;e RER commuter train station and all retail shops had to stay open during
demolition and construction. ;at meant mitigating the impact for the 750,000
commuters and 150,000 shoppers who pass through each day. Closing the shops
would have created a combined loss of about € 4 billion during the life of the
project. Mr. de Lanversin and his team talked with commuters and neighbors
before the construction contract was signed to understand their needs and to
reduce the chance of project delays.
Demolition work couldn’t happen at night, because the vibrations and noise
would keep people awake. So the main working hours were 7 to 10 a.m. ;e
project team built temporary corridors and staircases so commuters could
safely pass through the middle of the construction site. ;e team also constantly
updated signage to guide commuters and ensure they wouldn’t get lost or
delayed. “We changed signage pretty much every week, and we had a communications manager inside our company dedicated to that,” Mr. de Lanversin says.
Building the €75 million, 7,000-ton canopy
was a risk-laden process. ;e beams alone
weighed about 15 tons each. If any of them
fell, the damage would have delayed the
project for several weeks, Mr. de Lanversin
“We couldn’t guarantee this would not
happen,” he says. “;ere were no lessons
learned to draw from past projects, so we
had to compensate—and that always meant
more safety people.”
;e design and planning teams incorpo-
rated double slings and required steel pieces
to be cut as small as possible, he says. No
piece of steel could be more than 9 tons or
10 meters ( 32. 8 feet) long, says Christophe
Maliszewski, director of development, Fayat
Metal, Paris, France. Fayat Metal built the
frame and glass plates for the canopy.
Work schedules for crews that assembled
the heaviest parts of the canopy also were
altered to ensure safety for shoppers, commuters, delivery drivers and retail employees. Work couldn’t begin until the last
employees left, which resulted in a roughly
four-hour window each day to mount the
canopy’s largest pieces.
“It was di;cult, precise and very demanding,” Mr. Maliszewski says.