Industrial: Siemens wind turbine blade manufacturing facility, Hull

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The winds of change 18 NSC July/Aug 16 One of the large roof trusses is lifted into place Industrial Forming the centrepiece of the Green Port Hull vision, which seeks to establish the city and the East Riding of Yorkshire as a world-class centre for renewable energy, the Siemens wind turbine blade manufacturing facility will create 1,000 jobs and is said to be the biggest influence of the local economy for generations. Located at Hull’s Alexandra Dock, the 40,000m2 facility will mould 75m-long wind turbine blades, the world’s longest blades, paint them, drill them and then store them on a specially prepared dockside lot ready to be delivered offshore for final assembly. All of the parts that make a wind turbine, including nacelles - the fuselage that connects to the blades and contains the generating components - along with the masts will also be stored on the site. This will allow Siemens to dispatch all of the constituent parts that make up a wind turbine from one location, once blade production begins later this year. The blade manufacturing process will be housed in a large steel-framed multi-span braced structure measuring approximately 300m long × 116m wide. In order to get planning permission the site had been previously raised 200mm above the flood plain with a 1m-deep stone plateau as part of the preliminary works. VolkerFitzpatrick, which is managing the build of the facility, started on site last August, just as the installation of 4,000 driven piles was coming to an end. “The building is essentially divided into two main parts - a four span manufacturing and painting area, and a three span finishing area,” says VolkerFitzpatrick Operations Manager Ian Simmons. The former area has two manufacturing/ moulding lines contained within 36m-wide spans. In between there is a 22m-wide painting span while, attached along the eastern side of the building, another 22m-wide span will accommodate storage and warehousing. All of these spans are formed by a series of twin braced lattice columns supporting a series of roof trusses that measure up to 2.1m deep. All of these spans will accommodate cranes with the two widest spans featuring 40t-capacity overhead cranes running on crane rails that are connected to the main lattice columns. All of the spans have smaller console cranes that run on separate rails that are also connected to the steel main frame. “As with many industrial buildings this is a bespoke steel frame designed and tailored around the manufacturing process and the way the cranes will be operated,” explains Waterman Structures Regional Director Mark Billington. “Before designing the steel frame we had to gather information on whether the cranes would operate separately or in tandem in order to determine the loadings and fatigue on the steelwork.” Twin lattice braced columns were Part of the wider Green Port Hull vision, Siemens is building a large steel-framed blade manufacturing facility on the River Humber. Martin Cooper reports. FACT FILE Siemens wind turbine blade manufacturing facility, Hull Main client: Siemens Architect: Pringle Brandon Perkins + Will Main contractor: VolkerFitzpatrick Structural engineer: Waterman Structures Steelwork contractor: Caunton Engineering Steel tonnage: 2,500t


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