Onsite collaboration was the key to meeting the technical challenges of this mammoth project.
Projects like these don’t come along every day. A mammoth building in every sense, LacPatrick Dairies (NI) Ltd needed a new extension to the existing factory which would consist of a large structural steel framed building with a floor area of approximately 4000m3.
Over the course of the build, that represents a £30m investment, a 500-ton crane was used to lift huge units of plant machinery, sometimes measuring 5.5m wide, while the most stringent levels of hygiene called for the utmost attention to detail from all the teams involved.
Main contractor, Woodvale Construction, had previously worked on similar projects such as the Fane Valley Mill in Omagh, Greiner Packaging in Dungannon and McColgan’s Quality Foods in Strabane and the company again proved its mettle by delivering a highly technical building that more than meets the client’s requirements.
Works at LacPatrick consisted of the demolition of an existing shed to make room for a new extension to the existing factory. Emmett Teggart was the Contracts Manager on the job and cites the collaborative working approach undertaken by all teams involved as the key to completing the project successfully.
“We worked very closely with the project management team and with the designers and sub-contractors to ensure that if any design changes were required, they were acted on fast. Due to the nature of process engineering, last minute design changes were needed at several stages during construction. Co-ordination between all teams helped keep everything running on time.”
The structure was partially erected and closed up using the internal and external wall panels to allow the installation of the plant, which consisted of large fans, various electrical equipment, drying plant and large cylindrical vessels.
A special 500 ton crane was brought to site from Dublin to lift the vessel clear of the building before it was lowered into place vertically. Once the plant was installed the remainder of the structure was erected around the plant which was then followed by the roof to close the remainder of the building.
“On a personal level, this project is one of the greatest co-ordination exercises I’ve ever had in regards to cranage and how the equipment was inserted into the building. We held several co-ordination meetings to ensure we went about it the right way and even went as far as sending cranes to the port to do top and tail lifts off boats onto the lorry. Due to the sheer size of equipment that we were bringing in, a transport management company ensured that items of street furniture obstructing the route were removed. It was quite a task.”
Two cranes were set up on site, with a 350 ton crane again doing top and tail lifts. Some items of equipment measured 18m long.
“We had to install runway platforms projecting out of the building so we could lift an item of 45 tonnes. Huge co-ordination between health and safety teams on the ground was required to ensure we safely and successfully installed the required plant.”
Woodvale Construction’s experience proved essential in bringing the various elements together.
“The effort that the site management team made meant the project was a success,” added Emmett.
Further challenges involved the hygiene levels within the build.
“Very specific and stringent hygiene levels were put in place and they had to be maintained. We were really adamant that we adhered to the hygiene standards required and we’re proud that we maintained that throughout.”
The coordination of bringing everyone together was probably the biggest challenge on the project.
“It was also the aspect of the build that ensured its success. In addition, we were working within an operational factory so maintaining a good client relationship was crucial. We ensured that the dairy was aware of the next step the whole way along. We’re very proud of the end result – we delivered a complex and technically challenging project that met the client’s requirements and we managed to do that by maintaining excellent relationships with all teams on site.”
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