Transitions installed 50,000 sq. ft. of concrete flooring throughout all internal and external areas of the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal. The project consisted of 22,000 sq. ft. of Transitions Mechanically Polished Concrete internally, including a 120-ft. polished concrete plinth, six polished concrete staircases and public bathrooms with R9 slip ratings and 27,500 sq. f2 of Transitions Honed Concrete, including 27,500 sq. ft. external honed concrete floor, restoration of 3000 sq. ft. heritage listed railway track, 60 decorative shot blasted images, and disability ramps with R13 slip ratings.
The design phase of this project lasted many months before work began. A number of engineering, concrete slab and mix design challenges were overcome during this time. Slab design had to take into account that ships weighing in excess of 100,000 tonnes docking alongside the shed on a regular basis, nudging the piers and shifting the building in the process. This causes frequent movements of the substrate.
The most appropriate solution was for the new slab to act independently. The following actions were taken. 1. Slip sheets placed on the wharf deck prior to installation of slabs. 2.Dowel joints placed in a unique pattern to avoid popping and cracking of the slab. 3. Slabs were kept hydrated for seven days after pouring to minimize cracking and curling. 4. Movement joints placed were in between each slab to allow movement and aid dowel joints in connecting slabs together. 5. Mesh size increased and overlapped, rio bar placed at specified intervals. 6. A unique stabilizing plinth was poured, the length of the wharf shed, to tie the substrate together (four plates) and function as seating for guests. 7. Use high-strength concrete.
The final concrete mix took months of careful planning to ensure the chosen aggregate complemented and represented the historical features of terminal. The floor featured gray concrete with Innisfail aggregate; a mix of browns, greys and blacks. During installation, TPG experienced challenges with slab curling and curing rates in adjoining slabs. This was stabilized with injection. Once achieved, the lips were ground flat and the flooring system installed.
To ensure all slabs were of a similar strength, slab sequencing while pouring was critical. This also avoided uneven grind rates. Externally, grinding had to be performed at particular times of the day due to heat and tight timelines, which were not aided by the tropical storm season. To add to the cultural significance of this project, images of local products, historical industries that operated out of the wharf, and aboriginal messages were shot blasted into the honed concrete along the external foreshore of the building. Images were designed, templated, and transported to the site and set in place for blasting. The size of these images ranged from 20ft x 40ft to 100ft x 90ft & weighed a total of 7 tonnes. The project has won many architectural awards.