BACKYARD PODS SYDNEY: When Transport NSW needed to construct a habitable room inside the northern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it might have sounded like ‘Mission Impossible’. The restricted access and tight spaces made prefab buildings unsuitable, and conventional methods of construction were not practical. Backyard Pods Sydney met the challenge and delivered on the requirements safely, efficiently, and economically.
Most people who drive, walk, or ride across the Sydney Harbour Bridge would give little thought to the number of people working on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to maintain its structural integrity, functional serviceability, and iconic appeal for generations to come.
The open parkland in the immediate vicinity of the bridge is at a premium for public usage and the enjoyment of unobstructed views. Understandably, there is a public expectation for any of the infrastructure needed to support maintenance work on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to be ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
So, when the Sydney Harbour Bridge management needed to build a lunchroom and site office in close proximity for their personnel – where could this building go?
Inside the northern pylon is a cavernous space that theoretically could be used to accommodate a building and staff activities without being seen. But how to erect a building inside the northern pylon where access is severely restricted and internal spaces are tight? Prefab buildings were unsuitable and conventional construction methods were impractical. Not only would the building need to be erected inside the northern pylon, but it would also be elevated above the normal ground level inside the pylon – an additional challenge – not just ‘inside’ but ‘up in the air’. This is where Backyard Pods arrived with the engineering-certified building solution to answer everyone’s needs in this most unique and challenging situation.
The flat-pack kit was delivered by crane-truck to the site where it could be carried piece-by-piece inside the northern pylon for installation by Transport NSW. Once assembled, maintenance staff could do some work and have their lunches in a clean, dry, comfortable environment. The Backyard Pod inside the Sydney Harbour Bridge would even have a veranda, although it was essentially ‘internal’, to protect staff from the bird droppings that can rain in any weather.
The Backyard Pod kit was successfully delivered on time at the beginning of 2021. For Backyard Pods Sydney our associate Rahil, a Sydney design architect with extensive experience assisting our customers exclusively with their building projects, met the crane truck onsite to ensure smooth delivery and helpfully inspect the location within the pylon where the Backyard Pod kit was to be installed, to offer practical guidance.
To create the lunchroom and site office, Transport NSW selected the basic Backyard Pod kit 4.5m x 9m flat-pack with external wall colour in Colorbond® Surf Mist, plus a 2m x 3m veranda and landing deck for the entry. Given the size, the structure can also act as a meeting room for up to 20 people, and it’s also the perfect size for anyone considering a granny flat in Sydney with tight access to their backyard for construction.
For the Sydney Harbour Bridge project, Backyard Pods also provided the modular Polar Eco-View double-glazed swinging entrance door and windows to allow light and ventilation into the lunchroom with the added advantage of improved insulation from noise and weather conditions.
Installation was carried out by the Sydney Harbour Bridge maintenance team who faithfully followed the assembly instructions provided, getting the flat-pack kit assembled to the lock-up stage of completion. The electrical/data cabling, plumbing, and plasterboard lining works were completed by licensed tradespeople.