Marine Skills on show at project on the Clyde

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We look back at a tricky bit of marine engineering, in our Marine Skills Centre project in Scotland’s second city

The project centred upon creating a world class teaching space on the Clyde Waterfront, beside Albert Bridge in Glasgow, and resulted in a new landmark on the banks of the river and state-of-the-art practical facilities for students. The new build aspects were designed to achieve the BREEAM “excellent” rating – a quality scheme to ensure the building is environmentally friendly.

The works were undertaken on behalf of New Campus Glasgow on the bank of the River Clyde and comprised of a new one storey 450m2 building built on steel piles, raised above the riverbank and partially over the River Clyde consisting of a steel frame / Glulam columns and beams with zinc cladding roof and facades to form, three classrooms, changing rooms and office space for the end user Glasgow College of Nautical Studies.

Refurbishment of an existing boathouse 43m long steel link walkway between buildings inclusive of all associated works River Pontoon, life boat tower and walkway inclusive of all structure, architectural, lighting & power works. The building sits in an elevated position and appears to float above the river. It is approached by gangways, reflecting the nautical tradition that at the same time improves security. There is a practice pontoon and an impressive free fall life boat built out from the banks where the existing teaching centre sits.

The Marine Skills Centre was a project of intense challenges in a live marine environment requiring close liaison with NWR due to a live railway bridge in close proximity. The fundamental challenge was carrying out marine piling works adjacent to bridges and live railway tracks in tidal waters, whilst under strict environmental controls, ensuring the preservation of the local biodiversity.

To alleviate increased disruption, the piling, steel frame and floor slabs for the new build were carried out from the water with the use of barges and cranes. A degree of pre-fabrication also allowed the components of the building to be shipped into place, mitigating the disruption to the city centre area. The construction of a new build steel frame elevated above the river was undertaken through a combination of water and land based working, this was only made possible due to the availability of our barge.

The Marine Skill Centre was the first building block in a plan to create the City of Glasgow College by merging three existing colleges, building a major new campus in the city. Today, the centre forms a significant part of the new College, which serves 32,500 students in a series of new facilities.

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