Image:Keith Hunter

Symbolic Curves

Hydro Ness, Scotland

Hydro Ness is a new 93kW hydroelectric scheme, which uses historical infrastructure from a disused hydro scheme dating back to 1929, to generate over 500,000 kWh of renewable electricity each year for the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre. The successful fabrication and erection of this structure represents the versatility and flexibility of modern structural steelwork in the context of a unique and challenging project.

Inspired by the motif of the salmon gracefully navigating the scenic River Ness, the uniquely shaped structure was conceived by a local artist and further developed by an accomplished architect. The vision behind the project extends beyond its aesthetic appeal to underscore the advantages of this ancient source of renewable energy.

The collaborative effort involved multiple entities, working seamlessly to bring the prominent canopy structure and various utility structures on the site to fruition. Situated along a major route in and out of Inverness City, close attention was given to ensuring the final structure complemented its prominent and beautiful location in the Capital of the Highlands.

The primary frame of the structure consists of curved universal columns, each curved to varying radii, including elliptical segments of the main ‘ribs.’ The framing for the cladding panels is crafted from square hollow sections, meticulously welded into co-planar triangles. In total, there are 384 cladding panels, with each of these being unique. All the mild steel used throughout the project is galvanized for enhanced longevity and it contributes to the overall integrity of the project.

To fulfill the architectural vision of resembling fish scales, the canopy’s cladding panels are fashioned from stainless steel with a swirl finish. The completion of this notable project stands as a testament to the craftsmanship of the fabricator and the expertise of the steel erector, collaborating seamlessly with the architect, engineer, and main contractor.

It is hoped that Hydro Ness will become an iconic and renowned synbol of Inverness, worthy of its stunning Highland setting.

[Content provided by Hasson Structural Engineers]

Photos © Keith Hunter

Image:Keith Hunter

Posted onMarch 13, 2024 byGalvanizers Association

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