Liebherr “Heavyweight” for the New Ottawa Convention Centre

The heaviest-lift tower crane in Ottawa, Ontario, a Liebherr 630 EC-H 40 Litronic, has been installed on the Canadian Capital’s new convention centre to ensure an on-site lifting capacity of up to 40 000 kg.

A Liebherr 630 EC-H 40 Litronic has recently been installed on the new Ottawa Convention Centre (OCC); making it the heaviest lifting tower crane in Ottawa and, it is thought, the region’s tallest free-standing tower crane with a hook height of 80 m.

The Liebherr crane, supplied by Morrow Equipment Company LLC from Toronto, Ontario, to the project’s main contractor, PCL Constructors, was installed in a four day operation in September 2009; demanding good weather and wind speeds of below 30 km/h, in order to lift and place the crane’s sections by a mobile crane. The crane is mounted on a 630 EC-H stationary undercarriage which has been bolted to the existing 2nd floor slab of the building. The floor slab has been reinforced and shored down to bed rock. In addition the undercarriage is dead-weighted with 70 t of concrete blocks to prevent uplift. The undercarriage span is 10 m x 10 m.

On top of the undercarriage, the tower was erected, featuring a 630 EC-H base tower section and ten 550 HC tower sections. The jib was installed in two sections and has a combined length of 70 m.

The crane is equipped with a 147 hp hoist winch, allowing hoist speeds up to 140 m/min. Operational wind speed of the Liebherr tower crane is 75 km/h, which is approximately twice as high as compared with mobile cranes.

The crane is initially being used to lift and place the steel roof trusses, weighing up to 15 000 kg and with a length of up to 30 m, formwork and construction materials.

Need for a new center
The previous building had been built in 1983 but in recent years had been recognized as being inadequate.
Even as a G8 Capital and Canada’s fourth largest metropolitan area, Ottawa was loosing business to other Canadian cities.

A feasibility study in 2008 therefore recommended that the OCC should be demolished and a new building constructed on the existing site.

In a demolish, design and build contract, the OCC Board selected a proposal submitted by PCL Constructors and Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects (BBB).

“It best demonstrated the capability to create an iconic landmark for the City of Ottawa, not only meeting the rigorous specifications set, but in many instances, exceeded them,” said Jim Durrell, chairman of the OCC Board.

The core design of the new facility features a complex, crystalline building shaped in a tulip form laid on its side, reflecting one of the most prominent and attractive symbols of the City of Ottawa.

The elegant crystal building is 100 m long with an airy, inviting ambiance. Its modern design is intended to sit gracefully in the historic downtown area of Ottawa, enhancing the beauty of the east side of the Rideau Canal.

A key element of the design is the ability for visitors to look out onto the Parliament Buildings, the Rideau Canal, the National Art Gallery and other historic sites in the area.

The new building is also centrally located within walking distance of over 6000 downtown hotel rooms.

New construction
Construction is being completed over the top of the VRC garage, which must remain open to the public throughout construction.

Above this, the contractor will build five storeys, backing onto the existing wall for the Rideau Shopping Mall to a final height of approximately 30 m.

Featuring a footprint of 35 000 m2, the building will boast a 8360 m2 multipurpose ballroom.
On level 3, a series of configurable halls will provide 5200 m2 of column-free space. Level 2 incorporates 15 configurable meeting rooms and a pre-function area, totalling 1951 m2.

A new “state-of-the-art” kitchen will accommodate over 4000 meals per sitting and also cater for seated meals, buffets, concessions and banquets.

Construction on the compact site leaves little space for storage. Movement of deliveries to the required construction/installation area is therefore a key and critical role for the Liebherr tower crane.

The Liebherr top slewing 630 EC-H 40 Litronic offers a 5800 kg lifting capacity at the maximum 81,4 m radius.

The model also features a spacious noise-proofed and temperature-insulated cabin providing operator conveniences including ease of operation and large windows ensuring optimum visibility of the load and site. The Litronic control system of the crane uses PLC controlled frequency drives on the hoist, trolley and swing functions of the crane, ensuring a fine control of each motion by the operator, increasing safety and productivity. This makes the Liebherr crane the preferred tool for formwork, steel and pre-cast erection on congested construction sites.

Source: Liebherr-Werk Biberach GmbH

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