Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra Hotel – Issue 4

From Mobilisation to Excavation

Work on the construction of the five-star, 200-room Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra Hotel continues at the Aberdeen site. In November 2014 the construction moved from the Mobilisation Phase to Excavation, the first stage of the actual hotel construction.

Computer generated image of the finished hotel

Computer generated image of the finished hotel

 

The Hotel

When completed Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra Hotel will be the largest and highest quality hotel in the country.  It will be run by Hilton Worldwide under a management agreement with the hotel promoter, the IDEA Group.  There is currently only one Hilton Hotel operational in the whole of the West African Sub-Region which is the Hilton in Abuja, Nigeria.   A Hilton in Sierra Leone is therefore a big coup for the country.

The hotel has a basement, lower ground, upper ground floors containing the public and work areas and eight floors of accommodation.  The detailed design work on the hotel is ongoing and involves 17 different design consultant disciplines all working under the Construction Partner, Shapoorji Pallonji Middle-East LLC (SPML).  A physical mock up of the bathroom has been completed at SPML’s design offices in Dubai and will be moved to Freetown by the third quarter of this year.

Standard Bathroom Mock Up

Standard Bathroom Mock Up

 

Mobilisation

During the mobilization phase (SPML) brought in 25 forty-foot containers of machinery and equipment including a 50-metre tower crane, excavators, a passenger hoist for moving people and materials up and down the various floors of the hotel during construction, five container loads of scaffolding and several other items of building equipment. Some of the equipment has been shipped from Banjul where SPML have just completed the construction of the Gambia National Assembly.

Passenger Hoists on site

Passenger Hoists on site

 

SPML have completed the construction of support facilities at the site include Site Offices, Workers Accommodation, Quality Laboratory, Health & Safety Offices, Emergency Clinic and toilet facilities for the site workers who at peak will number over 300.

 

Toilet Block, Quality Lab, Emergency Clinic

Toilet Block, Quality Lab, Emergency Clinic

 

Excavation
The excavation is to accommodate the basement and lower ground floors of the hotel. A Sierra Leonean Company, Groundworks Services, was contracted by SPML to undertake the excavation in two phases.  At its deepest level, the excavation is over seven meters (approximately two storeys) below ground level.

Excavation in progress

                                                                                                                Excavation in progress

  

The footprint of the excavation is the size of 187 tennis courts. Around 40% of site of the main hotel building site contains huge expanses of granite rock, In accordance with the projects Environmental Management Plan, the rock is being blasted using chemical blasting to minimise the impact of noise and vibration on the local community.

Drilling rocks in preparation for breaking

Drilling rocks in preparation for breaking

 

Local Content

SPML are cognizant of the Government of Sierra Leone’s Local Content Policy and have sub-contracted work to several Sierra Leonean contractors covering a range of trades including excavation services, plant hire, truck hire, rock blasting and surveying.

IDEA, Groundworks Services and EPA officers

IDEA, Groundworks Services and EPA officers

 

A Job Fair was held at the Aberdeen Community Hall on the 19th of July of to publicise the employment opportunities available to suitably qualified residents in the surrounding community.  The Fair was attended by over 200 people and was addressed by the SPML project Manager and the local Ward Councillor.

Participants at the Aberdeen Job Fair

Participants at the Aberdeen Job Fair

 

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

The EVD has caused some initial delays in the construction programme.  However SPML is investigating how they can recover most if not all of the lost time.  Both SPML and the IDEA Group have been actively engaged in supporting EVD sensitization and prevention activities especially with the local Aberdeen Community.

Staff receive Ebola sensitization talk

Staff receive Ebola sensitization talk

 

Site Visitors

 A steady stream of stakeholders continue to visit the site.  One such person was the new American Ambassador, His Excellency Mr John Hoover.  Visitors to the site are welcome but only by appointment.  As a construction site, visitors have to receive health and safety briefings and be attired with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment before they can go to the construction area.

 

U.S. Amb. John Hoover (2nd from right) visits site

U.S. Amb. John Hoover (2nd from right) visits site

 

Looking Ahead

With mobilization completed and excavation nearing completion the next phase of the construction will be the casting of the foundations which will start early in the New Year.  The completion of the construction is scheduled for third quarter 2016.

 

 

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One Response to “Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra Hotel – Issue 4”

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