On-Site Weekly Updates

Below you will find week-by-week updates issued from the ESS construction site.
Civil Construction 2016Civil Construction 2015Aerial Views

Civil Construction & Technical Installation 2017

Week 20 — 15 May 2017
The reinforcement of the Monolith vault continues, while casting of the Active Cells floor slab was performed, including cast-in liner beams. Pipe support has been installed in the Coldbox, where X-ray inspecton of the pipes was performed. Formwork and reinforcement is moving forward in the Sprinkler building, which is now erected to its full 9-metre height. The first wall casting is planned for the end of May. 
The Sprinkler Building, whose main purpose is to hold water. PHOTO: ESS
Roofing in progress on the slope covering the Accelerator tunnel. PHOTO: ESS
Casting of the Active Cells Handling Area base slab. PHOTO: ESS
Beamline supports in the long Guide Hall. PHOTO: ESS
Broadside view of the Central Utility Building. PHOTO: ESS
Week 18 — 1 May 2017
The facade of the Central Utility Building (H01) was substantially completed as well as the base slab for the Guide Hall substation (E05). Installation of the membrane for the Accelerator tunnel’s (G01) green roof began. After handover of the Accelerator tunnel last week from Skanska to ESS, preparations are underway for the multiple guided tours that will take place next week in association with IPAC ’17. Around 300 delegates are expected at the site. In the Target Station area (D02), further casting of the Active Cells handling area base slab took place, while reinforcement both of the Active Cells area and the Monolith was increased. Also at the Target Station, the caps of the steel core piles are being sawn off with a metal wire cutter to expose the steel cores for alteration works.
Steel reinforcement continues to rise in the fortified Active Cells handling area. PHOTO: ESS
Demolition around steel core piles. PHOTO: ESS
Sunny skies as the final cladding is attached to the Central Utility Building last week. PHOTO: ESS
The Monolith growing in monolithic stature. PHOTO: ESS
Skanska-Slovakia site workers in the Active Cells area. PHOTO: ESS
Week 17 — 24 April 2017
The Accelerator tunnel (G01) was officially handed over to ESS on Tuesday, May 2, signalling the formal completion of civil construction for the building and the beginning of technical installations by ESS and in-kind partners. The first planned works in the tunnel include temporary marking and drilling for machine installation. The Cryo-Compressor Building (G04) has also been handed over to ESS, along with the commissioned electrical substations H05 and H06. Last week, the installation of 221 concrete link plates, each weighing 3.5 tonnes, was completed. The plates make the connection between the Gallery Building and the Accelerator’s green roof, and waterproofing is now underway. The steady work of forming out and casting the Target areas (D02) continues, and work is moving quickly to prepare the Guide Hall (E01) and other E buildings for erection of the superstructure. Finally, work in the Cryo-Compressor Building (G04), recently featured in an article in Sydsvenskan, is also moving quickly in preparation for this month’s delivery of the first of nineteen 10-metre-high helium tanks that will feed the Target and Accelerator cooling systems.
April 18, 2017, aerial photos of the ESS construction site. Click to enlarge. PHOTOS: Perry Nordeng/ESS
Week 15 — 10 April 2017
The extensive reinforcement works in various areas continued. In Experimental Hall 1 (D02) rebar was put down both for the Monolith vault and the second part of the Active Cell base slab. The remaining E-area lab buildings, E03 and E05, were reinforced in preparation for bottom slab castings this week. The reinforcement works also continued in the Sprinkler Building (H10), first casting pending. In the Accelerator tunnel (G01) injections continue to be followed by the final touch-up painting. In the Central Utility Building (H01) the installation of facades on roof level is on-going. The installation of link plates connecting the roof of the Gallery Building (G02) with the slope on top of G01 progressed well and have now reached all the way to section 6 of the Gallery building. 
The Target Monolith puck. PHOTO: ESS
Installation of link plate (left) at connection between Gallery Building and berm. Cryo-Transfer Line piping (right). PHOTOS: ESS
The Guide Hall foundation. PHOTO: ESS
Week 14 — 03 April 2017
Reinforcement works as well as installation of ESS cast-in conduits continued in the Active Cells area. The base slab will be cast in two phases, some parts with linear beams cast-in. Parts of the bottom slab will also be cast with heavy concrete (containing iron ore), as will the Active Cell walls. The first Monolith top slab casting is planned for April 13 and completion of the one-metre-thick vault is set for mid-May.  The reinforced slope and levelling in preparation for the link plates is now completed along the full length of the Accelerator tunnel (G01), and the installation of link plates connecting the roof of the Gallery Building (G02) with the slope on top of G01 has progressed past the first few sections of the building. Last week, blinding was cast for the Sprinkler Building (H10), where reinforcement works are now in full swing. The base slab will be 800 mm thick, and the 9-metre-high building will be completely cast in situ.
Foundation and reinforcement works for the new Sprinkler Building. PHOTO: ESS
Week 13 — 27 March 2017
The stage was set for the April 3 handover of the Gallery Building (G02) test stand area, from Skanska to the ESS Accelerator Division. Meanwhile, inside the Accelerator tunnel (G01), finishing works continued along with some MEP installations in anticipation of the spring handover to ESS for technical installations. At the Target Station (D02), grouting of the Monolith puck foundation and formwork and reinforcement for the Monolith vault structure made continued progress, while formwork and the installation of ESS cast-in conduits progressed in the Active Cells area. Preparations were completed to begin concrete works for the new Sprinkler Building (H10). And the additional floor of site office space is now installed, awaiting furniture delivery. Seventy-five ESS employees will relocate to the site this year.
The calm before the storm. The Accelerator tunnel undergoes final preparations before handover to ESS for installation of the machine. PHOTO: ESS
Click to enlarge these March 21 aerial photos of site works. Clockwise from top left: overview looking west; Target Station and short-range instrument halls; Guide Hall and long-range instrument hall; Target Station Monolith, with puck at center. PHOTOS: Perry Nordeng/ESS
Week 12 — 20 March 2017
The eagerly anticipated first casting of the base slab for the Target Station’s (D02) Active Cells Handling area took place. Approximately 240 cubic metres of concrete was placed for the 400-mm-thick lower slab. A top slab of 1,100 mm will follow. Both normal and heavy concrete—60% heavier than regular concrete and containing iron ore—were also cast in the Monolith puck area. The 540-metre-long connection between the earthen slope atop the Accelerator tunnel (G01) to the roof of the Gallery Building (G02) is being put in place, including insulation, steel plates and a neoprene fabric. These will be followed by the placement of large concrete blocks, a waterproof membrane, soil and grass, to form the Accelerator’s green roof.
The concrete pour in progress in the Active Cells Handling area of the Target Station. PHOTO: ESS
The greying of the Monolith, as steel reinforcement is overtaken by concrete. PHOTO: ESS
The portal to Narnia, the High-Energy Beam Transport Loading Bay door. It's here most of the Accelerator components will enter the Accelerator and be lowered on an elevator into the tunnel for installation. PHOTO: ESS
The link plate connection seam between the Accelerator tunnel earthen slope and the roof of the Gallery Building. Early preparations include the green neoprene sheets and insulation. PHOTO: ESS
Week 11 — 13 March 2017
Casting of the 8,000 square metre Beamline Gallery (E02) base slab was completed, with the expectation that building construction will begin at the end of the summer. Powerheat’s installation of piping in the Cryo-Compressor Building (G04) is in full swing, while the recently installed pipes in the Gallery Building (G02) Cold Box are undergoing X-ray controls. Polyurethane injection continues in the Accelerator tunnel (G01). The construction of the Monolith vault continues, and grouting of structures within the puck is being done. Ground preparations for the Sprinkler Building (H10) are nearing completion.
Powerheat installing piping in the Cryo-Compressor Building. PHOTO: ESS
The Target Station Monolith vault reinforcement and construction. PHOTO: ESS
Perimeter Ha-Ha wall work is proceeding. PHOTO: ESS
Target Station installation gallery tunnels. PHOTO: ESS
Week 10 — 6 March 2017
Testing and commissioning for the facility’s electrical distribution substation (H06) building was completed, with the Sectional Handover Meeting scheduled for this week. Construction of the Target Station (D02) has reached ground level, meaning the installation galleries and other basement and tunnel areas are topped off, with 30 metres of height left to go. Monolith vault construction continues as planned and the penultimate casting for the 8,000 square metre Beamline Gallery (E02) base slab was completed. Superstructure erection for the E-buildings is scheduled to begin in August. 
The Target Station installation galleries have reached ground level. PHOTO: ESS
The Accelerator tunnel receives the finishing touches before imminent handover to ESS for installation. PHOTO: ESS
Monolith vault being framed out. PHOTO: ESS
Equipment installed in the Cryo-Compressor Building. PHOTO: ESS
Ramps from the E-building labs to the instrument control rooms and sample environments. PHOTO: ESS
Week 9 — 27 February 2017
The Gallery Building (G02) Test Stand was formally handed over to ESS. The ESS Accelerator Division will test accelerator components here prior to moving them into the tunnel. Final preparations, including the injection of minor concrete cracks, have begun for handover of the entire Accelerator tunnel (G01) to ESS later this spring. The final two wall castings for the Target Station (D02) Monolith were completed and construction of the vault has begun. Final details were tended to for the massive reinforcement job in the Active Cells area (D02) in anticipation of the first concrete pour this week. Pipe installation continues in the Cryo-Transfer Line tunnel and the installation of the facade for the large Central Utility Building (H01) is nearing completion. 
The steel reinforcement masterpiece of the Active Cells Handling area. PHOTO: ESS
The reinforced slope containing the subterrainean Accelerator tunnel at its interface with the Gallery Building. PHOTO: ESS
February 24 aerial view of the area within Circle Road. Click to zoom. PHOTO: Perry Nordeng/ESS
Week 8 — 20 February 2017
The Target Station area (D02) geared up for some major work to be initiated in the coming weeks, including construction of the Monolith puck vault and the two-layer casting of the massive base slab for the Active Cells area. Two wall castings for the Monolith were completed along with reinforcement of the upper puck structure. Casting of base slabs in the Beamline Gallery (E02) moved forward, with completion of the 8,000 square metre slab expected in the next two weeks. Installation of large sliding gates in the Gallery Cold Box and Loading Hall (G02) began. And excavation and piping for the Sprinkler Building (H10) moved forward. This unique building is 9 metres high, 216 square metres, and will be cast completely in situ. It will hold 850 cubic metres of water and will be earthquake resistant. 
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is greeted at the ESS construction site by ESS Director General John Womersley on Wednesday, February 22. At center, is David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, in Sweden for a state visit. PHOTO: ESS
The Beamline Gallery base slab is nearly cast (right), and the Active Cells area (left) stands ready for casting with massive pilings and steel reinforcement in place. PHOTO: ESS
Close overhead view of the Monolith puck. A few more concrete castings and it will be time to build the vault. PHOTO: ESS
Week 7 — 13 February 2017
Three wall castings for the Target Station Monolith (D02) were completed, leaving only two casting sessions before vault construction can begin. Base slab castings also progressed in the E-area lab buildings (E03, E05). One in a series of SAT3 tests was successfully completed for the eight diesel backup generators in the H06 power substation as part of its testing and commissioning process. The generators serve as reserve power in the event of a general power failure, not to power the facility, but to safely shut down all systems. The erection of the Central Utility Building (H01) facade continued and excavation and piping are ongoing for the Sprinkler Building (H10). Pressure testing for the CTL pipe installations was also performed.
The handsome lines of the Central Utility Building facade in progress. PHOTO: ESS
Casting of the Monolith walls in progress. The centeral "puck" is the future home of the target wheel. PHOTO: ESS
Detail of a Monolith wall, showing custom penetrations. PHOTO: ESS
Diesel engines for reserve power are undergoing testing and commissioning. PHOTO: ESS
Week 6 — 6 February 2017
The reinforced earthen slope between the Accelerator tunnel (G01) and the Gallery Building (G02) was completed and now awaits a link plate to connect the slope to the roof of the Gallery Building. The topfill for the Accelerator tunnel has now reached 65,500 cubic metres of clay, the equivalent of dumping 26 Olympic-sized swimming pools of earth over the area. Base slab castings are on hold due to the heavy snowfall, but wall casting in the Monolith area (D02) has continued on schedule. All fixed overhead cranes have now passed a third-party inspection. Interior, MEP and finishing work is ongoing in various parts of the Gallery and Cryo-Compressor (G04) buildings. And the first facility-based office, the Cryo Office, is being wired and plumbed for occupancy.
Orthographic flyover image created from photos taken on February 1, 2017. Click to enlarge and zoom. IMAGE: Sara Larsson
The snow-covered site on the afternoon of February 10. Straight down the middle is the completed reinforced earthen slope between the Accelerator tunnel and the Gallery Building. In the foreground, the Monolith, where concrete casting is in progress. Screenshot from ESS webcam
Week 5 — 30 January 2017
The final test and commissioning of the Cryo-Compressor Building (G04) began in preparation for hand-off to ESS at the end of the month. The in-situ sections of the gas pipelines between the Cryo building and the Cold Box (in G02) are now being laid, and the ESS Accelerator Division is installing its Stub mockup in the tunnel. Concrete casting moved forward at the Target Station Monolith (D02), the Beamline Gallery (E02) and other ‘E’ buildings, while the entire Gallery Building (G02) is now subject to MEP works. This week also marked the completion of foundation work for all currently accessible areas of the site. And in the first sign of spring, a new building has been excavated—the Sprinkler Building (H10)
Foundation work in the Beamline Gallery. PHOTO: ESS
MEP works in the Gallery Building. PHOTO: ESS
Ila Sjöholm from ESS Conventional Facilities supervising the piping installation in the cryo-transfer line tunnel. PHOTO: ESS
Five hundred metres of Ha-Ha wall have been installed on the north side of the site. PHOTO: ESS
Week 4 — 23 January 2017
The installation of several tons of shielding plates for the ESS Chip Irradiation (ECHIR) beamline was performed by Skanska, ESS and BMS Cranes. The beamline is adjacent to the Monolith and embedded in its base slab. The final reinforcement for the Active Cells (D02) area has been put in place for this week’s casting of its 400 mm base slab. Parts of the Active Cells slab will be cast with heavy concrete, which contains iron ore and is 60% heavier than normal concrete. Eighteen-metre-long pipes for the transfer of gases from the Compressor Building (G04) to the Cold Box (in G02) have arrived on site, and are ready to be installed. More than 6,000 foundation piles have been installed now, 98% of the total. MEP works continue apace throughout the Gallery Building (G02) halls, facade works continue at the Central Utility Building (H01), slabs are being cast in the Beamline Gallery (E02), and topfill continues along the Accelerator tunnel (G01)
The steel shielding for the ECHIR beamline hoisted above the Target Station. PHOTO: ESS
Location of the ECHIR beamline, which will use high-energy neutrons to test electrical components for sensitivity to cosmic radiation. PHOTO: ESS
Reinforced. The Active Cells area base slab will be 40 cm thick, formed with concrete that contains iron ore and is 60% heavier than normal concrete. PHOTO: ESS
Orthographic flyover image created from photos taken on December 16, 2016. Click to enlarge and zoom. IMAGE: Sara Larsson
Week 3 — 16 January 2017
Casting of the Target Station Monolith (D02) walls began this week. The Target Station installation gallery tunnels reached 80% completion, with backfill now begun. The intensive reinforcement of the Active Cells area reached its penultimate week, where 527 kilograms of steel reinforcement will support each cubic metre of concrete. Installation of the cryogenic system pipes that will distribute liquid Helium to the Accelerator at 2 Kelvin began in the Cryo-Transfer Line tunnel (G04), work being done by ESS partner PowerHeat. The roof was completed on the Central Utility Building (H01), with facade works underway. Casting of the base slab of the middle area of the 8,000-square-metre Beamline Gallery (E02) began, requiring concrete to be pumped over the outer areas to a location 70 metres from its source. 
Concrete pour in progress for the Monolith walls. PHOTO: ESS
Pipe supports inside the Cryo-Transfer Line tunnel, where liquid Helium will be transported to the Accelerator. PHOTO: ESS
December 22 aerial photo of the northside of the site, showing substantial progress on the first of the distinctive Ha-Ha Walls that will serve as the perimeter of ESS. Click to enlarge. PHOTO: Perry Nordeng
The Central Utility Building with completed roof. Facade works are ongoing. PHOTO: ESS
December 22 aerial photo of the east end of the Accelerator tunnel and Gallery Building, showing substantial progress on reinforced landscaping. Click to enlarge. PHOTO: Perry Nordeng
Week 2 — 9 January 2017
Installation of the ESS Chip Irradiation (ECHIR) beamline cast-in pipe was performed in the Target area alongside the casting of the Monolith puck foundation. Reinforcement of the Monolith diagonal walls and the entire Active Cells area is approaching completion, with casting soon to follow. Instrument Halls 1 and 2 (D01 and D03), which flank each side of the Target Station (D02), are now under construction with the installation of their foundation piling. Two-thirds of the 8,000-square-metre Beamline Gallery (E02) base slab is now set. MEP work across seven different trades continues throughout the Gallery Building (G02), including the installation of a staircase and drop-ceilings. Construction of the Cryo-Compressor Building (G04) is complete and has been handed over to MEP works. Topfill and retaining wall construction along the south side of the Accelerator tunnel (G01) continues in spite of the low temperatures.
Site overview looking southeast, including Accelerator tunnel topfill, instrument halls piling, the site offices complex, and a new parking lot. PHOTO: ESS
Inside the Target Station works, with reinforcement, formwork and casting ongoing for the Monolith (right) and Active Cells area (background). PHOTO: ESS
Seven MEP trades are working simultaneously to prepare the Gallery Building for ESS technical installations to begin soon. PHOTO: ESS
Week 1 — 2 January 2017
Two milestones were achieved on the construction site this week, with partial access granted to ESS for the Gallery Building (G02) and the Cryo-Compressor Building (G04). This opens the way for technical installations in these areas to begin, including the RF test place in the Klystron gallery and the installation of Helium tanks, compressors and other gas equipment in the cryo halls and outdoor areas. Additionally, access to Stub 25 in the Accelerator tunnel (G01) has been granted for installation of a full-scale mockup of the stub’s RF systems to take place over the next two months. For more information on upcoming technical installations in 2017 read our interview with Technical Director Roland Garoby.
Overview of the Target Station Monolith puck construction in December, future site of the target wheel. PHOTO: ESS
December crane-top view looking northeast over the building construction, including the first Ha-Ha Wall, in progress in the background near the base of the wind turbine. PHOTO: ESS
Concrete reinforcement in the Active Cells area in December. Concrete works begin this month. PHOTO: ESS


Go to the 2016 weekly updates page ►


Site Plans





Site Plan: Overview, Building Numbers
rev. H: 07-Dec-2016
Construction Layout


1    2    3    4


Site Aerial Views

Please click the image for a high-resolution photo.






18 April 2017






21 March 2017






24 February 2017






22 December 2016






22 November 2016






13 October 2016






16 September 2016






17 August 2016






30 June 2016






24 May 2016






22 April 2016






16 March 2016






17 February 2016






18 January 2016






15 December 2015






20 November 2015






27 October 2015






18 September 2015






18 August 2015






2 July 2015






5 June 2015






5 May 2015






10 April 2015






9 March 2015

Click for high-resolution photo.






5 February 2015






3 December 2014






28 October 2014






18 September 2014






21 August 2014






22 July 2014






March 2014





June 2011


AERIAL PHOTOS: Perry Nordeng/ESS, except 'June 2011' Roger Eriksson