The excavation phase of the construction of the hotel is complete. Over 21,000 cubic metres of rock and soil have been removed from an area measuring 6,400 square metres (about one and a third football pitches) to accommodate the basement and lower ground floors.
The excavation phase was slowed down by the three month absence of the Contractor’s (Shapoorji Pallonji Mid-East LLC (SPML)) expatriate staff due to the Ebola Epidemic and also because of the inherent difficulty of removing the very hard granite rock that is found on the site.
The good news is that this granite formation will provide an excellent foundation for the 12-storey hotel!
The main structure of the hotel is being constructed in cast reinforced concrete on a 4- metre by 8-metre grid.
The columns that will support the slabs of the upper ground floor on the Tower Wing have already been completed. The columns are appropriately designed to carry the huge structure above and are typically 400cm by 80 cm thick.
The construction of the columns and slabs will proceed rapidly because the rainy season is coming to an end and the formwork (the casings into which the concrete is poured) has been designed for the specific dimensions of the building.
To facilitate the speedy movement of materials around the site SPML have installed a huge crane. The crane is currently at half of its final height but even so it is now clearly visible from the surrounding areas.
The project team has already started planning for the extensive landscaping that will be required. In clearing the site for excavation care has been taken to preserve as many trees, shrubs and flowers as possible.
Additional vegetation will be required so the SPML have contacted local horticulturists to find out what plants can be procured. In addition to this SPML are also looking for suitable sites to establish a nursery to establish plants that will be ready by the time construction is completed by the end of 2016.
The Design Team continues to work on the detailed design of the hotel. The team is made up of 14 specialist companies working out of London and Dubai under the leadership of the project architects – Vertical Integration.
Hilton has recently approved the detailed finishes including the interior design (wall finishes, furniture, flooring materials, room layouts etc.), mechanical and electrical systems (air conditioning, sewerage etc.), lighting systems, (kitchens and storage etc.) and many more.
Six members of the Design Team consultants recently paid a visit to the site to review the work so far and discuss future plans with the contractors.
IDEA and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
In August 2014, IDEA released the Investments Director, Mrs. Yvonne Aki- Sawyerr to provide full-time support to the Ebola Response in the U.K.
In November 2014, Yvonne was seconded to the UK-Med Quality Assurance Team deploying to Sierra Leone to provide quality assurance, advice and co-ordination to the Ebola Treatment Centers.
In January 2015 Yvonne transitioned from the UK-Med Team to the Sierra Leone National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) when she was asked to serve as the Director of Planning. IDEA remains committed to Yvonne continuing to work at NERC until Sierra Leone is declared Ebola-free at which time Yvonne will resume her role as IDEA’s Investments Director.
Working with our stakeholders
We continue to welcome many pre- arranged visitors to the site.
The Parliamentary Labour Committee visited the site to see the progress of construction. The committee oversees the work of the Ministry of Labour, the government department with responsibility for NASSIT. The Committee was accompanied by senior officials from NASSIT.
Other visitors include Mr. Paul McGrade, the Deputy British High Commissioner; Mr. Kelvin Lewis, Chairman of the Sierra Leone Association for Journalists.
IDEA provided assistance to the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the National Tourist Board to clear the layers of seaweed that had been washed on to Lumley Beach.
The programme over the rest of 2015 is the construction of up to seven floors (Basement, Lower Ground, Upper Ground, Mezzanine, First, Second and Third Floors) of the main structure. Completion of the hotel is still planned for the end of 2016.
For further information contact: