Innovation Award of Excellence: Self-Climbing Kokoon

Stefano Panseri
Despe S.p.A., Milan

Automated Platforms for Construction Speed and Safety

The Self Climbing Kokoon (SCK) is an automated system for high-rise construction. Made in Italy, it was recently used on its first live project, a skyscraper in Manhattan. It is equipped with a hydraulic lifting system that allows the assembly to climb up or down façades. No additional equipment or operators are required to run the SCK, and it is able to climb two floors or 27 feet (8.2 meters) in less than 3.5 hours, with the push of the button. Once several floors’ worth of steel is in place, the SCK retracts its walkways, activates its hydraulic cylinders and jacks itself up to the next tier. Suspended from the building’s columns and driven by its own onboard generator, the SCK can travel between floors without the aid of a crane, or the need to stop work on the site. In so doing, it improves the safety standard for all workers on the site, eliminates the potential risk of falling objects, and provides safe and easy access to the building envelope.