Mosque moved clear of demolition in just 48 hours

[Unattributed]: Citing Sources: (19 February, 2015)
In Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mammoet moved a 2,400-tonne mosque, in one piece, from one location to another. The project rescued the house of prayer from potential demolition, while saving the client seven months’ construction time.

Mammoet moved the mosque in 48 hours the complete distance of 120 metres saving time and rebuilding costs.

Mammoet’s Client, Nesma Trading Co. Ltd, was contracted by the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) to build and expand five hospitals. In the area where one of the hospitals was to be expanded, a beautifully designed mosque with many fine details was blocking the building site. The owner’s original instructions were to demolish the mosque to clear the construction area, and build an identical mosque at a new location so prayers could continue. This process would take ten months.

Commissioned by Nesma, Mammoet proposed a faster and more sustainable alternative to move the mosque out of the hospital’s way. Instead of demolishing and reconstructing it, they proposed to jack up and slide the entire mosque to the new location, using a jacking and skidding system. This would keep the delicate mosque intact, allowing visitors to continue their prayers undisturbed and maintaining a peaceful environment for the hospital patients. This operation would only take three months including preparations, thus saving seven months construction time.

Mammoet provided Nesma with all the required civil engineering plans, as well as the complete engineering plan including drawings, method statements and risk analysis. The owner’s project management office welcomed the idea and after a careful study of the plans it was approved. This was the first time in Saudi Arabia that an entire building was to be moved to a different location. The operation was meticulously engineered by Mammoet and subcontractor Techniek en Methode (part of the Bresser Group) to guarantee safety and the integrity of the building.

The operation started with the removal of the minaret with a hydraulic crane. Then, the ground under the mosque was removed and replaced by a concrete base that could support the entire structure. Mammoet supplied and installed all the required equipment for skidding, including skid shoes, push/pull units, skid tracks and power packs. Finally, Mammoet skidded the 2,400-tonne mosque in its entirety, in less than 48 hours, over a distance of 120 metres to its new location.

The operation was executed without incidents and within the planned three months, making it possible for the client to start the hospital expansion seven months earlier while keeping the area clean and peaceful for hospital patients and mosque visitors alike.