About the Weymouth Sea Life Tower
The tower attracts 200,000 visitors a year and provides a significant boost to the local economy. The rotating Gondola carries fifty people and offers stunning views of Portland Bill and the Dorset Coast.
The project commissioned by Merlin Entertainments presented several engineering challenges. Garmendale was appointed as the main installation contractor.
The Business Challenge
Garmendale’s first challenge was the installation of the concrete foundation ring, this 2.5m diameter ring had to be level to within half a millimetre. Garmendale specialise in building rides and have many years’ experience of project managing complex installations such as this. Their team drew up a plan that included the delivery and assembly of the 10 metre long sections of the tower.
Garmendale drew up the crane plan, installation method statements and risk assessments, putting the health and safety of all workers on site as a number one priority. The lifting plan called for the ten metre sections to be lifted into place and bolted together accurately. There was no margin for error. Torque settings were measured with a hydraulic torque multiplier ensuring perfect alignment.
Once the first section was erected the gondola was assembled on the ground and lifted over the first section, again with a high degree of accuracy and no margin for error. This tricky operation had to be delivered during the winter months when the frequency of high coastal winds left only a few days when conditions were suitable for such a challenging lift.
The final and probably the most difficult lift was raising the engine house onto the top of the completed tower. Garmendale’s engineering and project management team called on all of their years of experience to deliver this vital time critical project two months ahead of schedule and within the agreed budget.
Derek Drudge MCL Project Manager
“Garmendale’s approach to both the build and the resolution of ongoing issues has been pro-active throughout and beyond the project period and remains so to date.
I would be confident in recommending Garmendale to others and look forward to working with them again on future projects”.