Laura Purton, Chief Engineer on No.1 Court, Wimbledon

Laura Purton, Chief Engineer on No.1 Court, Wimbledon

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At Court No.1 Wimbledon, we are putting a
new retractable roof on the existing Court No. 1. This also includes extending all the
slabs on the lower side of the building and creating new hospitality areas and food courts.
My role on the project involves all of the works above level 40 which are plant areas
and the main element being the retractable roof itself and the cladding associated with
it. A lot of preparation has gone into this project, from the large crane that we had
to lift up the roof trusses. We needed to erect a large 600 tonne crane. This is over
a suspended slab, so it involved numerous temporary works on the floors below and relocating
of the client’s sprinkler tank. The truss lifts were a great success. We did a lot of
work with all the subcontractors involved in the years preceding the actual lifts themselves.
We had checklists in place to make sure it could be carried out safely. We had weather
watches to make sure that we were within weather windows, because there are very strict criteria
for lifting up the trusses. We had road closures and the whole team were involved in making
sure exclusion zones were adhered to. I started work with Sir Robert McAlpine as a student
during university. I was a sponsored student for my final three years and then when I graduated
I got a job in the London region and have been here ever since. It’s great working
on an iconic project. When you tell people about where you work, they are always interested
and always want to know a bit more. This project has been very challenging from a technical
perspective. It’s improved my technical knowledge of steelwork and movements and just
really tough logistical challenges.

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