Stabilising buildings to maximise construction safety
The stability of buildings is crucial in earthquake-prone areas, leading project managers to search for technology that can assist with construction.
In Papua New Guinea, building project managers L&A Construction have employed Enerpac hollow plunger cylinders to help optimise the safety of a major construction project.
PNG is filled with mountainous and sloped terrain, and as the cities expand, it is clear that construction will occur on steep slopes. Enerpac hydraulic tools are used to test the safety of ground anchors or other load-stabilising technologies, helping to improve structural integrity and protect buildings.
L&A Construction implemented RCH1003 hollow plunger cylinders, combined with a P80 steel hand pump and calibrated GP10S pressure gauge to test ground anchors used on a new eight-storey apartment block. This helped to heighten building stability and mitigate against the risk of earthquakes, such as the magnitude 7.5 quake that recently struck the country’s remote highlands region.
Local contractor Dekenai was employed to test and install the ground anchors to add structural integrity to the new building, which is being built on a steep slope. Dekenai contacted Bishop Brothers, PNG’s Enerpac distributor, to source the Enerpac hydraulic tools required to accurately and safely test the ground anchors, to ensure they are able to withstand seismic forces.
Enerpac RCH-Series hollow plunger cylinders provide versatility in testing, maintenance and tensioning applications. The hollow plunger design allows for both pull and push forces. It can test loads up to 95 tons, which was important to fully test the effectiveness of the ground anchors.
The decision to use ground anchors for added safety and stability on the new development was made by L&A Construction, despite no current building requirement to do so.
“The current building codes date back to the 50s, when high-rise on steeply sloped sites wasn’t a consideration — but with Papua New Guinea’s susceptibility to earthquakes we knew it was in everyone’s best interest to include an additional safety measure,” said Barry Stevens, Project Manager, L&A Construction.
“We’ve seen several developments on similarly steep sites across PNG in the past few years with none or very little ground anchors, and when an earthquake occurs, the damage can be significant.”
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