reporting periods.
Given the remote location, hours from any support for contractors, it was common for drivers, loader drivers, batchers and even managers to get their hands dirty changing tyres, performing mechanical and electrical repairs to vehicles and plant, even handling the fabrication of plant and accessories. This willingness to pitch in ensured that the plant and fleet were constantly operational and that Hanson was a most reliable supplier.
The renowned Hanson ‘can do’ attitude empowered each individual to learn new skills in all areas of maintenance. This was facilitated by the most experienced workers on the team willingly sharing their knowledge with those that needed the help.
Working on a remote site with 12-hour working days as the norm brings a number of additional challenges, such as managing extreme weather conditions, stringent safety and environmental requirements, family matters, medical problems and other issues. Here again, the Hanson attitude ensured that staff rose above every challenge thrown at them.
BrisConnections was awarded the contract to deliver Australia’s largest road infrastructure project — the $4.8 billion Airport Link, Northern Busway and Airport Roundabout Upgrade. BrisConnections contracted Hanson to supply 2,900 cubic metres of concrete in a continuous pour for the project.
This was the largest single pour ever completed by Hanson in South East Queensland.
Hanson supplied a 40/20/120 special low heat mix developed and trialled specifically for the project. The pour was completed in 10 hours, starting at 3:00 pm and finishing at 1:00 am the following morning.
The scale of the pour required 64 agitators, five concrete plants (decreasing to four) and 31
pre-loaded tippers. Five testers on site cast approximately 149 cylinders and 32 shrinkage bars.
Of the 424 loads batched and delivered to site, not one was rejected, highlighting the professionalism and dedication of all plant staff and agitator drivers involved in the pour.
As most of the concrete was delivered at night, a considerable amount of pre-planning was required, involving all sections of the business, from Production to Transport, Technical Services and the Customer Service Centre.
‘A pour of this size required considerable pre-planning and organisation by both Hanson and the client, particularly due to the short notice of the pour date’, explained Bill Brittain, Hanson Project Manager at the time.
A team effort from Production, Transport, Technical Services and the Customer Service Centre made it all possible.
The ALNB Site Engineer in charge, Bree Johnson, said, ‘I was expecting a long night but it was brilliantly short. It all went smoothly from the concrete point of view and the slumps were spot on.
I will definitely recommend Hanson for any big concrete pours.’
This pour has demonstrated Hanson’s operational strength and technical expertise.
The reliable plants, fleet and equipment ensured the on-time delivery of the project to
an exceptional quality standard.
Barrow Island Barge Berth Project, developed by Chevron Australia, is currently the world’s largest industrial project, with an estimated value of $60 billion. The project will develop the Greater Gorgon Area gas fields and includes the construction of a domestic gas plant and a 15 million tonne per annum Liquefield Natural Gas (LNG) plant on Barrow Island. Hanson’s Karratha plant supplied 2800 cubic metres of concrete for the wharf’s landing berth and quarantine truck-washing area.
Chevron’s stringent engineering standards, combined with a harsh environment characterised by exposure to erosive sea-conditions and daily ambient temperatures of over 45° C, have demanded a Best Team response from Karratha.
‘Firstly, our production and technical teams worked together to develop a S50 Marine mix that would satisfy the performance requirements specified by Chevron and their contracted engineers from Worley Parsons’, explained Walter Roemer, Karratha Plant Manager.
‘During the trial-mix process, the initial focus was durability and shrinkage. Waterproofing agents were added, as the six-metre tide variance at the wharf meant the concrete would be subject to extreme sea conditions, including large swells during cyclone periods. The agents created a non-soluble crystalline structure to permanently seal the concrete against the penetration of sea water’, he added.
Shrinkage agents ensured the mix achieved satisfactory microstrain results at 56 days, while super-plasticisers were added to achieve the 150 mm slump required for specified levels of pumpability and workability. After confirming the mix design, the Karratha team launched an exhaustive testing regime that continues today.
As part of the testing, mix samples are taken every 50 cubic metres; shrinkage testing is conducted every 150 cubic metres to help avoid structural cracking and joint-stability problems, and retarder dosage rates are carefully monitored for the duration of the project.
‘This is required due to the 40-minute travel time between the concrete plant and the site’, explained Walter.
As daily temperatures at the project and at Hanson’s Karratha plant rocket beyond 45°C, ensuring the concrete remains within required temperature levels is another challenge.
Major pours ranging from 50 to 300 cubic metres were conducted at night, starting at 1.00 am when temperatures drop below 35°C. Shade sails were installed over all aggregate bins at the plant, and temperatures were further reduced by periodically spraying the aggregates with water to achieve an acceptable Surface Saturated State (SSS).
‘Collectively, these measures ensured that all 2800 cubic metres of concrete supplied stayed within the specified acceptable temperature range, and avoided premature setting times’, said Walter.
Pre-pour meetings were also conducted periodically between Hanson, and Chevron representatives and the contracted Worley Parsons engineers. Plant meetings addressed all production issues before large pours.
Fiona Stanley Hospital
D & Z Constructions / G & N Formwork
The $2 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital, equivalent in size to four city blocks, is the largest building infrastructure project ever undertaken by the state. The hospital’s location was chosen for its proximity to a growing south metropolitan population and for its nearby health and learning institutes.
The project required approximately 150,000 cubic metres of concrete. Hanson supplied approximately 60,000 cubic metres of the total amount over the construction period, working closely with clients D & Z Constructions and G & N Formwork to deliver for the project.
The hospital has 150,000 square metres of floor space over five main buildings, with 6300 rooms and 783 beds, including 140 rehabilitation beds. There are also 3600 basement, ground level and multi-storey car parking bays.
The scale and complexity of the project meant a huge effort was required of Hanson. Product quality was paramount, and consistency had to be maintained during the larger pours. Restrictions with site access became an issue as the project progressed, but comprehensive communication with customers on product, delivery and potential hurdles meant issues were addressed quickly and effectively.
Pre-planning, undertaken a day in advance, maintaining a high level of communication between the Hanson team and the customer, and being on site site daily have been the keys to success, according to Customer Service Manager Joe De Lucia.
‘It has been great to be part of and oversee the construction of such a worthwhile facility in our state. With the growing population and increasing need for medical care in Western Australia, this facility is truly a step forward for the WA community. It has been a great challenge but by partnering with our customers we have been able to make it happen’, says Joe.
Tweed Heads, NSW
The $491 million Ballina Bypass development includes a 12.4 kilometre dual carriageway,
11.9 kilometres of local roads, 19 bridges and more than 1.7 million cubic metres of earthworks.
Hanson is supplying 8000 tonnes of sand for the project’s road-paving requirements. This includes a sand supply to several Hanson concrete plants as well as Leighton Contractors’s own wet batch plant.
As part of the project, Hanson designed a simple but effective high-quality drainage system.
Given the high volume of traffic expected on the Ballina Bypass, Leighton Contractors demanded strict adherence to stringent technical standards, with an extensive testing regime conducted on all materials supplied.
This meant Tweed Heads quarry had to guarantee the quality of the sand and avoid allowing water to gravitate to the bottom of a sand pile leaving a saturated band of sand at the bottom. The answer was to design and install a drainage system similar to the one used at the Yannathan Quarry in Victoria.
The Tweed Heads team, led by Quarry Manager Michael Azzopardi and Graduate Management Trainee Cristy Moxly, developed and installed a drainage layer below the wash-plant stockpiles. Several pits were dug in the area where the sand is deposited after washing. The pits were then partially filled with aggregate before being covered in sand. The water in the area drains down to a geo-fab pipe running along the lower side of the site. Once the water is collected, the saturated band of sand is free to drain through the floor of the pit, and the excess moisture is pumped away via a connecting tank, back into the lake.
‘The simplicity of the drainage system has contributed to meeting all of Leighton Contractors’s quality requirements and we’ve been able to avoid any saturation problems’, says Michael.
‘It also means that if the drainage rate ever reduced to a point where it was becoming less effective,
it would be very easy to dig out and rework the system to restore the original drainage capacity.’
‘There were no real problems during the installation process’, adds Cristy. ‘This has had the added benefit of allowing us to meet Leighton Contractors’s stringent time constraints.’
The final word comes from Elizabeth Everett, Senior Project Engineer for Leighton Contractors:
‘The construction of the drainage layer under the sand stockpile at Hanson’s Tweed Quarry has ensured consistent a moisture content of the fine sand supplied to our project. This is critical to the quality of the concrete we produce on a project as large as the Ballina Bypass.’
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