Rathdowne street public estate This week we were given the opportunity to venture onto a construction site located on the corner of Princess street and Rathdowne street. This site holds several apartment blocks and one of the buildings are intended to complete in February 2014. The building consists of many floors and is designed ergonomically and systematically suitable for individuals who suffer from Alzheimerâ€™s. Not only was it interesting to actually be able to interact with the structural materials and see the framework for the entire operation, we were also shown a demo of what the room was planned to display. Computer Generated model of the buildings
Initially, we were led around the site that was aimed to become an apartment block that anyone can purchase. There were buildings of similar to same features next to the site and we were told that the aim was to provide a theme for the surrounding areas of modern aesthetics. Floor plan of Level 1
As we walked down the construction site, we were able to see the ground beneath the road. The black tubes are pipes placed there so that water that leaks gets drained and released into the ground so the wall doesnâ€™t collapse on itself.
<- This is the frame work that is placed on each pillar so that all the pillars become interconnected and united. As a result, the wall becomes more stable and solid so construction workers can come later and fill the framework with concrete to reinforce the wall. The reason why the site was below ground level was due to the plan to construct and underground parking lot as it has become policy that all new high density buildings should have underground parking.
Image of neighbouring apartment blocks
After leaving the apartment construction site, we went to the 6 storey nursing home for individuals with Alzheimerâ€™s. As we arrived on the scene, I noticed a very high level of cable management as cables for Television, phone, internet, alarms etc were all visible.
Different cables found on site
Soon we were taken to a demonstration of a room that possessed all the functions that were going to be included in the rooms of the building. Before we even entered, we noticed some very distinct features that were present in comparison to standard apartment rooms.
Hand rail along the wall leading to the room
Outside the room, it had a hand rail which had lights that can be Memory box used at a seated height for those who use wheel chairs, and possessed a light which can lead individuals who forgot their destination to their room. Secondly, there was a memory box in place outside the room to remind those with memory loss that they possess ownership of that certain room.
Walking through the different floors of the building, we were informed that the walls were actually made of material that prevented water and fire. The green wall is designed to prevent water so it is water proof whilst the red wall is actually fire proof. All of these material choices are done to maximise safety precautions in the building and to reach certain policies.
Green wall =Water proof Red wall = Fire proof
As we walked around on the fourth floor of the building, we noticed the high level of incompletion but this was a plus for visitors. To me, it allowed me to see in detail how the building is constructed and as a result, give me a clearer picture of all the materials and components used.
4th floor of the building
Through an incomplete section of the wall, I was able to notice the bricks used. Through this image, we can see that the bricks are actually hollow concrete blocks and this really informed me on the construction materials and types used. We are also able to see a steel rusted bar there which I believe is used to hold the bricks in place.
Bricks used are hollow
The fifth floor of this building is mainly scaffolding that is used to hold the roof together while the fifth floor is being reinforced. Without these, the roof would collapse due to lack of support from the dead and live loads from the roof.
5th floor of the building
The roof of the building is also far from complete as many different things are scattered across the roof including the steel cords. These steel cord ditches are placed and filled with concrete and eventually pulled with around 1 tonne of force to stretch and strengthen the concrete.
Roof of the building
Caps are placed on the steel rods sticking out of the ground for a safety precaution. As a result, it prevents workers from tripping and being impaled by the rod.
Plastic caps placed on steel rods
Overall, this site visit was very educational in terms of personal experience and interactions with the materials rather than learning through descriptions.