Two major tall building projects have benefited from robotic-style technology in recent months to speed construction time and keep employees safe while working at height.
The project team for the 50 Hudson Yards in New York City relied on an Italian-made machine that hydraulically "climbs" up the side of a building to provide structure and walkways for workers as they construct the building's steel frame. Once several floors' worth of steel is in place, the Despe Self-Climbing Kokoon retracts the walkways, activates its hydraulic cylinders and jacks itself up to the next tiers.
Suspended from the building's columns and driven by its own onboard generator, the Kokoon can travel between floors without the aid of a crane or even stopping work on the site, according to the Despe website.
Crew members at 50 Hudson Yards used the system instead of traditional panel protection, shortening crane time, lowering labor costs and improving worker safety, according to general contractor Besix Group. The unit increased safety for pedestrians as well, shielding them from debris and accidents related to falling objects, Besix said.
Expected to open next year with tenants including BlackRock and Facebook, the 1,011-foot-tall 50 Hudson Yards topped out in February. It was the second U.S. project for the Kokoon, which was also used on the 67-story One Manhattan West in 2018.
For a tall building in Dubai, Besix turned to a robot to make elevator installation work easier, safer and quicker. The general contractor deployed the Schindler R.I.S.E. system (shown in top photo and at right), which travels to all the levels of a building to accurately measure and drill holes to set the anchor bolts necessary for the installation of the elevator guide rails and landing doors.
The technology makes construction faster and more accurate, according to a press release, while also improving safety conditions for technicians.
Due for delivery in 2022, the 1,115-foot-tall Uptown Tower will be the first building to be completed in the mixed-use Uptown Dubai district. The tower will feature 188 luxury hotel rooms and suites, restaurants, health spas, conference facilities and 229 residential units.
RISE has been deployed commercially in the TrIIIple project in Vienna and the Varso Tower in Warsaw, which will be the tallest skyscraper in the European Union upon its planned completion in 2022, according to the company.