Reaching for the Skies

Reaching for the Skies

Erecting sections of the world’s largest Ferris wheel involved utilising the world’s most substantial crane, the 5000-tonne ring crane, a feat that raised valid concerns about the crane’s stability, especially in proximity to the edge of the reclaimed Bluewaters Island. To address these concerns and ensure the safety and stability of the lifting operation, a meticulous analysis was undertaken.

A detailed 3D Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model was crafted encompassing the ring crane mats and the reclaimed island. The comprehensive model allowed for the simulation of predicted settlements and safety factors remained within acceptable limits, demonstrating the structural integrity of the setup.

The successful outcomes of the FEA analysis alleviated concerns and provided the necessary confidence to proceed with the lifting operation without the need for costly temporary support measures. This exemplifies the power of advanced modeling techniques in optimizing construction processes, ensuring both safety and cost-effectiveness in executing intricate and large-scale projects such as the construction of the world's largest Ferris wheel on Bluewaters Island.


  • 3D FEA model of wind turbine foundation piles, crane platform and soft interbedded soils.

  • Crane platform supported on Tensar Stratum system and mechanically stabilised layers.

  • Simulation of crane loading and prediction of resulting forces in piled foundation.

  • Validation by full-scale testing.