SmartCity Malta Project

SmartCity Malta Project

“SmartCity Malta will create the ideal infrastructure, support systems, environment and lifestyle for ICT and the people working in the industry” says Fareed Abdulrahman, Executive Director of the SmartCity brand worldwide.  Smart City Malta, a technology park currently under development in Kalkara, estimated to cost around 275 million euro, will cover an area of 360,000 square metres.  The project was unveiled in September 2007, with the first offices opening in 2010.

During this first phase of the project Terracore was responsible for the Quality Assurance and Quality Control of the Site Wide Grading (ongoing), Infrastructure Phases 1A and 1B (Phase 1B ongoing) and Roads & Landscaping tenders.

The underground culvert network built in Phase 1 forms part of a larger infrastructure programme aimed at supporting more than 103,000m2 of office space, a variety of world-class apartments and villas and vast commercial outlets including four and five-star hotels.   The whole infrastructure works are spread over an area of 360,000 m2, one third of which is open green space landscaped with local vegetation.   The purpose of the culvert is to house the potable water network, fire and irrigation network, 11kV cable and other utilities in an easily accessible structure.


Principal activities performed by Terracore included the:

Testing of soil and rock

Earthwork compaction compliance testing

Monitoring and reporting on concrete trial mixes

Inspection of formwork and steelwork before concreting

Sampling and testing of concrete constituents at trial mix stage, including the testing of aggregates, water and cement

Monitoring and reporting of asphalt production and quality control of asphalt supplied and placed during the works

Inspection of aggregate sub-base layers and asphalt layers forming part of the road build up

Sampling and testing of asphalt mix constituents and of the formed asphalt

Progress testing of concrete and its constituents

Performing inspections to verify compliance with documented instructions, drawings, procedures, and specifications as required by the contract

Reporting and material submissions

Handing-over documentation


Local contractors were responsible for the supply and placement of ready mixed concrete in the grades C25 and C40, during the Infrastructure Phase 1A and Landscaping tender works.  T10, T12, T16 and T20 steel bars and various steel meshes were used as steel reinforcement in the culvert, large manholes, ducting chambers and retaining wall construction.  Performing concrete trial mixes, testing aggregates and water samples proposed for concrete production, obtaining certification for the admixtures and reinforcing steel were all tasks of the QA and QC team.  This was to ensure that the specified materials meet the design and quality requirements as defined. Progress testing of concrete and its constituents were then performed at an agreed frequency during the whole concrete production period, to ascertain quality control of the construction.  Daily inspections on steelwork and concrete production were performed to verify compliance with documented instructions, drawings, procedures, and specifications as required by the contract.  All inspections were documented and presented to the consultant engineer.

Various earthwork classification and compliance testing was done on the backfill material below the concrete blinding layers and the aggregate sub-base laid in the car park area to ensure that adequate compaction was achieved prior to the laying of concrete or paving blocks.  Compliance testing comprised of Sand Replacement tests, Plate Bearing tests, and Dynamic Plate Load tests.  Classification testing involved various aggregate laboratory tests, followed by the proper assessment of test results by reviewing control testing for compliance with contract requirements.

Road works for this first phase of the project kicked off on September 2010 and were completed in October 2010, consisting of an 800m stretch of construction.  The road build up for the asphalted areas consisted of two layers of Type 1 material not thicker than 150mm each, 120mm thick base course, 80mm thick binder course and 40mm wearing course.     Compaction testing on the sub-base layers was a crucial aspect in ascertaining quality in the road construction.  Inspections by the QA team were carried out together with the consulting engineer on all road build up layers checking issues such as surface regularity and compaction and identifying if any corrective action needs to be taken.  Monitoring and reporting of asphalt production and quality control of asphalt supplied and placed during the works was done by the sampling and testing of fresh asphalt and bitumen.  Laboratory testing then determined the characteristic properties of the mix, while final compaction was calculated following the drilling of cores and the testing of plugs.