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Top Three Pipe Jobs I Wish I Had

February 11th, 2014 by Mike Burke

In the pipe game we all run into bad quotes, small orders, great orders and well, pipe dream quotes. We all wish we could sell every inch of pipe on every oil rig or every mile of the keystone pipeline (if it ever gets the go ahead). The following objects I found to be very interesting regarding the amount of pipe involved.

3Sao Paulo’s Itaquerao stadium

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Located in Brazil the new (still under construction actually) $900 million Itaquerao Stadium will play host to 6 matches of this years’ FIFA World Cup Soccer/Futbol tournament. How much pipe is involved in this stadium? Well………take a look and this “tiny” section of roof that recently collapsed.


It’s all pipe and what you see there is a small section of an enormous roof overhang…….and there two overhangs. Ya Ya Ya Mike! But how much pipe exactly?  “Just the steel beams account for 4,000 tons!” There are 48 trusses at 246 ft long. The entire roof covers 348,000 sq ft. and it’s all made with ….well……roof pipe?

They had to bring in the largest Liebherr Group crawler crane available in Latin America to hoist it all up. And why? So sound levels can reach a peak of 113dB when goals are scored. VIVA FUTBOL DE AMERICANA!


2. The Forth Bridge


The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge east of Scotland. It spans the Firth of Forth which I can only assume is Scotland slang for…. a river.

Completed in 1890 at a cost of $15 million (which today equates to all the money that ever existed)  it used every single piece of steel pipe that was available in the world at the time. Ok I made that up but it DID require 64,800 tons of steel.  How much of that was pipe? Who cares because take a look and the size of the pipe that was used! http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/Forthbridge_feb_2013.jpg The giganticness of the pipe spans is badass enough to be included on this list. Those three giant cantilever structures (the things made of the giant pipe) that make up the main span, are half the height of the St. Louis Arch, and are 350’ long. The whole thing weighs 50,513 tons and has about 6.5 million rivets in it. HOOTMAN! It was the first major structure in Britain to be constructed of steel and even today is regarded as an engineering marvel……oh and 98 guys died building it.

1. The VAB


Back in the 60’s when NASA was tasked with beating the evil soviets to the moon, they first needed a place to build there spaceships. So…to assemble their vehicles they built an enormous building. And the person with the absolute LEAST amount of imagination decided to call it The Vehicle Assembly Building. This historic, boringly named building is the largest single-story building in the world. At 526 ft tall, 716 ft long and 518’ wide, it covers 8 acres and encloses 129,428,000 cubic feet which is enough volume for the building to create its own indoor rain clouds. But what about the pipe???

Oh yea, almost forgot. Because it’s located in hurricane-infected Florida, NASA went ahead and pre-piered the building with………PIPE!…how much? You do the math. There are 4,225 steel pipe piles of 16” pipe 160’ deep into bedrock. Ok I’ll do the stupid math. That’s 676,000’ of 16” pipe. Let’s just assume STD wall….that’s 21,172 TONS!….That’d be a nice little PO to close out the space race eh?