Structural renovation of a cooling tower

Among other things, Sweco has received the specific request for the renovation of the internal concrete structures on a cooling tower at a production site of a major player in the energy market. Our in-house expertise w.r.t. concrete attack and the advanced technology of 3D laser scanning enabled us to advise and guide our client effectively in the execution of these complex activities.


Customer: major player in the energy market

Location: site of a power plant

Period: 2018

Disciplines: Architectural & Civil, Industrial Surveying, Construction Management & Project Management

Sweco has drawn up an extensive plan of approach for the inspection of the supporting concrete structure. The supporting concrete structure of the support beams consists of 681 pieces of A-beams, 189 pieces of W-beams and 577 pieces of concrete columns. The complex supporting structure of the cooling tower was initially subjected to visual inspections. These were supplemented with dust samples and core drilling. Horizontal and vertical deformations in the concrete structure were accurately identified using 3D scans, which made it possible to perform highly accurate measurements per beam and column.

The necessary analyses were carried out on the basis of this information and the supporting structure was subdivided into zones by Sweco experts’ team. We discussed the possible solutions in close consultation with our client and proposed the techniques, such as the repair by means of carbon reinforcement. We also had responsibility for the construction management and we coordinated the various contractors closely from this point of view. The work involved a number of technical challenges. For example, the contractors couldn’t make use of scaffolding and therefore had to work with elevated platforms.

A good synergy between all parties and the weekly follow-up meetings meant that this time critical project was realized according to plan. This project was a challenge for all parties (client, engineering firm, and contractor) owing to the specific problems of the concrete structure, finding the best solution w.r.t. renovation and the application thereof. Furthermore, strict attention to safety was required during the execution of the works.