Optimal worksite sequencing
Methods engineers’ involvement in projects begins at the very start of the design phase, since the establishment of successive construction phases has a direct bearing on structural process calculations as well as project planning and costing. Consequently, optimising construction methods is a key factor in ensuring safe, sustainable, and cost-effective projects.
Worldwide feedback and direct contact between methods engineers and current projects allow us to put forward variants and optimised solutions in our bids in response to calls for tenders.
Methods engineers also take part in the project-implementation phase, where they provide detailed applications of the ideas set out in the bid-submission process.
Our Safety in Design approach is used in the development of methods to ensure safety during the construction of structures and their safe use once they have been delivered to the client.
Focus New Coastal Road
For the New Coastal Road project at Reunion Island, the consortium we are leading put forward an alternative construction method that consists in prefabricating more than 95% of the structural components on land, thereby reducing risks and hazards associated with marine works. This decision means that we have to prefabricate outsized structures (4,800 tonnes for the pile bases, 2,420 tonnes for the mega-segments, and 2,300 tonnes for the pile caps). Building the prefabrication plant was made possible thanks to a network of loyal partners with whom we co-designed this atypical facility and devised multiple innovations.
Deciding on construction methods also means making decisions about the types of provisional structures needed to build the final structure. Provisional structures are often the first ones to emerge from a worksite and then disappear once the project is completed. But their short lifespan does not belie their importance. In accordance with the Safety in Design approach, provisional structures are designed to minimise accident hazards at worksites and, when effectively integrated within project scheduling and sequencing, to ensure ongoing on-time and on-budget performance. As early as the call-for-tenders phase, methods engineers identify, design, and gauge supply needs for provisional structures.
Focus Santiago airport
Our construction methods on the new Santiago Airport terminal project in Chile allowed us to recommend provisional structures and a phased work schedule that freed up airport zones more rapidly, thereby enabling airport staff to ensure continued passenger comfort and service. The use of BIM and, especially, 4D technology provided teams with an easy-to-understand visual representation of work sequences and allowed them to communicate more effectively with airport operating staff regarding work and work-free zones.
Worldwide feedback enables us to apply construction methods from one country to another where such methods are not common practice. As a result, something that is experienced as a first in one place may in fact have been tried and tested elsewhere by our methods engineers. This sharing of knowledge and practices helps us develop variants and recommend them to clients with confidence.
Focus phosphate-storage hangars in Morocco
On a phosphate-storage hangar-construction project in Morocco, our methods engineers developed a large-scale building method using prefabricated arches. This solution dramatically reduced the need for at-height work atop the arches. In addition, this novel work method won a prize at the 2013 VINCI Innovation Awards.
Focus CTRL 310
In London on the CTRL 310 high-speed rail project, the rail line had to cross viaducts on the M5 motorway and pass under a suspended bridge. We recommended the use of the incrementally launched method to prevent traffic interruptions.