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2020-11-30
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Challenging construction of Bangkok MRT system leaves officials seeking experienced contractor from abroad

Highlights

Emergency structural engineering

  • Stopped water seepage during construction of Bangkok’s MRT system and prevented further issues
  • Stabilized the area around the excavation for Wang Burapha Station, ensuring the safety of surrounding buildings

wang bu la pha捷運Due to rapid economic development and changing transportation needs in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, the municipal government has been gradually developing the city’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, which has changed transportation patterns and enhanced the lives of residents, who are increasingly relying on public transport, becoming an indispensable part of the city. In addition, for tourists not visiting the city as part of a tour group, the MRT system is the prevalent form of transportation, as it saves time, is inexpensive and allows them to make flexible plans.

In 2015, during excavation of the base pit for the MRT Blue Line’s Wang Burapha Station, defects in the retaining walls allowed large amounts of water and sand to leak into the site, seriously affecting the safety of neighboring buildings. It was an urgent situation, but local contractors lacked the know-how in underground water engineering to provide a solution.

Experience and technical proficiency provide the right solutions immediately

5. IVS1Jines Construction has extensive experience and expertise in this type of rescue work and has built a reputation over the past two decades of providing reliable solutions. Following a recommendation by a Japanese partner and Thai friends, the firm sent a team led by Jines Construction General Manager Shang Hsin-ming to meet with Bangkok officials, who commissioned the company to perform the work.

“Just two days after initial contact, we were already on the way for an in-person assessment,” Shang said.

Bangkok officials outlined their problems and the Jines Construction team immediately provided them with solutions.

The Thai side had a step-by-step process and very direct questions, said Shang, who studied engineering in university, which, combined with years of experience, allowed him to provide solutions to problems as they were presented.

The firm sent its proposal and bid for the project within a week of their meeting, but by then it was confident that it had secured the contract, he added.

When dealing with groundwater seepage, time is of the essence, so quick fixes are needed, Shang said, but added that the first priority is always safety.

After two years of work, the project was completed successfully. In addition to preventing the surrounding buildings from sinking, measures have been taken to prevent public safety hazards caused by the breakage of or damage to water pipes, electrical lines and gas pipelines. Jines Construction has received praise from Thai authorities, who have entrusted the firm with more work.

Surmounting layers of issues through a systematic approach that provides room for expansion

Jines Construction encountered numerous, layered issues while conducting work on the project and overcame them through a systematic approach — like engineers.

After sending an accountant to estimate costs and in-house subject matter experts to assess the situation, it established a subsidiary in Bangkok, making signing agreements with local firms easier, and then hired the necessary personnel. Local law stipulates that a minimum ratio of local to foreign employees, which engendered its own challenges, as local workers have a different perspective on the work than Taiwanese. In addition, local staff required a significant amount of on-the-job training, as they had never performed work even remotely similar to what was being undertaken.

Initially, procurement was an issue, as the company had no local assistance, and little things, like betel nut for Taiwanese construction workers, were hard to come by. Jines Construction oversaw selection of materials for the project and decided on the engineering methods. The firm sourced many materials from Singapore and, in doing so, established an informal supply network not just for the project, but also for its own future work in Thailand and the wider region.
Jines Construction Co., Ltd.

http://www.jines.com.tw/

Smart Infrastructure

Emergency structural engineering

Selling points:

  • Innovative engineering team with decades of experience in special issues related to construction
  • Staff with deep knowledge of engineering problems provide the right solution as quickly as possible
  • Systematic approach to problem-solving that prioritizes safety while finding the right fix

 

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