Giant tent at DTU Lyngby Campus is to protect the future construction of laboratory building 205A from rain. The tent is the third largest of its kind in Denmark and will reduce the risk of delays.
The tent currently being assembled at Lyngby Campus is no ordinary tent—it is 28 metres high, each column of the structure weighs ten tonnes, and it features two built-in overhead cranes capable of installing concrete elements weighing several tonnes. The so-called SiteCover structure is assembled from the air and will also be dismantled from the air. Once the tent is removed, a new laboratory will have been built which will become part of DTU’s Life Science and Bioengineering activities.
The advantage of the SiteCover structure is that it protects the soon-to-be construction site from rain and adverse weather conditions, which may otherwise result in delays and unforeseen expenses. In Denmark, construction work is generally impossible 40 days a year due to adverse weather conditions. And typically it rains just as much in the summer as in the winter. Normally, rainwater is collected at the construction site and then it has to be drained from there. However, SiteCover collects the water on the roof of the cover and drains it through the columns down to the sewer system, thereby reducing the risk of delays and generating cost savings of approximately ten per cent of the total cost.
Covers the entire construction site
The SiteCover at DTU is currently the third largest of its kind in Denmark.
“What is new is that we can provide dry weather for the construction of new buildings. We not only cover the building. We cover the entire construction site. Moreover, it’s an extremely sturdy structure. The heavy steel elements enable SiteCover to withstand stormy weather in addition to being able to carry heavy loads of snow and rain—and most importantly, the structure features two cranes, running on rails below the roof. No one has ever developed a concept like this before,” says Jacob Maintz, co-founder of SiteCover.
Prototype tested at Ed Sheeran concerts
The idea for the cover originates from the world of music. With a background in engineering, Jacob Maintz has experience with working with system building, and he was often annoyed with having to spend half his time planning the construction process on the basis of the weather forecast—and the other half cleaning up after bouts of bad weather. When he met his partner Claus V. Hansen, who has built large concert stages for the entertainment industry, the solution was quite evident. The stage projects often measure 30 x 50 metres with roofs capable of lifting 120 tonnes of equipment.
The first SiteCover prototype was half the size of the one at DTU and was tested at Wembley Stadium in London in connection with three Ed Sheeran concerts. The tent was assembled in 30 hours, while 90,000 people waited outside to get to the concert. Part of the world of music is now at DTU. The reason for this is that the riggers, who normally build stages for concerts, are responsible for the assembly of the SiteCover structure.
High requirements for specialized processes
According to Claus Møller Rasmussen, Head of Real Estate at DTU, the University has for a long time been looking for a way to ensure more efficient construction methods in order not to be dependent on weather conditions:
“The new laboratory building B205A requires a particularly controlled environment with high requirements for specialized processes such as membrane solutions and concrete casting processes. The SiteCover solution is therefore perfectly suited for this construction project.”
“The fact that we cover up the construction site during the entire construction period and carry out all operations under dry conditions gives us a chance to test how we could manage processes differently in the future. For instance, we want to look into the possibility of implementing organic materials at an earlier stage in the construction process. We’re looking forward to an exciting construction process, from which we can gain a lot of knowledge on how to manage future construction processes at DTU.”
is equipped with two cranes, each capable of lifting concrete elements of up to 12 tonnes. Together they can lift up to 24 tonnes.
The DTU SiteCover has the dimensions 43 x 57 metres. The sides of the tent are 28 metres high. There are 25 metres below the hook on the crane. It takes ten days to assemble the SiteCover. Assembly must be completed by 12 April.
Each column of the structure weighs ten tonnes.