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"Jumping Factory" Builds London Towers

Mace | 2:09

"Jumping Factory" Builds London Towers

Peter Smisek

6 July 2018

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TWO high-rise buildings in London's former Olympic Village have been built by contractor Mace using "jumping factories".

More complex than the conventional jump cores used in skyscraper core construction, these on-site facilities consist of a large, 10-storey tent, built around the building's perimeter.

Inside, construction workers build one floor at a time. When each floor is complete, the entire factory moves - "jumps" - up a storey using synchronised hydraulic jacks and the process is repeated.

Above: The factory tents being constructed around the two residential high-rises (image courtesy of Dorman Long Technology).

Mace has spent £9 million on the new technology, and at its peak production, the factory was building each residential tower (one 30 storeys high, the other 26 storeys) at the rate of one floor per 55-hour work week.

The factory created safe and more uniform working conditions and is even able to operate during gale force winds.

Above: The "factory" creates a more consistent environment for workers and enables rapid construction (image courtesy of Mace).

Each factory cycle involves installing precast perimeter columns, twin walls, ventilation ducts, drainage and MEP service modules - together with modular bathroom and utility pods - before being topped off with precast floor slabs.

Above: Hydraulic jacks helped to raise the platform after each of the floors was completed (image courtesy of Mace).

The towers' design consists of mainly prefabricated elements which enables this quick construction process.

The two 30 tonne gantries within each of the factories enabled quick movement of materials, that were delivered to the site in 18 minute intervals.

Above: The factory's lower levels included walkways from which facade elements could be fixed to the structure of the building ( image courtesy of Mace).

Cladding as well as other interior fittings were completed below the main working deck, but still within the protective shell of the factory. Interior finishes could then be progressed inside.

After the two high-rise buildings were completed, both factories were dismantled.

Above: The factories were tailored to the tower's dimensions, but they can be adapted for similar building projects in the future ( image courtesy of Dorman Long Technology).

Though Mace does not currently have any projects which necessitate their use, they are ready to be adapted for similar projects in the future.

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