In the port of Antwerp, the Royers lock provides access from the Schelde to the Albert Canal. Constructed between 1900 and 1910, it is at the end of its lifespan. On the basis of an SCBA study, it was decided to completely demolish the existing lock and build a new, larger lock (250 metres long and 36 metres wide). Commissioned by the department Maritieme Toegang (Department of Mobility and Public Works) of the Government of Flanders, SBE assisted in the feasibility study as well as the tender design.
The Royers Lock is one of the most frequently used locks in Antwerp. It is a major gateway for inland navigation that connects the Scheldt with the Albert Canal. With the expansion, large inland vessels will be able to sail directly inland. The construction of a new lock in itself, and certainly one of this magnitude, is not an average project in Belgium. Considering we have more than 30 years of experience with SBE in hydraulic engineering projects, we are very excited to work on this project.
The lock will be widened to 36 metres and extended to 230 metres. A movable bascule bridge will be built on both sides to allow vehicles and cyclists to pass easily over the lock. The design is based on the Kieldrecht lock and consists of 2 single rolling gates. The lock gates are moved by winches that are located behind the gate chambers in the machine buildings and that operate the gates by means of cables. The winches are powered by motors. The bridges are moved by hydraulic cylinders that are installed in the bridge basements.
The construction pit will be excavated in a slope, with special attention paid to the protected lockkeeper’s house that is located in the middle of this slope. There will also be two machine buildings, one central technical building and four kiosks for operating the lock culverts.
Since the lock will be extended towards the Scheldt, the access channel will also have to be redesigned, including new guide works, an adapted bank protection and dike works and Sigma barriers.
This assignment can be tackled in an integrated fashion thanks to the expertise of the various branches available within SBE. We are responsible for the preparation of the design up to and including the tendering phase, for both the lock and the environmental layout. We collaborated with ZJA on the architectural design of the lock. The lock includes the construction pit, concrete works, rolling gates, movable bascule bridges, technical buildings and the access channel. The electromechanical equipment of the lock was also being designed by SBE. Lastly, we provide the department Maritieme Toegang (Department of Mobility and Public Works) of the Government of Flanders with technical assistance in the execution of the works.
Part of the design study was the creation of a fully integrated 3D BIM model, which is the result of an intensive collaboration between engineering and multidisciplinary BIM design. The lock, as well as the bridges, electromechanical equipment and surrounding infrastructure were modeled. Very important was the evaluation of the design in various positions and conditions, as these are moving parts. All sub-models of steel, concrete, earthworks, mechanics and infrastructure were brought together into one coherent, coherent and qualitative design.
At last SBE’s own 3D Design and Visuals studio upgraded the BIM model to high-quality 3D visuals. SBE has mapped out its own workflow, based on the workflow of the BIM department. This allows us to incorporate technical preconditions in animation films and visualisations, so we can visualise the integration of the project in the surroundings and in time.
Curious about the result? Watch the video below and take a look at the future Royers lock!
Our colleague Kevin De Maesschack, BIM Manager at SBE, was interviewed by Autodesk about his experience on the Autodesk Contruction Cloud tool which was used to magage this project. Read the interview here.
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