Common tower streamlines London's St George's Tower construction

By Maria Hadlow24 October 2011

UK based CAS (Construction Access Systems) and The University of Southampton RIFI (Research Institute for Industry) have developed a common tower system to accommodate a number of hoist units.

It is a low profile, common tower system designed to speed up construction and save costs on construction work up to 70 storeys - 300m high. The first system is being used on London's 51 storey St George's Tower projects.

Manufactured from aluminium alloy to minimise weight, and fully stress tested by RIFI, the CAS common tower has a 5m by 5m footprint yet is capable of running multiple hoists simultaneously. This allows all material and personnel hoists to be concentrated in one area, which streamlines loading efficiency at ground level. With all hoists operating simultaneously it minimises waiting times for men and materials, especially at peak times.

CAS says that using the latest Alimak Scando 650 FCS 100m/minute high speed hoists will reduce full height transit time on St George's Tower to just 90 seconds compared to over 4 minutes using standard hoists. The common tower also accommodates a 3m by 4.6m 'Mammoth' hoist with a payload of 5500kg

As only the common tower, and not the hoists, are tied directly into the building, it means external cladding can be applied to the whole building during construction with the exception of the 4.5 metre access openings at each level. As a result there are far fewer panels to replace at the end of the project, which dramatically speeds up de-rigging.

CAS's managing director Tony Faulkner said, "The savings in time that our common tower creates are a real boost to efficiency during the construction phase. In addition, our common towers are far quicker to install and remove than conventional hoist systems, so there are major savings at the start and end of the project as well. High rise developments are becoming more common in city centres throughout Europe, and with construction costs continually rising, using our common tower in conjunction with high speed high capacity hoists makes so much sense for these major projects."

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