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16.01.2014 | Pile-drilling work likely to be concluded in the summer

Preparations for FAIR building shell ahead of schedule

Photo: Gaby Otto / GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

The Formwork for the piles are screwed on top of each other. Gradually they are lowered into the the drill hole.


The preparatory work for the construction of FAIR is likely to be concluded six months earlier than planned. Thus the erection of the building shell for the facility can begin as scheduled in 2015. More than half of the total of some 1,400 drilled piles to stabilize the substructure have now been put in place. These will ensure that the buildings will only settle to a limited degree and that they will, above all, sit evenly.

As the foundation soil comprises sand, clay and silt down to a considerable depth, 1,400 steel-armored concrete piles will stabilize the subsoil and bear the foundations for the buildings above ground. The pile-drilling work will probably be concluded in the summer of 2014. FAIR’s construction director, Dr.-Ing. Florian Hehenberger, says: “This is due not least of all to the excellent performance of the construction companies and the working group Züblin-Bögl, which have deployed considerable engineering expertise and technology and whose teams and flows have dovetailed in an excellent manner. Thus the company optimized the pile-drilling technology on site and in the meantime has five modern rotary drilling rigs – including the world’s largest specialist equipment of its kind – each of which can set one armored pile per day.” Furthermore, the foundation soil specifications have proved to be reliable: “Geological surveys are a difficult and responsible task. The experts have performed tremendous work,” says Hehenberger. “Moreover, it was possible to optimize the construction of the drilled piles, with the effect that fewer piles will probably be necessary and the piled foundation will ultimately be more cost-favorable than originally estimated.”

Various smaller tasks on the construction site are to be concluded by the beginning of the building shell construction in 2015. For example, container offices for the site management and a container with a visitor center are to be established on the building zone at the northern construction site entrance (Prinzenschneise). The clearing of trees on an area of around half a hectare for the container offices will be completed by the end of February. In addition, a small transfer station for drinking water is to be erected, areas completed for construction facilities, and a construction road still has to be extended on the site.

The Formwork for the piles are screwed on top of each other. Gradually they are lowered into the the drill hole.
Photo: Gaby Otto / GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH