Screeding the Olympic Park’s iconic Orbit

CSC’s team worked double shifts at the Olympic Park to complete the screeding of the iconic Arcelormittal Orbit’s lower deck in two days.

Overcoming adverse weather conditions and challenging logistic and technical issues, CSC completed the screeding for the two observation decks of the 115m tall Arcelormittal Orbit for the Olympic Park. The £19.1m spiralling steel sculpture, which is located between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatic Centre, set new records as the tallest piece of public art in the UK. The sculpture has been designed to serve as an observation tower, with two specially appointed decks at the top capable of carrying 150 people each. Transporting the materials from the ground to the observation decks alone was a challenge in itself as the lower deck was 85m off the ground – cantilevered off the spiralling red steel structure. In order to avoid any potential damage to the steel structure from screed hoses, the screeding material was hoisted to the working levels, following the instructions of principal contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine (SRM). CSC’s screeding team worked double shifts, and ensured the screeding for the lower deck was completed in two days, despite heavy snow delaying the team from reaching the site on time. Fast Drying floor screed, was installed over underfloor heating for an area of 245 sq. for the lower deck, and 265 sq.m for the upper deck. The screed was installed at a thickness of 75mm. The upper deck which was scheduled to be completed in 3 days was however delayed by a day due to extremely low temperatures and adverse weather conditions. An unexpected power failure on the second night further saw the principal contractor, M&E contractors and CSC’s Manager stranded for nearly half an hour. But the issue was resolved quickly, with intervention from SRM, and the hoist was functioning again within a few hours. Despite plummeting temperatures and snow creating further hurdles on the fourth day, the team decided to get on with the final phase of the screeding, completing the upper deck by 1.00am, early on the fifth day – installing nearly 26 tonnes of screed within a period of 8 hours. The feat was made possible by the sheer dedication and expertise of the team, and we are proud that our efforts were rewarded with the 2012 FPDC Plaisterers’ Award for screeding.