The annual South Australian Excellence engineering awards recognizes outstanding achievement in engineering . This is based on the invaluable contribution the field makes to the economy, community and the environment. During the 2018 event, the Hope valley Water storage tank roof upgrade received the accolade for its excellence in building and structural engineering. Since 1955, the tank has been reliably supplying water to over 10,000 properties in the north-eastern part of Adelaide. A 2016-2020 AUD89million program was launched to refurbish 111 water tanks across South Australia. One of which was this 136 megalitre monster tank. A portion of the total sum, AUD21.6million to be exact, was spent on removing and replacing the roof. This came after a problem in the structural integrity of the tank was identified upon a condition assessment. The project was spearheaded by SA water, CE Global and Jones Civil. CE Global undertook preliminary investigations that led to the need for an upgrade. Soon after, a rehabilitation proposal had to be drafted. According to John Edges, CE Global project director, this called for innovative and highly collaborative approaches if the project was to be delivered safely, cost-effectively and on time.
The work was so intensive, 7 cranes were on-site at a time. This is attributed to the staggering size of the tank. It spans across an area equivalent to a FIFA soccer pitch and can contain enough water to fill 55 Olympic sized swimming pools. Management of workers, contractors, designers, and architects was a tasking job. Over a 190-day duration, over 4,800 crane movements were made. This is equivalent to roughly 1 movement per crane every 90 minutes. This level of coordination stands out in the entire construction industry as a huge logistical nightmare. To streamline operations on the highly constrained site, engineers used 3D modelling to place and map every lift from start to finish.
For safety purposes, remotely operated robots went in to inspect the phases as the demolitions were ongoing. After 9 months of challenging work, the storage tank had a significant facelift. The roof now features an innovative, lightweight, cost-effective structural cladding material.
Rarely do projects at this scale get implemented as planned. The collaboration of SA water, CE Global and Jones Civil were in the test here. Not only did the teams get recognized for the ground-breaking approach, but also, for their holistic collaboration to deliver the project on time and within budget.
The tank is certified safe and now promises continued service for local residences for a long time.