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Shanghai relocates 5-story school building with a "walking machine" (Video)

Asia / Science and technology

The building weighing 7,600 tons was turned 21 degrees and moved along a curved route 61 meters.

Shanghai relocates 5-story school building with a "walking machine" (Video)

The residents of Shanghai who passed through the eastern Huangpu this month witnessed a unique event. The 85-year-old elementary school was completely lifted from the ground and relocated using a new technology called the "walking machine."

According to Lan Wuji, the project's chief technical manager, as part of the city's latest attempt to preserve historic structures, engineers attached about 200 mobile poles to the five-story building.

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The supports are divided into two groups, which alternately rise up and down, imitating a human step. Attached sensors help monitor the movement of the building.

In the company's time-lapse, the school slowly moves forward, step by step.

According to a statement from the Huangpu District government, Lagen Elementary School was built in 1935 by the Municipal Council of the former French concession of Shanghai. It was moved to make way for a new retail and office complex, which will be completed by 2023.

Within 18 days, the building was rotated 21 degrees and moved 62 meters to a new location. The move was completed on 15 October and the old school building was to become a center for heritage protection and cultural education.

The government said in a statement that the project was first used in Shanghai to move a historic building using this “walking machine” method.

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Lagena Elementary School, which weighs 7,600 tons, posed a new problem - it is T-shaped, whereas the previously displaced buildings were square or rectangular, according to Xinhua News Agency. The irregular shape meant that traditional methods of pulling or sliding may not have worked because they might not have withstood the lateral forces applied to it, Lan said.

The building also needed to rotate and follow a curved path to where it moved, rather than just moving in a straight line - another challenge requiring a new method.

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