Engineering marvel Statue of Unity stands tall at 182 metres

Engineering marvel Statue of Unity stands tall at 182 metres

Built as a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – famously known as the ‘The Iron Man of India’ – the Statue of Unity is also a true tribute to India’s engineering skills and project management abilities.
An engineering marvel completed in a record 33 months, the statue stands tall at 182-m (597 ft) in Gujarat, India. That said, the steel, concrete and brass-clad statue is almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty in the US. At 20,000-sq m, it is located at Kevadia Town in Gujarat near the Sardar Sarovar dam. Larsen & Toubro was the EPC contractor for the project while Turner was the Project Management Consultant.

The Statue of Unity complex comprises an exhibition centre at its base, a memorial garden, a designer bridge connecting Sadhu Island with the mainland along the Narmada River, an internal roadway of 5 km length, improvements to the existing roads, bridges, culverts connecting the area of Sadhu Island. It also hosts an administrative complex and a star rated hotel (Shrestha Bharat Bhavan) and a conference centre. The structure has two vertical cores, each housing a high-speed passenger elevator. The vertical cores support the steel frames to which about 6,500 bronze panels are clad. A viewing gallery at the level at the chest at 135 m (443 ft), can accommodate up to 200 visitors at one go and affords a breath-taking view of the Sardar Sarovar dam and its environs.

The project has made use of 210,000 cu m of concrete, 70,000 MT of cement and18,500 MT of reinforced steel; 6,500 MT structural steel has been used to form the support structure, while 1,700 MT bronze panels (6,500 nos) forms the outermost layer. The statue can withstand wind speeds of up to 180 km per hour and survive earthquakes measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter Scale. 

Moreover, the project has made use of LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) for survey. Considering the varied topography of the site, this method was used to arrive at high quality and high resolution data. Further, satellite imagery for construction topographic model of all the Statue of Unity site for wind tunnel testing has been used. The statue orientation has been undertaken through Shadow analysis. As part of digital initiatives, the Statue Digital crossover process was done to match the 3D features as close as possible to the real-life photographs. For site monitoring, the project made use of Drone Photography; this helped in monitoring the progress of the site and was especially helpful considering the uneven terrain. Other digital initiatives that the project undertook included statue Panelisation; Virtual Reality for visualisation and review; smart drawings; material tracking; and Building Management System (BMS) on safety and BMS on operations.

CONSTRUCTION WORLD brings to you a visual Construction Perspective of what led to this massive structure’s completion in a record 33 months! Learn how project management consultant Turner planned for its construction; about the kind of formwork PERI India supplied for its making; the number and type of Otis elevators used; and the grade of cement UltraTech provided. Here is all you need to know about the right strategies and planning that helped in its execution. Here's all of it – exclusively from those involved in its making!

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