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FAIR particle accelerator: PORR is building for cutting-edge research

One of the largest and most complex construction projects in cutting-edge international research is currently underway at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, a centre for heavy ion research: FAIR – the new Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research. Several buildings are being constructed on the 20-hectare site for the purpose of operating the particle accelerator. PORR is responsible for the extended structural work in the northern part of the facility.

The state-of-the-art particle accelerator will be used to generate and study matter that usually only exists in the depths of space. Scientists from all over the world expect that being able to study this matter under laboratory conditions will yield new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang until today.

PORR’s contract includes construction of a 1.1 km accelerator tunnel and the building elements above it, a transfer building where an underground transfer hall will direct the ray into the accelerator ring and the connected main supply building. 

There are a number of challenges involved with this major project: the solid reinforced concrete structure, entailing a specially developed concrete recipe, and the complex construction site logistics involving up to 250 lorry trips each day. The experienced PORR team, comprising PORR Design & Engineering’s Structural Planning and Work Preparation departments and the on-site construction team, is working shoulder-to-shoulder to handle all the challenges and guarantee smooth execution of the project.

Timelapse: three years in three minutes – the FAIR construction site 2018–2020



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