Jul 01, 2016

Precast panels go up as aquarium project progresses

Precast panels go up as aquarium project progresses An artist's impression of the finished aquarium building.

FKG Group and local subcontractors will mark a new construction milestone today with the arrival and erection of the first exterior precast wall panels for the $50 million Cairns aquarium project.

The custom designed and fabricated “Shark Gill” overlapping feature exterior walls will be dual lifted into place by the site’s tower crane as well as a ground-based mobile crane.

The tower crane will raise each concrete precast wall vertically in the air while the mobile crane will move each panel diagonally tilted and then lowered until it achieves its final position on the site perimeter.

Made in Cairns from steel reinforced concrete, the 200mm thick custom shaped walls have been fabricated offsite by local business Plos Constructions throughout the month of June.

A total of 154 ground floor panels will be installed over the next few weeks with the typical panel sized at 6m tall and 3m wide and weighing up to 13 tonnes, requiring a high level of construction expertise and skill throughout the process.

Cairns Aquarium chief executive officer Daniel Leipnik said the installation of exterior walls was an exciting event for the project.

“It is a momentous day to have worked on the project for almost five years and to now see the exterior walls arriving to site and being installed. It’s one thing to see the design on computer-generated models but it’s a whole other experience when these very unique panels go in and you realise an iconic attraction is taking shape,” Mr Leipnik said.

FKG Group project manager Mark Pengilly said the construction team was working closely with nearby businesses to ensure minimal disruption during the installation process, while ensuring the safety of workers and the public.

FKG Group has the $37 million turnkey contract for the main construction component of the project, located on the corners of Lake, Florence and Abbott streets.

The construction project remains on track for completion in April 2017.

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