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Triumph for ABM and Ridge at 2008 Concrete Awards

An underground ‘virtual’ wind tunnel for the Renault F1 team, designed by Ridge using an ABM concrete arch system, has won the award for ‘Concrete Performance’ at the 2008 Concrete Society Awards.

Judges selected the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) facility, which is being used to develop the aerodynamics of Renault’s 2009 season F1 cars, as an exemplar of excellence in 'Concrete Performance.'

The accolade not only acknowledges the facility’s exemplary design, workmanship and finish but also marks the building’s excellent integration of structure and services.

Judges for the Awards included the past and present Presidents of the Concrete Society, the President of RIBA and the Presidents of both the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Closed at one end and fitted with panoramic glass curtain walling at the other, the buried structure utilised ABM’s Matière system CM4 arch solution. The giant tunnel, which comprises 25 rings of pre-cast concrete normally used in bridge construction, is highly sustainable and provides a dramatic working environment for Renault.

The arch elements, weighing up to 32 tonnes each, were shipped to site sequentially and construction of the primary shell was completed in just six working days.

Ridge and consulting engineers Scott Wilson determined that ABM’s Matière system CM4 arch solution met the technical specifications of the project and the high speed construction programme. Ridge succeeded in getting planning approval for the design, despite the proposed site being an SSSI, by electing to put the facility underground.

Partner at Ridge Guy Austin, said: "We are delighted that the innovations used on the facility have been credited and recognised by such an esteemed panel of judges. The 'Concrete Performance' Award is a brand new category which makes it even more exciting to have won."

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