Genie booms provide impressive reach and accuracy on exceptional waste-to-energy plant, Denmark

Genie booms provide impressive reach and accuracy on exceptional waste-to-energy plant, Denmark

In a world-leading effort to reduce fossil energy and waste, Amager Bakke is a state-of-the-art waste-to-energy plant currently under construction in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Amager Ressource Centre (ARC) — an organization owned by five Danish municipalities. Designed by in-vogue Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the plant will replace its neighbouring 45-year old predecessor that will be demolished once the new build is complete. When it opens in 2017, Amager Bakke will offer the ability to recycle the city’s estimated 400,000 tonnes of annual garbage into electricity and heat for up to 170,000 households. In addition to turning trash into treasure, the facility will also provide an 85-m high rooftop ski slope running down to ground level for recreational use.

For casual on-lookers however, what first meets the eye is the striking windowed brick-style aluminium facing covering the entire 26,000-sq m exterior surface of the building — designed, produced and installed by Czech Republic-based facade specialists Sipral. Chosen for their impressive reach, accuracy and ability to take people to work at height safely, Sipral used three Genie booms to help ensure the successful completion of the complex task on a tight schedule.

Efficiency and safety

To help rise to a series of constraints related to the plant’s vast dimensions and distinctive design, as well as to assist in the installation of its intricate facade, “We turned to Kranpunkten, a leading Scandinavian rental company that offers a wide range of access equipment and secures a great standard of services with a strong focus on safety,” says Michal Prokop, Project Manager Sipral. Their recommendation? Three Genie booms, including a telescopic Genie SX-180 super boom offering a maximum working height of 57 m and a maximum outreach of 24.4 m, and two articulating Genie Z™-135/70 booms offering a maximum working height of 43 m, a maximum horizontal outreach of 18,03 m and an impressive maximum 23.01 m of up-and-over clearance.

A complex task within a tight deadline

Due to the vast vessels and miles of pipe work that had already been built into the interior of the plant, Sipral was forced to install the components of the frontage from the exterior of the building. “In addition to the construction’s unique architecture, where none of the walls are straight and the inclination of the roof varies from 14° to 20°, working from the outside meant that we were also challenged by the weather that can be very tough and windy in Denmark particularly during the winter,” says Prokop. Furthermore, “As a consequence of delays caused by holdups in the building’s construction, two-thirds through the job we found that we were left with just eight months to complete the facade according to schedule.”

Machines tailored to the task

To adapt to the challenges, Sipral relied on a unique combination of six mast climbers and two bespoke monorail hoist systems used in conjunction with the three Genie booms. Operated from ground level and from the roof, the machines worked together to lift, lower and secure the initial base layer of the facade’s 1.5 tonne sections of thermal, acoustic and waterproof cladding into position. This was followed by the second and final phase of the process: Positioning and installing the decorative outer layer comprised of 3, 250 aluminium brick-style cassettes each weighing 80 kg.

To progress rapidly, Sipral knew its workers would need to rely on an efficient and reliable mobile access solution to help them complete the job in time. “Amager Bakke is an extremely complex and large construction,” says Prokop. “Genie booms played a key role in providing our team easy high-precision access and smooth positioning on all sides and angles of the facade, as well as offering the stability that their safety relies on.”

Genie booms: stable, smooth and easy to operate

Featuring the same field-proven Genie X-Chassis™ design that confers Genie boom lifts their outstanding stability at extreme heights and compact transportable size, the Genie SX-180 and Genie Z-135/70 booms remained onsite for approximately a year. “The commonality of the machines’ respective joystick control systems also meant that in addition to being extremely simple, precise and smooth to operate, our operators were able to work confidently and efficiently regardless of the model they were using, which helped them maintain a constant steady pace even when the wind was relatively strong,” notes Prokop.

Impressive reach and accuracy

When it came to reaching up and over, thanks to the smooth extension of their three-section articulating booms and 110° rotating vertical jib with a 3.66 to 6.10 m telescoping Jib-Extend™ extension, “The accuracy and ease of operation of the articulating Genie Z-135/70 lifts proved instrumental in reaching the most difficult access areas with ease,” notes Prokop.

For work at extreme heights up to 57 m, the Genie SX-180 boom made the task easier thanks to its spacious 2.44 m, 340 kg capacity platform that combines 160° platform and 360° continuous turntable rotation with adequate space for two people to work comfortably with their tools. Its fast telescoping capabilities offering the ability to reach maximum height in just five minutes were also a key feature that helped the team to save time.

Having been operated on the site for the past year, “All three Genie units proved to be extremely reliable and, despite the job’s complexity met our requirements perfectly both in terms of their smooth capabilities, mobility and safety,” notes Prokop.

For Sipral, that also specializes in state-of-the-art access systems, the next step of the job will be the construction of the plant’s entry ramp during summer 2017.

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