Island Ingenuity

2 June 2010

Slowly raising the beam
Slowly raising the concrete beam
Photo: Joe Brennan
The trade team building a new powerhouse on Macquarie Island has used ingenious methods to erect a huge timber beam without heavy lifting equipment.

The beam, measuring 12 metres long by 1.2 metres deep and weighing about a quarter of a tonne, had to be placed into position 5 metres above the floor.

Antarctic Division Asset Manager, Tony Foy, said without a crane on Macquarie Island the builders had to devise a safe method of erecting the beam.

"The team of Joe Brennan, Jim Dunnett, Chris Hill, Chris Sammut, Steve Wall, John Duggan, Justin Febey and Craig Hilder decided to use two scaffolds as a support to put the beam in place," Mr Foy said.

"It was then slowly raised into place using chain blocks until it was five metres off the ground.

Putting support structures into place
Erecting support struts either side of the beam
Photo: Joe Brennan
The concrete beam in place
The beam in place
Photo: Joe Brennan
The building progressing further
The powerhouse building continues to progress
Photo: Joe Brennan

"Attention to detail was imperative and a thorough Job Safety Analysis was prepared and faithfully followed.

"The resourcefulness of the builders meant a terrific job was done, despite the limitations of working in such a remote place," he said.

This page was last modified on 2 July 2010.