680 tonnes of concrete poured by hand at Battersea
Battersea Power Station’s four iconic chimneys have been rebuilt using the same construction technique as when they first graced London’s skyline.
Since the first pour on 14 May 2015, nearly 25,000 wheelbarrow loads of concrete have been hand-poured into the chimneys that each stand 51 metres tall.
Rather than use a hose to pour the concrete, it was decided to replicate the original construction methods and 680 tonnes of concrete was lifted in a hoist to the top of the chimney, transferred into wheelbarrows and then hand poured into the structures.
The rings that can be seen around the new chimneys, and that could also be seen around the old ones, are formed by using a “jump form” shuttering method. Using steel and timber, the metal rings are filled with concrete then moved up and filled again.
Overall, the hoist has travelled the equivalent of 21 miles, lifting the concrete to the eight workers waiting on boards high above the ground.
The original chimneys, two of which were built in the 1930s and the second pair in the 1950s, had to be demolished as they were deemed unsafe because they were badly crumbling after so many years.
The rebuilding of the chimneys won a prestigious award from the London Civil Engineering Award at a ceremony last month. The north-east and south-west chimneys will still be used for the new energy centre that will provide heating and cooling to the development with water vapour being released from their flues.
The north-west chimney is the last to be finished.
Rob Tincknell, CEO of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “Battersea Power Station’s chimneys have been the backdrop for films, music videos and album covers and really are world famous. On behalf of our shareholders, I would like to say it has been an honour to restore this iconic symbol to the London skyline so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come.”
Cllr Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth council, said: “These giant chimneys are recognised the world over and as the local planning authority we have a profound duty of care to make sure the rebuilding process is a success. The site’s owners have understood their significance from day one and have gone to great lengths to restore them to their former glory. And delivered on their promises.”
Emily Gee, London planning director at Historic England, said: “Historic England welcomes this final stage of the rebuilding of the chimneys, ensuring that the Power Station will retain its landmark status along this evolving part of London’s skyline.”
The Malaysian shareholders of the Battersea Power Station project are committed to giving back to the communities in which they operate. They recognise the importance of creating shared value and this is embedded in all of their undertakings to ensure that they contribute towards building a harmonious and considerate community.
Key chimney facts:
- The chimneys are 50.8m high; wash towers are 51m high – 101m from the ground;
- Over 6,000 (6,174) wheelbarrow-loads of concrete have been used per chimney;
- For each chimney, 282cm3 of concrete, weighing over 680 tonnes, are placed in 6m3 pours by eight operatives using eight wheelbarrows;
- 46 tonnes of reinforcement were used per chimney;
- The chimney base has overall diameter of 9.05m;
- The chimney top has overall diameter of 6.94m;
- The chimney is constructed using the “jump form” shuttering method, this replicates the original construction method each shutter lift is 1.220mm high. The shutters are constructed using a combination of steel and timber;
- The first concrete pour was on 14 May 2015 and last pour was 14 November 2015 for south-west chimney which was the first chimney that was rebuilt;
- From the first to the last concrete pour, the hoist has travelled the equivalent of 21 miles.