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Reaching New Heights With Construction Technology


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Towers are becoming more and more sought after throughout Australia. This is largely due to the growing popularity of city living. For many, the suburbs just can't compete with the vibrancy and culture that inner cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne can provide. 

Still, the delivery of these magnificent skyscrapers pose a number of challenges. From inner-city logistics and limited site access to storage limitations and safety issues associated with working at heights, building towers can be demanding to say the least.  

Faster, Safer Building

While jump form systems have been around for some time, we are now seeing the newest high-tech jump form system known as M-TECH introduced in the UK. Developed by Multiplex, M-TECH facilitates faster, safer construction of tower frames. It also eliminates, or at least reduces, several of the challenges presented to contractors on such projects.

Multiplex is a leading international construction contractor headquartered in Sydney, Australia. The company services Australia, India, Canada, Europe and the Middle East, and it specialises in high-rise buildings, high-end residential, mixed-use, education, health and civil infrastructure.

After piloting the system in Dubai, the company is now successfully using M-TECH at a new development in London. The 62-storey tower, Twentytwo, is positioned in the heart of the thriving financial district. So far, M-TECH has delivered a 62-storey concrete core without a single lost-time injury, according to the latest news. 

M-TECH’s jacking system uses electronically-controlled screw jacks that are positioned on top of the under-construction core of a building, instead of hydraulic rams on the inside of the core. This means the rig can climb as soon as the concrete has achieved as little as 24 hours' concrete strength. Alternate jump form systems usually require a much greater strength, saving Twentytwo a full day per cycle. The system can be climbed, levelled and ready for the next cycle in under two hours. 

M-TECH also incorporates a bespoke design process that allows the rig to be loaded with a higher volume of materials than any other jump form system. At Twentytwo, this equates to only one two-hour crane loading time slot needed each week. 

Shorter Construction Cycles

The system creates a safer, more controlled workspace with no open edges. The workspace is less congested than other jump forms. Since the jacks only take up vertical space, all operations are contained within the working area. By using M-TECH to construct the RC core at Twentytwo, Multiplex says it has shortened construction cycles, reduced crane dependency, increased worker efficiency and created a safer work environment. 

Jobsite ANZ spoke with Aaron Donovan, Project Manager at Carey Group Plc, "I was lucky enough to visit the Twentytwo site and see the rig in operation. I found it very impressive in comparison to the alternatives (jumpform and slipform systems)."

"I was lucky enough to visit the Twentytwo site and see the rig in operation. I found it very impressive in comparison to the alternatives."

Sounds impressive right? We can't wait for this system to be introduced into Australia.

In addition to making the construction site a safer place to work, M-TECH has allowed the team working on Twentytwo to also take advantage of jump lift technology. This system uses a self-climbing elevator for transporting crew and materials through the partially completed lift shafts up to the finished levels. Using this jump lift technology, alongside the M-TECH system, enables efficient use of completed sections of the lift shaft. 

The jump lift system used at Twentytwo is also a safe option in case of unexpected weather challenges. Although normally, they may lead to unsafe working conditions and delays in delivery, this system can hoist materials and personnel up and down the M-TECH work platform without exposure to external elements. This integrated approach to lift installation has allowed Multiplex to make time savings of between 30 and 60 minutes per day, per employee. 

When it came to feedback from the on-site crews, the consistent comment was how secure the environment felt, regardless of how high off the ground you actually were.

As Multiplex continues working on major projects in London, and around the world, the team is constantly looking at innovative ways to use new technology to increase efficiency and solve construction challenges. 

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