Diagrid exoskeleton: A high point

Construction has reached a significant milestone. The final upright sections of the diagrid exoskeleton have been installed, bringing Jubilee Place’s distinctive outer structure to its highest point.

Within the perimeter diagrid, now standing up to level 15, BESIX Watpac will shortly complete our final typical floor as well as rooftop terrace and plant levels. These works will complete the structure, and see the project transition its focus to servicing and finishing trades.

The diagrid exoskeleton design was adopted by architects Blight Rayner and engineered by Robert Bird Group, in consultation with BESIX Watpac’s in house engineering department, to overcome two major site constraints. Firstly to minimise the load on the Clem 7 tunnels beneath the site and secondly to allow the new building to cantilever over the top of the historic and heritage-listed Jubilee Hotel.

All the diagrid uprights, nodes and other steel components have been precision manufactured by Beenleigh Steel Fabrications (BSF) and progressively delivered to site since September 2020 when the first uprights were installed.

Visiting the site to mark the milestone in delivery, BESIX Watpac CEO Jean-Pol Bouharmont noted the engineering and construction significance of the project.

“I really consider this project as a landmark for the new BESIX Watpac,” Jean-Pol said.

“It’s complex, it’s logistically challenging, it’s engineering-led, all the structure had to be optimised and all the movement during the erection had to be simulated. After all of this, none of the structural elements had to be re-machined so the engineering was really great,” he said.

Senior Project Manager Andrew Negri paid tribute to the steel work supplier saying, “BSF have been fantastic and everybody associated with the steel has been terrific”.

BSF Director Anthony Stoeckert acknowledged the great working relationship between his company and BESIX Watpac and the achievements of the Jubilee Place project.

“It was difficult at the start. It’s some of the biggest most complex diagrid sections we’ve had to fabricate. We had to get a machine made in our factory, then we had to turn it into a fully automated CNC so we could get it down to the millimetre-perfect fit that it had to be, and it worked a treat,” Anthony said.

Jean-Pol Bouharmont expressed his enthusiasm for the project saying, “It’s showing off the expertise we have inhouse in both engineering and execution. I’m really proud of what we are doing here”.

Video credit: BESIX Watpac