Statue of Unity: The World’s Tallest Statue stands tall with Tekla
Eversendai Construction Private Limited is one of the most sought after turnkey contractors delivering highly complex projects with innovative construction methodologies for steel structures, power and petrochemical plants as well as composite and reinforced building structures in the Asian and Middle Eastern regions.
With a workforce of almost 15,000 people and an impressive portfolio of more than 300 accomplished projects in over 14 different countries, the company has some of the world’s most iconic landmark structures to its credit. Eversendai’s ability to complete projects on time without compromising quality and safety has certainly pegged the company as an industry leader in the structural steel design, fabrication and erection of steelwork for high rise buildings, heavy industrial plants, stadiums, steel bridges, roof structures, etc.
The Statue of Unity that Dwarfs the World’s Tallest Structures
At 182 metres tall, the steel, concrete and brass-clad statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, dwarfs the world’s tallest structures like the Statue of Liberty in New York, USA and Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Also known as The Statue of Unity, it is dedicated to the Indian nation as a tribute to its first Deputy Prime Minister. The statue is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet, around 3.5 kilometres downstream from the Sardar Sarovar dam in Gujarat’s Narmada district. Apart from being the world’s tallest sculpture, the 182 metre Statue of Unity also holds the distinction of being among the fastest to be completed in just 34 months. It devoured 210,000 cubic metres of cement concrete, 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel, 6,500 tonnes of structured steel, 1,700 tonnes of bronze and 1,850 tonnes of bronze cladding.
Two structural concrete cores were used to anchor the Statue of Unity, which supports the steel framework (cast from scrap which was sourced from all over India) attached to the 2,000 tons of exterior bronze panelling. A viewing gallery has been constructed at 135 metres, at the chest level, from where 200 visitors can enjoy the breath-taking views of the Narmada dam and other surrounding landmarks.
Technical and Designing Complexities in the Erection of the World’s Tallest Sculpture
The Statue of Unity was a mega project not just because of its giant size & scale but also in terms of its geological complexities, extraordinary design and other unique challenges. Apart from on-time project completion and cost-effectiveness, there were several other aspects that always kept the executing team on their toes.
Designing the Mega Structure from a Photograph: Unlike other projects, the design of this structure was multifaceted since the structure had to be reconstructed as a magnified replica of a real-life photograph of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This made it imperative for the designers and fabricators to make connections at every node.
Stability of the World’s Tallest Statue: Ensuring the balance of the 182 metre tall statue was one of the biggest challenges, and that was further aggravated by its design of being in a walking pose with 6.5 metres gap between the two legs.
Strong Wind Load Conditions: The statue had to be engineered to withstand wind speeds of almost 180 kilometres/hr. The challenge was not only of the wind blowing against the statue but also the suction effect it could create at the back of the statue. Both these wind load aspects had to be considered in the structural design.
Seismically Active Site: The location of the statue lies in an earthquake-prone zone. It was a daunting task for the engineers to prepare the structural design to survive earthquakes measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter scale, at a depth of 10 kilometres within a radius of 12 kilometres of the statue.
A Viewing Gallery at 135 metres:
It was an uphill task for the project team to build a viewing gallery to accommodate 200 visitors at the height of 135 metres from ground level.
Tekla - At the Heart of the Statue
This massive project had multiple teams working simultaneously on various aspects utilizing different tools; therefore, accurate & complete exchange of information and smooth cooperation between every stakeholder was of utmost importance. Tekla software made multi-nodal real-time teamwork possible, which not only eliminated the clashes at an early stage but also contributed to completing the project 2 months before the scheduled timeline. Tekla’s interoperability feature helped Eversendai’s project team to execute the project flawlessly with zero-errors.
Reminiscing the experience of working on Tekla, Mr. Soundararajan Arumugam, Head - Engineering Division, Eversendai Construction Private Limited recalled the absolutely seamless collaboration they could achieve with Tekla. “The feature of Tekla we loved the most was Model Sharing which allowed us to work in close collaboration with stakeholders of all disciplines and different stages of the construction lifecycle. Everyone involved in the project could easily access up-to-date & highly accurate information – such as drawings, schedules, job information and reports – and also provided their own real-time updates as they worked or progressed on the project.”
“Tekla’s constructible 3D BIM model helped us easily identify conflicts between the steel structure & the tertiary members (bronze cladding support) and around 70 of those issues or conflicts were discovered and resolved before fabrication, helping us achieve big savings in time and cost and avoid any rework” added Mr. Soundararajan.
Tekla software is the most reliable software in the construction sector, and in this project too it only substantiated its credibility by not just enabling the stakeholders to complete the project 2 months in advance but also contributed towards achieving a momentous 25% overall efficiency gain.
The constructible 3D BIM models enabled the team to identify and rectify at least 70 clashes before the fabrication stage, helping save time & cost and avoid rework.
Apart from these quantitative accomplishments, Tekla software benefitted the Eversendai Team in several qualitative ways as well, such as zero-error in fabrication, ease of project execution and management, reduced wastage and improved safety in the construction workflow and processes.