The new Wellington Control Tower build reached a major milestone this week – the foundations are in place. It’s an exciting development, five months after construction started on 5 January.
There was a constant stream of concrete trucks arriving at the tower site on Monday to pour the raft slab which the building will sit on - our timelapse video below shows the action. To form the slab, the concrete was poured over a huge reinforcing cage made up of 60,000kg of steel bars. At 1.25m thick and covering an area about half the size of an Olympic swimming pool, 72 truckloads of concrete were needed.
Ideally the team would have one truck arriving every five minutes, but Wellington's traffic made this a bit of a challenge. Work got underway at 7:30am and the whole process took around eight hours.
The concrete will need to cure for about a week before further work can begin.
To protect the tower in the event of an earthquake, base isolators are being installed. These will be put in next before a second concrete slab, the isolated slab, is placed on top to form the base of the building.
Given the size and shape of the tower, this is a fairly interesting feature and the build team have had to come up with some innovative construction techniques. We’ll share more about this over the coming weeks.
We expect this to all be in place by July and after that we’ll start to see the tower taking shape.
New Wellington tower - pouring the slab