Innovation

Dux Hot Water, Moss Vale NSW

Some owners and occupants of new high-bay warehouses are concerned to find the pristine appearance of floor surfaces becoming blemished by black marks that resist cleaning. Grant Roe, BE(Hons) MEngSc MBA MIEAust CPEng NER, explains why this common problem is often misunderstood and prescribes the appropriate solution.

Dux Hot Water, Moss Vale NSW

The floor surface of a new warehouse looks pristine but can soon become blemished by vehicle traffic leaving ‘nasty’ black marks.

There can be technical misunderstandings behind trade-level advice as to what causes black marks to accumulate and persist on the surface of new warehouse flooring. Due to these technical misunderstandings, ineffective remedies can be recommended with well-meaning intentions but unsatisfactory results.

Costin Roe Consulting is one of the world’s leading engineering firms in high-bay warehouse design from both civil and structural engineering perspectives, and winners of the ACSE NSW Award for Excellence in Structural Engineering for work including the high-tech concrete pavement at Veolia complexes in Woodlawn and Banksmeadow. Europe has led the world in high-bay warehouse design and automation. Each year, the firm’s Managing Director, Grant Roe, spends time in Europe examining the latest developments in high-bay warehouse engineering, and in Australia, he is acknowledged as an engineering expert engaged with numerous successful high-bay warehouse design and construction projects. A recent Q&A session with Grant Roe, on the topic of warehouse flooring, delivered the following explanations and recommendations for warehouse flooring maintenance where cleaner appearances are required.

Cause and effect determined through physics and logic

The curing compound used in the concreting process, to achieve greater precision and efficiency, is often blamed for the ongoing accumulation of undesirable floor markings. In fact, the curing compound is formulated for rapid break-down and dissipation. “Any effects from the curing compound are gone after six to twelve months. So, whatever its contributing factor may have been for a brief period following construction, people are finding the black marks keep accumulating and resisting all the usual attempts at cleaning and preventative treatment,” Grant said. With the curing compound dismissed as the prime suspect, the discipline of engineering looks objectively at the forensic evidence and the science at work behind evident factors.

“When rubber tyres are rolling normally over warehouse floors there is no problem. However, new warehouse flooring offers less friction for tyres to maintain traction and keep rolling normally. When reduced friction causes loss of traction, the tyres slip and slide, and the rubber can heat to the point of burning. The slipping and burning actions leave behind carbon and rubber residue, appearing as black marks on the floor,” said Grant. “The problem has become more apparent in recent years because forklifts have been modified to become more powerful, the wheels are smaller in diameter, and more energy is being applied at the interface. It’s a worldwide issue, as similar concerns have been raised and solutions sought in other countries for some time.”

Grant went on to explain that white tyres had been tested as an alternative but the white rubber was found to be not as durable. Since black tyres last much longer, and perform better for heat absorption, changing to white tyres for cosmetic reasons would not make sense commercially. Yet, for some warehouse operators, aesthetic appearances will matter almost as much as performance. This is where engineers can more accurately identify the cause of problems and prescribe the most efficient means of achieving the desired aesthetic result.

Floor densification treatment the answer for increasing friction

The answer to persistent black marks on new warehouse flooring, as explained by Grant Roe, is simple, practical, and readily available in Australia.

“Floor densification is a good solution, combined with controlled surface grinding. Although this approach may sound counterintuitive, increasing the friction, and thereby minimising the loss of traction, are the keys to resolving the problem. When properly executed, the grinding modifies the surface and combined with the densification treatment, the friction properties of the floor surface are changed. The densification treatment also serves as a surface sealer, providing easier removal of any tyre markings that may occur. This combined grinding and densification treatment is used quite widely in Europe but not so much in Australia where the products and trade-skills are available but the prescriptive expertise is still emerging,” said Grant. “The answers I’ve given today are intended to assist local building owners and maintenance service providers.”


For specific assistance with new warehouse flooring projects and any remediation or maintenance issues, call Costin Roe Consulting on 02 9251 7699.

APEC Haus - Costin Roe Consulting Engineers

Costin Roe Consulting successfully designed the lifting beam for the raising of continuous 60 to 70 metre-long Kingspan insulated roof panels at APEC Haus, the US$37 million Leaders’ Conference Centre being constructed at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in preparation for the APEC Summit to be held in November 2018.

APEC Haus

Architectural illustration of the completed APEC Haus project [image: Jim Fitzpatrick Architects].

APEC Haus has been cited in PNG news media by the PNG prime minister, Peter O’Neill, as set to be “converted into a world-class museum” after the leaders’ meeting. “Many of our artifacts, thousands of years old and held in museums (elsewhere), we want to bring back here,” Mr O’Neill was reported as saying.

The PNG-focused employment website ‘People Connexion’ ranked APEC Haus as the second of “6 building projects set to change Port Moresby” in their APEC 2018 update.

Conrad Gargett was successful at tender for the documentation of APEC Haus Leaders’ Conference Centre, Papua New Guinea, designed by Jim Fitzpatrick Architects (Concept Design and Project Design Director).

The Conrad Gargett website describes the APEC Haus project:

Built on reclaimed land near Ela Beach in Port Moresby’s central business district, APEC Haus is an iconic design resembling a Lakatoi Sail. 

The interior design will also create a unique Papua New Guinea experience using a contemporary palette inspired by traditional materials of the region, shell, clay, timber and metal, to identify different functional spaces within the building.

It is envisaged that the purpose built convention centre will generate revenue after APEC, by hosting a gallery in addition to an upstairs function and conference space.

APEC Haus - Costin Roe Consulting Engineers

APEC Haus lifting beam designed by Costin Roe Consulting [image: Kingspan Insulated Panels Pty Ltd).

APEC Haus - Costin Roe Consulting Engineers

APEC Haus lifting beam designed by Costin Roe Consulting [image: Kingspan Insulated Panels Pty Ltd).

APEC Haus - Costin Roe Consulting Engineers

APEC Haus lifting beam designed by Costin Roe Consulting [image: Kingspan Insulated Panels Pty Ltd).

Tanaz Dhondy wins international award

Costin Roe Consulting design engineer and PhD candidate, Tanaz Dhondy, received an award for ‘Best Oral Presentation’ following the delivery of her preliminary research findings at the inaugural International Workshop on Coastal Reservoirs held in January 2018, at the University of Wollongong.

Tanaz Dhondy wins international award

Tanaz Dhondy received the oral presentation (research) award at the IACRR Workshop 2018.

Titled: Investigation of the chemical and physical properties of sea sand for the possible use in concrete for coastal infrastructure, Tanaz’s award-winning presentation summarised the preliminary findings of Stage 1 of her PhD research.

Tanaz described the invitation to speak at the International Workshop on Coastal Reservoirs as “an amazing opportunity”, and receiving the award for ‘Best Oral Presentation’ at the event “an honour”.

“Around the world, cities appear to be running out of water. But is it the water that is running out of the cities?” – IACRR

Tanaz Dhondy speaks at the IACRR Workshop 2018.

Tanaz Dhondy speaks at the IACRR Workshop 2018.

Hosted by the Centre for Coastal Reservoir Research (CCRR) at the University of Wollongong, the world’s first international workshop on coastal reservoirs (CR) was held in collaboration with the International Association for Coastal Reservoir Research (IACRR).

“Major cities around the world are actively pursuing coastal reservoirs as a sustainable solution to their water problems. CR is an innovative technology that can recover floodwater entering the sea without desalination,” said the IACRR in promoting the workshop, which invited water resources planners, researchers, engineers, and scientists to review and assess the feasibility of coastal reservoirs in securing universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water.

Horsley Drive Business Park aerial view

Civil engineering by Costin Roe Consulting at Horsley Drive Business Park Stage 1 has been ‘Highly Commended’ for ‘Excellence in Integrated Stormwater Design’ and the achievement of ‘world leadership in sustainable design’.

CRC Stormwater Design Excellence

Commendations were accepted on behalf of Costin Roe Consulting by representatives of the local municipality, Fairfield Council.

Costin Roe Consulting was given special recognition during the annual award presentations at the Stormwater NSW Conference 2017, held in Newcastle where the firm maintains its second-largest office in NSW and national civil engineering headquarters under the supervision and mentorship of director, Mark Wilson.

In reviewing the Horsley Drive Business Park Stage 1 project, located at Wetherill Park in Western Sydney, the judges said:

“The Costin Roe Consulting team and their key stakeholders are to be congratulated for their demonstrated leadership in both sustainable and integrated stormwater planning and design.”

“The redevelopment of 21.3 hectares of degraded land has resulted in significant benefits for water quality, biodiversity, and the local economy.”

“The project sets the benchmark for sustainable and integrated industrial development being the first project of its kind in Australia to be awarded the 6-star Green Star Rating, acknowledging world leadership in sustainable design.”

Stormwater NSW congratulated “the whole team involved in the Horsley Drive Business Park Stage 1”.

Key stakeholders included The Western Sydney Parklands Trust, which owns the site, and Frasers Property which entered into a development agreement with the Trust to establish a mix of facilities that would meet the highest sustainability benchmarks. As a result, the Horsley Drive Business Park is the first and only industrial precinct in Australia to successfully target a ‘6-star’ Green Star rating (Green Building Council of Australia), certifying ‘World Leadership’ in sustainable design. Mark Wilson credited Newcastle-based Costin Roe Consulting civil engineer, Mitchell Cross, for outstanding contributions on behalf of the firm towards the successful completion of HDBP Stage 1.

More about Horsley Drive Business Park

 

ACSE0-award

For civil and structural engineering firm Costin Roe Consulting, winning the 2016 ACSE NSW structural engineering excellence award in the category ‘Unusual Projects’ for work on the Veolia MBT facility at Woodlawn, near Goulburn, brings wider attention to the firm’s role in completing one of the world’s most remarkable eco-projects.

Grant Roe, BE(Hons) MEngSc MBA MIEAust CPEng NER, managing director of Costin Roe Consulting [right], and Mark Wilson, B Eng (Civil) B Surv ME CPEng, director of Costin Roe Consulting [left], with ACSE NSW 2016 award and aerial view of the Veolia Woodlawn MBT facility site near Goulburn, NSW

Grant Roe, BE(Hons) MEngSc MBA MIEAust CPEng NER, managing director of Costin Roe Consulting [right], and Mark Wilson, B Eng (Civil) B Surv ME CPEng, director of Costin Roe Consulting [left], with ACSE NSW 2016 award and aerial view of the Veolia Woodlawn MBT facility site near Goulburn, NSW

A ‘good news’ story for the people of NSW and generations to come, the Veolia MBT facility is transforming much of Sydney’s garbage into the on-site production of green energy, aquaculture, agriculture, and much more as intrinsic value is extracted from the municipal refuse which has caused a mounting problem for the Sydney region.

Few Sydneysiders would realise that each day more than 1,800 tonnes of Sydney’s household and commercial waste is trucked to Banksmeadow where it is compacted and containerised for the 250km rail leg to Tarago – preserving air quality and avoiding the increased costs and risks associated with excessive heavy vehicle transport on our highways. Yet, it was at this point of transition for the waste on its journey to Woodlawn where some of the most significant engineering challenges associated with the project would be encountered by Costin Roe Consulting.

Extreme pavement loads and continuous flow of acids

At the Banksmeadow transfer facility, garbage trucks from participating municipalities arrive fully loaded at 40 tonnes, exposing pavement areas to not just the movement of extreme load weights but also the flow of organic acids produced by putrescible waste. Where conventional concrete pavement and even jointless ‘combi’ flooring would have rapidly deteriorated, structural engineers from Costin Roe Consulting collaborated with concrete technicians to formulate an innovative approach to pavement construction which would maximise its durability in the aggressive Banksmeadow environment.

Innovation using by-product to improve concrete pavement durability

Using a waste by-product of silicon-related manufacturing, silica fume, as an additive to make the concrete more impervious to penetration by liquids and less prone to becoming odiferous, challenges associated with the workability of concrete containing silica fume were overcome to successfully complete construction of the pavement areas required for operational serviceability at Banksmeadow.

Achievement of structural precision despite challenges and constraints

Veolia Woodlawn aerial view 3

Aerial view of reception pit construction, Veolia Woodlawn MBT facility

Other structural engineering challenges associated with construction at the Veolia Banksmeadow site included the presence of a high water-table, the need to preserve an electrical easement which provides one of the main feeds to Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, and access restrictions imposed by rail sidings on two of the boundaries.

At the Veolia Woodlawn MBT site, structural engineering challenges for Costin Roe Consulting included the design and construction methodology of the reception pit at 13 metres deep, 27 metres long and 12.5 metres wide. Examples of achievement in structural precision included elements such as 24m lengths of pipe installed within a 2mm tolerance, structural beams installed at 25m above ground level within 2mm +- tolerance, and each welded joint being x-rayed and certified.

Leading engineering technology with BIM coordination

Renowned for exceptional capabilities in building information modelling (BIM) technology, Costin Roe Consulting successfully resolved numerous technical challenges inherent to the unique design and construction requirements and constraints at the Veolia sites to coordinate and document all works in BIM.

End result is a win for NSW and all project stakeholders

ACSE NSW award for 'Excellence in Structural Engineering' in the category 'Unusual Projects' 2016 won by Costin Roe Consulting for the Veolia Woodlawn MBT facility, announced in Sydney on Thursday 23 March 2017

ACSE NSW award for ‘Excellence in Structural Engineering’ in the category ‘Unusual Projects’ 2016 won by Costin Roe Consulting for the Veolia Woodlawn MBT facility, announced in Sydney on Thursday 23 March 2017

Today, the Veolia Woodlawn MBT facility produces and exports sufficient electricity to power more than 6,000 homes each year, provides more than 2.5 tonnes of sustainably-grown barramundi to the Canberra market, farms livestock for meat and wool, makes compost, and rehabilitates land which had been contaminated by open-cut mining – all from the mechanical and bio-technical processing of Sydney’s waste.

Costin Roe Consulting completed all civil and structural works for the Veolia Woodlawn and Banksmeadow sites. Civil works included earthwork levels/grading, stormwater drainage, external pavements, car park, modifications to the haulage road, and ponds road. Structural works included all building structures, crane beam, internal pavements, reception pit, push walls, and detailed coordination with services. Over the course of the project, six engineers and two draftsmen designed and documented the works. All structural documentation was completed in Revit.

The 2016 ACSE Award for Excellence in Structural Engineering (Unusual Projects) was presented to Grant Roe, BE(Hons) MEngSc MBA MIEAust CPEng NER, managing director of Costin Roe Consulting, at the ‘Awards for Excellence in Engineering’ event held in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday 23 March 2017.

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PROJECT: Veolia Woodlawn MBT facility
CLIENT: Lipman Pty Ltd
SIZE: site 90,000m2 – structures approx. 17,000m2
VALUE: $100M development – $58M construction
COMMENCEMENT: July 2014
COMPLETION: Nov/Dec 2016

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