For groundbreaking projects worldwide, Sarens has the equipment and insights to help clients achieve new heights. That’s why the Group was proud to supply client Cimolai Rimond JV with the equipment and engineering intelligence needed to complete its architectural masterpiece, the EXPO 2020 plaza in Dubai.
Sarens provided 24 200T strand jacks and associated cribs, 12km of strands, and engineering expertise for the project. These were used to raise the centerpiece of EXPO 2020: the beautifully domed Al Wasl Plaza.
With the lower plaza structure already in place, Sarens helped lift the crowning dome into place as one intact piece. This limited the work at height and helped improve efficiency and safety at the busy worksite.
All of the equipment needed for the operation was shipped in about 10 containers and assembled on site over the course of six weeks. It then took two days to lift the 110-metre diameter, 850-tonne dome to a height of 46 metres.
Eighteen strand jacks were used for the lift, with each positioned 20 degrees around the dome. An additional six strand jacks were placed on the ground to restrain any horizontal movement during the lift, whether from wind or other factors.
The jacks were inserted into cribs so they could adapt to different angles and work with more flexibility than if they had been placed vertically. This flexibility was vital because 18 jacks pulling up a big structure in unison needed to adapt to its movements, not the other way around.
The lift had to be conducted with extreme precision, since the structure could deform easily in case one jack pulled more than another. This implied constant monitoring of the dome. In addition, several restraining cables were installed horizontally within the dome, and their tension was monitored so the crew could see the shape the dome was taking in real time. Sarens, the client, and a third-party engineering firm worked together to monitor real-time conditions during the lift.
“Despite challenging conditions, a humidity level close to 100%, and temperatures reaching 45 degrees, the Sarens crew remained calm and focused,” says Philippe Verdeure, Managing Director, Projects, APAC and ME. “A real bond was established between the client and the team, allowing them to perform to the best of their abilities. This trust allowed the job to be completed successfully: the client’s trust in Sarens’ state-of-the-art equipment and operating knowledge, trust from the Expo 2020 Committee to hand over to Sarens such a masterpiece of architecture for a few days, and trust within the control room to share the right information at the right time and with the right people.”
Fastening the dome to the lower part of the structure will take another 4-6 weeks, after which the crew will need an additional four weeks to dismantle the jacks and remove all equipment.
The interior of the dome will be covered in textile and will be the largest 360 degrees projection screen in the world, using 240 projectors located all around the structure. As for the ground inside the dome, it will be home to fountains and gardens where visitors will be able to enjoy the videos displayed on the dome itself.