Demolition specialists Coleman and Company have employed a specialist truss system to complete works on the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street train station, also known as the New Street Gateway Project for Network Rail.
Coleman and Company has been tasked with demolishing and removing two floors of mezzanine car parking above twelve working platforms. To assist them in this technical obstacle, Coleman and Company has brought in special trusses, designed by engineering and structural formwork and falsework expert, RMD Kwikform.
More than 140,000 people travelling to various destinations pass through Birmingham New Street train station on a daily basis, over double the amount of passengers the station was originally designed for when it was built in the 1960s. To improve the station and create more room for passengers Coleman and Company is removing 7,500 tonnes of concrete from what used to be a car park, using specially designed trusses from RMD Kwikform. The area that is being demolished will then become the new passenger concourse and ticket hall area, set to open in 2012.
Chris Holland, technical manager for Coleman and Company had this to say: “The first stage of the work we are undertaking is to clear a mezzanine slab level of car parking away to create a more attractive high ceilinged environment for the concourse and ticket hall area. The challenges that we face on this project are quite immense. The floor below is the only thing between the demolition and twelve active platforms of Birmingham New Street, so there is no room for error or disruption.
“In order to overcome these problems, we had to come up with innovative ways of taking down sections of concrete above the floor and removing them from the building without causing too much noise, dust and vibration. Most importantly all of this had to be done without loading the floor, which is only designed to take the weight of vehicles.
“At the early stages of analysing the task at hand, we realised we had to use the strength of the main beams to take the weight of the concrete being removed. In order to do this we needed to design a modular system that could be adjusted to use these strong points. Because the beams were not in a uniform lattice structure, we had to have a flexible option.”
Having worked with support specialist, RMD Kwikform in the past Coleman and Company engineers were able to brief RMD Kwikform’s technical team to come up with a solution that met the projects objectives. Working together the teams were able to design a modular truss system created from RMD Kwikform’s Megashor heavy duty shoring and Superslim steel soldier components.
Chris: “The key to the project success was how we used the truss system to support the landing of the beam sections, some of which weighed 90 tonnes, and from there safely transport the sections off site. This was achieved by designing a gantry crane that was supported from the beams above the floor we were removing. Sections could then be removed using wire cutting and diamond saw techniques.”
Neil Pagett, midlands sales representative for RMD Kwikform’s RMI Division commented: “Coleman and Company had a major task at hand with this job, not only from a speed of programme delivery but from a health and safety perspective. This is why it was important that we worked hand in hand with the team on a day to day basis to help them meet what were exceptional challenges.
“From an engineering perspective, the Megashor and Superslim soldier elements of the trusses were designed to lengthen and shorten, enabling the trusses to be used between the varied positions of the strong points in the floor, as and when they are needed.”
Chris concluded: “This project has shown that Coleman and Company are capable of carrying out technically challenging jobs. One of the key contributors to that success has been the work carried out by RMD Kwikform, and has helped Coleman and Company deliver Network Rail’s vision of a station fit for the Twenty-First Century.”
Neil added: “”RMD Kwikform are well known in the construction industry for formwork and falsework solutions, but because of our engineering expertise we are now getting involved in more customised solutions such as the Birmingham New Street development.
“From a personal point of view it is really rewarding to see that RMD Kwikform can use its engineering expertise to work on a landmark project such as this with Coleman and Company to provide solutions safely, on time and on budget.”