TEST PANELS DEMONSTRATE HIGH QUALITY OF WORKMANSHIP DEMANDED BY NATS
Maccaferri Construction, specialists in retaining wall construction, was invited to tender for the supply and construction of several gabion walls at the new NATS’ air traffic control centre at Prestwick. The contract was awarded following a competitive tender, with the interested companies being invited to provide test panels to allow the client, main contractor Laing O’Rourke and its subsidiary for the external works, Expanded Group, to evaluate the quality of workmanship.
Designed by Reading-based Jacobs, the original specification required the main gabion wall to be faced with a cobble sett finish. Extending the one metre-squared test panel, Maccaferri Construction volunteered to construct a larger two metre-squared test panel, allowing the client to compare the specified finish with the conventional quarried stone finish. The client’s architect and engineer were impressed by the high quality of the conventional finish and changed the specification. This resulted in a significant cost saving.
Maccaferri Construction was awarded the project on 4th August and commenced work on site immediately. The scope of the work includes the construction of a 158m long mass gravity gabion wall, running parallel with and facing the front of the new air traffic centre, screening it from existing residential buildings some 150m away. Constructed to reflect the curved lines of the new building, the wall rises to a height of five metres and has been backfilled with site-won material to create an attractive landscaping feature.
Further walls have been constructed to support swales that collect rainwater run-off from car parks and buildings situated within the perimeter of the site. Gently curved, these swale walls run for some 200m, rising to a maximum height of two metres.
The new Scottish air traffic control centre, owned and operated by NATS, is a crucial component of the national air traffic infrastructure. Built alongside the existing centre at Prestwick, it has a building footprint of around 8,000m². It will incorporate a 2,000m² operations room, two equipment rooms, a systems control area, support accommodation and plant rooms.
Overall construction is expected to cost £60 million and generate up to 400 jobs locally.
Maccaferri Ltd specialises in the supply of gabions, geotextiles, geogrids and geomats. In addition to a full range of products for retaining structures, soil reinforcement and erosion protection, the company offers an in-house design and technical advisory service.