Tower cranes at Harbour City Hamburg

By Alex Dahm06 April 2009

Tower cranes from Liebherr, Wolffkran and Potain are among those being used to help build what is claimed as Europe's largest city-centre construction site, the HafenCity (Harbour City) in Hamburg, Germany. IC reports

The 157 ha construction site will enlarge Hamburg city centre by 40% and include residential accommodation for about 12,000. The work stretches over 1.1 km, from the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in the west to the Ericusspitze building.

Liebherr has more than 20 self-erecting and top slewing tower cranes on the site. At Brooktorkai, HafenCity's eastern point, four Liebherr Series EC-H and EC-B top slewing cranes with load moment ratings between 110 and 280 tonne-metres, are at work, alongside a K series fast-erecting model.

In total, 13 top slewing Liebherr cranes are being used in the HafenCity districts. Eight of these cranes, from the EC-H and EC-H Litronic series, have load moment ratings of 112, 180 and 280 tonne-metres. There are also five flat top cranes from the new Liebherr EC-B series, with load moment ratings between 71 and 160 tonne-metres.

With working radii of 50 to 75 m, these cranes can cover large site areas and provide high-performance drives for fast, precise movement of loads, says the manufacturer.

Liebherr's top slewing towers cranes always operate double-reeved so that no time is lost in re-reeving the hoisting gear. They are driven by Liebherr motors that have continuously variable speed control. They also have useful features, including micro-movement and the ability to halt load movement without the hoisting gear brake having to be applied, explains Liebherr.

Different heights

Six Liebherr K series fast-erecting cranes are also working at HafenCity, with load moment ratings from 56 to 71 tonne-metres.

At Stockmeyerstrasse, three Type 71 K cranes operate at greatly different hook heights, says Liebherr, which maintains high handling rates without restrictions on working areas. The jib can be raised to a working position of 30° or 45° to avoid collisions. Four jib lengths are available from 31 to 45 m.

Other models, the 56 K and 63 K, are operating at Versemannstrasse, Brooktorkai and Sandtorkai.

Wolffkran has 14 tower cranes at the HafenCity site, where they had to be spaced at small intervals. The arrangement of the cranes was calculated by Wolff based on capacity and jib length. The team also came up with an economic solution to erect the towers without the need for truck mounted cranes, says the manufacturer.

A Wolff 4517city, for example, was set up using a Wolff 6531.12cross and a Wolff 71 SL was assembled using a Wolff 5520.6. "Using a truck-mounted crane would have been quite complex as setting up the 500 tonnes of equipment would have been possible only over the weekend in order to not disrupt the weekday rush-hour traffic," Wollfkran explains.

Assembly phases

In the first assembly phase in January two Wolff trolley jib cranes were erected: a 6531.12cross and a 4517city. The city crane is particularly suitable for construction in confined spaces as it is easy to install and has a one tonne capacity at full reach, Wolff explains. Capacity is 6 tonnes.

In phase two, in February, three more cranes were introduced. They included a Wolff 71 SL, a 5520.6 and a 6522-6/12. A Wolff 4517city was then also erected at the site.

In the third assembly phase, in March, a Wolff 5515compact started operation, followed by a Wolff 6023.6clear, and then an additional Wolff 6522.12 in April.

The Wolff 6023.6clear flat top has space-saving qualities thanks to its lean jib components, says the company. The counter jib fits into one truck, in one piece. The entire rotating part was transported on the road by four standard trailer trucks, "saving time and ensuring safety for the customer when loading and assembling."

In the penultimate assembly phase in May, a second flat top, a Wolff 6023.6clear, was used, followed by a Wolff 6522-6/12 and 5520.6.

The fleet was completed in July with the arrival of a second Wolff 71 SL.

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