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Skiing on waste-to-energy plant at Amager Bakke

Mast climbers played an important role in the Amager Bakke façade work. Amager Bakke is a state-of-the-art waste to energy plant, one of the best in the world in terms of efficiency and environmental impact. The plant is equipped with two furnace lines and a joint turbine and generator system. A special feature is a ski slope on top of the plant.

The Amager Bakke waste-to-energy plant

The plant produces energy from 400 000 tonnes of waste annually from up to 700 000 residents and at least 46 000 companies. It will become possibly Copenhagen’s most notable recreation destination, with a 400 m artificial rooftop ski slope running from its 85 m peak down to ground level, and incorporates a climbing wall of the same height.

  • The building measures: 200 m in length, 70 m in width and 124 m in height, including the stack.
  • Supplies a minimum of 50 000 households with electricity and 120 000 households with heating.
  • Utilises 100 % of the fuel’s energy content, has a 28 % electrical efficiency rate, reduces sulphur emissions by 99.5 % and minimises NOx emissions to a tenth of the former plant’s.
  • The Amager Resource Centre plant will burn 70 tonnes of waste every hour.

Architects’ view

amager bakke solution

The architects from Bjarke Ingels architect office had a multi-dimensional view of the plant design. The inside was designed to be the waste-to-energy plant, the ‘roof’ a ski slope and the outside walls a landmark for Copenhagen.

Complex façade

amager bakke top

At Amager Bakke, the façade covers 26 000 square meters, which equates to a huge number of elements and years in the making.

    The façade is made of two layers:
  • 1) a base layer of 1.5 tonne sections, measuring 10 m x 2.5 m, and
  • 2) a second brick layer, which serve as a visual element only.

Sipral, a Czech company specialized in highly complex customized metal façades, won the contract to install the state-of-the-art brick-style frontage covering the whole building. The company prefabricated the façade elements but faced serious installation challenges. The challenges were eventually solved when it was decided to use a unique combination of mast climbers and a monorail hoist system.

Sipral often installs façade elements from inside the building, but In the case of Amager Bakke this was not possible. There were massive vessels and miles of pipework inside the building. This forced Sipral to deliver the façade components to the exterior of the building and mount them from the outside.

Fast delivery

amager bakke facade with monorail

The contractual target for the façade installation time was eight months, a short time indeed considering all 26 000 square meters of surface, in two or practically three layers, that needed to be covered.

The important thing was to create a solution that meant fast delivery of the façade package. That’s why we went with the mast climbing solution,

said Michal Prokop, Sipral’s project manager for Amager Bakke.

It’s a very complex building. The base is made of concrete but the upper structure is made of steel. The façade installation is the last part of the process; at first we thought some scaffolding could be erected inside but following negotiations, that solution was rejected,

Mr Prokop continued.

Welding onsite was not an option

amager bakke facade element installation

The original idea, before Sipral’s mast climber-monorail solution, was to weld each façade brick into place, one at a time. This would have lead to a complex installation project on site and in potentially extreme weather conditions that are part of everyday life in Copenhagen.

Using prefabricated elements was a controlled solution, compared to the original welding plan, as the sections are produced in the factory, not onsite in windy and rainy conditions,

said Mr Prokop.

Mast climbers working with inclined monorails

amager bakke facade with mcwp and monorail

Eight mast climbers in total were working on the project. Machines were used together sequentially; Firstly in a 12 m strip from ground level, with one used to fix the brackets, onto which the 10 m sections were attached by the next mast climber in line. Then, starting from the top of the building and heading downward, the bricks were attached and the mast sections taken down.

Working on two levels using the Sliding Deck Extension

amager bakke two sde

Because of the inclination of the building Sipral needed a special solution to access a higher level as they wanted to work on two levels on the platform at certain installation stages. The sliding decks on two floors provided the required working area while attaching the 10 m sections.

Electric sliding deck extensions were chosen because they are quick to adjust and ‘time is money’, also in Denmark where labour costs are high. Sipral compared the time and the cost of electrically driven extension with manually adjustable extension and they went with the former because of the savings - and they wanted to meet the installation time target of eight months.

The 1.5 tonne elements were delivered up by a Rostek inclined monorail system, which ran along the top of the building and lowered each section into place using a pair of winches.

Sipral had to connect the façade elements to the inclined roof and attach a large handrail at the top of the roof where the load bearing structure is hidden, so you only see the bricks.

Once you see the result you cannot envisage the time taken and the mast climber played a huge part in this - thanks to the sliding deck we had access to all the areas.

Said Mr Prokop. He added,

It would have been very difficult to use aerial work platforms, scaffolding or suspended access and this is what we evaluated as the most efficient way to do this.

Partner Contribution:

  • MCWP's: PLATFORM AS
  • Platform AS, our Danish partner was responsible for assembly, erection and service of Scanclimber MCWP’s at Amager Bakke. Their availability and response at the site helped to avoid unnecessary stoppages.
  • Façade Elements: SIPRAL AS
  • Prefabrication and installation of the façade. Sipral, a Czech company specializing in the façade business, provided the aluminium façade elements bringing the uniqueness to Amager Bakke’s structure.
Project Facts 
Negotiations Started 2014
Order Date July, 2015
Shipment Date 15th October, 2015
MCWP Erection Date 27th, October 2015
Year of Project Completion 2017
SC product used Twin MCWP with Sliding Deck Extensions
Work platforms used 8 x SC6000
Max Lifting Capacity 5600 kg
Height Achieved Up to 86 meters
Main Use of Scanclimber MCWP Access equipment for façade assembly
Special Features of Project
  • World’s first waste to energy plant with ski slope on top.
  • Unique façade ruled out installation work from inside the structure.
  • Façade installation had to be done from four corners and two heights at a time.
  • Unique façade work.
  • Use of monorail for lifting heavy façade elements.
  • Scanclimber’s customized solution.