Winter 2012

Testing for construction

Engineers from Strainstall Middle East have been testing supports that will carry the prestigious Abu Dhabi Plaza in Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan.

Designed by UK architects Foster and Partners, the Abu Dhabi Plaza will be a highly impressive staggered matrix of buildings comprising retail, leisure, office, residential space and associated transportation links. This keynote development will form a highly visible signature landmark on the Astana city skyline; the tallest tower in the complex will stand a full 388 metres tall with 88 floors.

To assist in the early stages of the construction programme, Strainstall was contracted by foundation specialist Zetas Zemin Teknolojisi based in Istanbul, Turkey, to undertake bi-directional static load testing and various other pile tests for the prestigious new development. The objective of these tests was to analyse the geotechnical and structural integrity of piles, verify ground conditions and design assumptions, and confirm their fitness for purpose. A particular challenge in this project was the climate; testing was throughout carried out in sub-zero temperatures.

Seven of the piles used – each of either 1500mm or 1200mm diameter – were subjected to the full bi-directional static load test, while cross hole sonic logging was conducted on 144 piles, integrity testing was conducted on 400 and calliper logging on another 151.

Mike Shaw of Strainstall Middle East commented:

“Structural monitoring is a crucially important part of the major construction programmes. With our UAE location and the back-up of the wider Strainstall company and James Fisher group, we are ideally placed to support new developments across the Middle East and in neighbouring territories such as Kazakhstan too.”

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