Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport: Custom Shelter for Tunnel Dive


Free Span Custom Shelter used for tunnel dive for WSA

Project install time: 25 days

Location: Orchard Hills, NSW

Shelter size: 2,210m²

Purpose: Truck loading bay

Structure type: Free Span Gable Shelter

A large infrastructure project to connect communities and travelers with the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport. The Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project has appointed CPB Contractors Ghella (CPBG) to deliver the Station Boxes and Tunnelling Works.

The Brief

With Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport to be operational when Western Sydney International opens for passenger services, CPBG sought a temporary shelter solution for constructing twin tunnels stretching over 9.8 kilometres. As a large-scale project, the shelter had to accommodate a conveyor belt system to efficiently transport excavated dirt loaded onto trucks from the tunnel boring site to the shelter.

Navigating Complexity

CPBG required a shelter for the station dive at the Orchard Hills tunnelling support site. Initial designs included a much larger shelter, however adjustments were required. The team at Allshelter was able to adapt the design and sizing to fit within the allocated budget without compromising functionality. As a valued client, and after spending much time modifying the design to suit their shelter needs, our solution was:

  • A custom-designed free span shelter measuring 34m wide x 65m long x 18.978m high.
  • Engineered to wind region A – to withstand winds of up to 147.6km/hr
  • Made out of galvanised structural steel framing and Straatex®️ 9300 high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fabric
  • Two 8m wide x 9m high openings on one side.

A plinth of approximately 600mm height was strategically installed to ensure the shelter’s stability and evenness due to a slight westward slope. Though this adjustment did not significantly impact the shelter installation process, it necessitated the construction of an access ladder to facilitate reaching the elevated side.

As a working construction site, the Orchard Hills site had multiple activities going on at any given time. With limited space, the installation of the shelter had to be modified and carefully planned. The conveyor belt system was already in place, so the shelter had to be installed around it. This meant the two columns and truss could not be assembled before lifting them into place; instead, the frames had to be propped up while the truss was installed and secured. The installation of the fabric cover also proved to be challenging, meaning a new way of installing the cover had to be devised. Despite the deadline and restricted space, Allshelter worked closely with CPBG to design and deliver a shelter that met its requirements.

Why Allshelter

Having established ourselves as a reliable and esteemed brand in the industry, CPBG has a history of successful collaborations with Allshelter on multiple projects. Given previous positive experiences, CPBG was assured that Allshelter could deliver a shelter solution that precisely met its requirements. Opting for a Free Span Fabric Shelter was ideal, offering a fit-for-purpose solution with a significantly shorter lead time than other alternatives.


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