Week of 29 August
1. A unique scientific equipment (Belgium)
A 55-tonne, 23.5 by 3.5 metre towing carriage arrived by barge in Ostend on 25 August 2022 from the Netherlands. It will allow the Maritime Research Centre to simulate the behaviour of ships in the basin of its new facilities and, on this basis, to measure forces and movements and to derive mathematical models. The aim is to improve knowledge about the behaviour of ships during prolonged periods of drought, to contribute to more sustainable navigation and to prepare for the future development of the waterways and the accessibility of Flemish ports.
But what does this have to do with BESIX Group? BESIX Unitec Automation is actually playing a dual role in this project. The company is a subcontractor for the electromechanical work, including the assembly of the towing carriage and the laying of the necessary cables. After installation and delivery, BESIX Unitec Automation will also maintain it for six years! The pictures below show the convoy as the barge passes through Antwerp on its way to Ostend, the lifting, and the facilities where this unique scientific equipment will be installed.
2. Timber for the Mediavaert (The Netherlands)
At the end of August, our colleagues from BESIX NL started the assembly of the first timber construction elements on Mediavaert, the new office of media giant DPG Media in Amsterdam. You can see the first elements on the pictures below. The glulam columns and beams will then be fitted with cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor elements. In total, no less than 6,500 m³ of timber will be installed in the new building. With a total area of 44,000 m², this will be one of the largest hybrid timber office buildings in the world.
3. A prototype for Adelaide (Australia)
In Adelaide, our BESIX Watpac colleagues are transforming the World Heritage-listed GPO building, built in the 1850s, into a luxury hotel operated by Marriott International. This is an ambitious project, combining the preservation of the historic building with the delivery of a new 16-storey building. The prototype of the façade of the new building has recently been completed, in actual size. And it looks promising to say the least! Keep on the good work, dear colleagues.
4. Delivery of two tunnels under railway infrastructure (Belgium)
In Cheratte, in the Belgian province of Liège, BESIX removed two level crossings for Infrabel, the railway network manager, and replaced them with tunnels under the tracks. These tunnels are much safer alternatives for local traffic. One of the tunnels is for car and pedestrian traffic. The second, smaller tunnel is dedicated to cyclists and pedestrians. A press conference was held on 29 August to officially inaugurate the new roadways. Congratulations to the teams involved for this successful delivery, which was praised by the local authorities, citizens and the client!
PS: how do you get a tunnel under a railroad track? You built it next to the track and then just push it underneath – We dedicated an article to this specific project, which you can find on the BESIX website, with a nice time-lapse.
And then this… Proud daughter alert (UAE)
Since 2019, the Dubai Uptown Tower has been rising from the ground, with the icing on the cake being achieved in January 2022 as it reached its highest point. However, the tower hasn’t been the only one that has been growing over the years. Our colleague Hilal, Architectural Package Manager at Six Construct, shared an adorable picture of not only the tower, but also his daughter (and her smile) growing ever since the works started! Like he says: “Progress isn’t always measured on paper through schedules and KPIs, it’s also measured in years and smiles of our kids”. Amazing!