Shipping containers that line construction sites in central Newcastle are set to be a more common sight as the city’s building boom continues to ramp up. The Aero Apartments development at 766 Hunter St is surrounded by 10 modified Royal Wolf shipping containers and are being used by GWH Build as workers’ lunch rooms, toilet facilities, and overhead container hoardings to provide safe pedestrian access around the site.
A storage and landing area for crane pick-ups and drop-offs has also been created on top of the two storey container stack. The site will house 45 new inner-city apartments to help meet demand for accommodation in the Newcastle CBD. George Araujo, Construction Manager for Multistorey Projects at GWH Build, believes container hoardings will become more common in Newcastle because they suit developments on tight CBD sites. “There will be more multi-storey and high-rise developments in the future and the main challenges on sites like this one is being able to accommodate office, lunch, change and toilet facilities for our workforce, and most importantly, being able to provide public protection and safe thoroughfare for pedestrians. “We also had limited storage on site so the Royal Wolf containers helped us overcome this challenge and allowed us to kill multiple birds with one stone.” Mr Araujo says container hoardings and buildings are highly mobile, easy to set up and have a wide range of uses. “We didn’t have to do any preparation work around the site because the containers were just dropped straight onto the footpath and they were ready to go.
“Because they are modular they can be stacked on top of each other, which saves a huge amount of space, they are solid, structurally sound and certified which means they can withstand the construction activity that happens on site as well as the surrounding environment.” Royal Wolf Chief Executive, Neil Littlewood, says container hoardings are one of the easiest and most practical solutions for managing safety on and around a construction site. “They are the perfect solution for keeping both the public and workers safe around these sites because they’re strong, extremely impact resistant and offer overhead protection from falling debris and potentially hazardous building materials. “This also means, on a very practical level, there is limited disruption around building sites, which are often in high pedestrian areas, yet they also serve to create a bit of intrigue and mystery around what is being built behind them.” Mr Littlewood says they also provide a solid and clean perimeter for a construction site and they are highly mobile so they can be relocated to meet any changes to the site layout. The hoardings system is a patented Royal Wolf design constructed from solid steel shipping containers. “The hoardings take safety to an extra level with a 10kPa rated protection level, and even after the containers have been modified, with their sides cut out and ends opened up, they remain strong,” says Mr Littlewood.