Building taller, faster: Optimizing vertical site traffic to improve construction productivity

Roger Lu
General Manager and Head of Major Projects, China
KONE, Shanghai

Ensuring the efficient vertical flow of people and materials is a key success factor in high-rise construction projects. While every project has unique requirements, the essentials remain: workers need to be able to move around smoothly and effortlessly, and materials need to be available at the right time in the right place to ensure that the project stays on schedule.

A traditional way to ensure efficient vertical flow in the later phases of the construction process is to protect the final elevators and use them to transport people and materials. In recent years, however, self-climbing elevators used during construction have been gaining market share, complementing or replacing traditional builder’s hoists, especially in super-tall building construction.

Self-climbing elevators provide safe, efficient, and weatherproof vertical transport for site workers, and can be put into operation before the building has reached its final height. This frees up external hoist capacity for material transport. With no need to maintain access to lower floor levels once completed, the facade can be made weatherproof far more quickly.

Modern construction time use (CTU) solutions enable a great deal of flexibility on construction sites. For example, temporary machine-room solutions can cover a full elevator group that serves the lower part of the building so it can be completed and opened for use while the higher sections are still under construction.

New technology innovations are broadening the scope of CTU solutions even further. For example, wireless technologies enable flexible positioning of call devices without the need for permanent installations, while sensor and connectivity technologies enable access control and tracking solutions for both materials and people, increasing efficiency and safety at the construction site.