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The Rising Factory

We are currently engaged with MACE in the development of an enclosed ‘rising factory’, a totally unique concept in the UK construction industry.

The ‘jump form’ or ‘slipform’ systems are well established, but what emerges there is the raw core of a building with all the remaining elements still to be constructed, with all the associated programme disadvantages.

The ‘rising factory’ is a 10 storey high enclosure inside which the construction of a complete multi-storey building takes place over 5 construction levels. What emerges as the factory is jacked up on its weekly cycle is a level of newly constructed building which from the outside is complete and just requires finishes to be applied internally.

The basic spatial and loading requirements were determined by our client but Davies Maguire developed the configuration of the trusses and columns in such a way as to maintain 100% crane and personnel access to the floorplate of the building and the loading and storage areas.  Movements of the factory under the various loads, including a high wind load at the top of the building, were analysed in detail to ensure that the factory, specifically the cranes, can remain serviceable at all times. A method was developed to transfer the steel member sizes required by the 3D analysis software directly to the Revit CAD software simplifying the drawing process, enabling any changes to be readily incorporated as the design progressed. The four columns of the factory are supported off the four corner columns of the building by special brackets, with details of how the resulting eccentric loads are carried was fully resolved by Davies Maguire.

Cranes, storage and welfare facilities needed for the construction activities are all within the enclosure and varying types of activities happen at each level from construction of the structural columns and slabs at the top to completion and sealing of the cladding at the fifth level.

A jacking system is permanently attached to the factory columns and the jacks engage with the support brackets when the factory makes its weekly lift. The factory facilitates the construction of a 30-storey building with a cycle of a week per floor, giving large programme and site health and safety benefits. These benefits are significant for all parties and must be the future of the industry.

Stratford, London
Project Engineer
Des Mairs