01 Dec High-rise buildings: take it to the top with professional rack and pinion construction hoists
The trend towards increasingly high-rise construction projects is also placing demands on the manufacturers of rack and pinion construction hoists. Workers and site managers must reach ever-increasing heights to keep up with the height of their concrete structures. Hence professional construction hoists need to be higher as well, to make such construction projects possible.
Working on a high-rise building site
Till a few years ago, it was common to employ many foreign construction workers, often from eastern Europe, because they were cheaper compared to their Belgian colleagues. It wasn’t seen as a problem if they had to climb many stairs and ladders and so work less efficiently, as their labour wasn’t expensive anyway.
The deployment of foreign workers has continued in more recent times, to make up for the shortfall in local worker force. But they haven’t been cheap for some time now.
It is therefore increasingly important to consider the efficient deployment of labour in the case of high-rise building, including efficient vertical transport of personnel on site.
The construction of high-rise buildings often begins with a central lift shaft in concrete. This is normally cast in situ. The construction of such shafts takes place much faster than the rest of the structure, hence workers need to reach the needed working height at a very early stage.
A construction hoist needed may be positioned either inside or outside the lift shaft. As construction proceeds and work takes place at increasing heights, the construction hoist must also be raised.
Requirements for construction hoists for high-rise buildings
The capacity of the hoist is less crucial when it comes to the construction of the concrete structure. A small but fast hoist will suffice in this case, as it is mostly persons who need to be taken up to a certain height.
Capacity begins to play a more important role as the project progresses. Materials will need to be brought up as the finishing work takes place on the different floors.
In the initial phases, site workers only need to be taken up to the highest level. The hoist only needs to stop at the top and no intermediate stopping points are needed.
As the work continues, the hoist is extended alongside the structure of the building. This means that the speed of the hoist is important, resulting in the use of a passenger hoist with a closed cage: a lift like this travels at a higher speed, with many models achieving 40 to 60 metres per minute. This is contrary to the legal limits on the speed of open builder’s hoists, which are limited at 24 metres per minute for goods and 12 metres per minute for persons.
As the finishing work on the project commences, intermediate stops are required. This is something you need to consider when you hire a construction hoist: will you need intermediate stops or will a single stop suffice? A hoist that stops on each floor will obviously take longer to reach the top than one that does it in one go. On many sites we see a compromise, with the lift stopping every 2, 4 or 5 floors.
Where a hoist is positioned in the lift shaft it is important to consider the installation method. It is usual to use a tower crane to bring in the hoist via the top of the shaft. The top of the lift shaft is still open at that time. By the time dismantling is needed, the roof will in many cases, be sealed and the hoist will need to be removed via the ground floor or the basement. The dimensions of the exit must be taken into account! Our hoists can be completely taken apart into small components, but obviously the smaller the opening, the more expensive the dismantling work.
The height of the rack and pinion hoist is another crucial factor in high-rise building. If you are putting up a 60-metre-tall building, not every hoist will do. Builder’s hoists by Maber can reach heights up to 150 metres and have the necessary power and capacity. Orion Dynamic is the exclusive distributor in the Benelux for Maber products. It’s interesting to note that there are no buildings exceeding 150 metres in height in Belgium. So you can call on Orion for all your projects.
Curious about the specifications of our most common construction hoists? We’ve got a summary for you:
Open cage transport platforms :
Close cage construction hoists: