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Mace to use ‘significantly improved' jumping factory on Olympic village job

Mace jumping factory 3to2

Mace is set to deploy a new and “significantly improved” version of its jumping factory on a £180M project to turn part of the 2012 Olympic Games athletes’ village into more than 500 build-to-rent homes.

The second iteration of the jumping factory will be used on the NO6 project in east London, after the original jumping factory received rave reviews when used to build an adjacent block. 

The new factory will be a lighter and an even more efficient version of the original, incorporating all of its learnings and innovations, according to Mace technical director high rise solutions Peter Goring.

Speaking exclusively to New Civil Engineer, Goring said although the original jumping factory had cost a lot to develop, it had saved money by improving productivity and had brought huge health and safety benefits for site workers.

“What we’ve gained out of it, more than anything else, was creating a completely weathertight environment and a much safer environment which was far more productive,” he said. “What we’re taking forward is all of these really good lessons that we’ve learned on how to build in a more efficient way and take more of the construction off site.”

Goring said that by using heart rate monitoring, Mace found workers had much lower heart rates in the enclosed environment than on equivalent  outdoor tower sites.

He also said that the factory environment allowed other trades to get involved and start to streamline their own processes.

“There were starting MEP [mechanical, electrical and public health] fit out guys who were saying: ’you’ve got those cranes there, I can put my MEP on the floors before you put your structure in?’, which is completely back to front to how we normally work,” he said. “So we were actually putting in things like the soil sacks for the bathrooms before the floors were in, that’s unheard of in things we’ve done before.”

However, he said going forward it no longer made sense to use the factory in its current guise.

“We used the factory to create an enclosed environment to improve on our processes, and that was great, but it cost a lot of money to do that, however we saved money in other ways,” he said. “On the next iteration because we’ve now mastered those things, we don’t get the same benefits because we were already going to do it that way.

“To cost justify something as large as the factory, the assembly and dismantling time is quite hard to do. What we’ve done is taken the methodology and we’re going to use a reduced, streamlined version of the factory.”

The new version will include a lighter cover to create the same enclosed environment and the façade panels delivered to site attached to the perimeter, precast concrete floor panels.

The original jumping factory was used to build, two towers on the same site at a rate of one fully clad and fitted out floor per week including all mechanical ducts, bathroom pods, critical plumbing stacks and service modules right down to wi-fi routers. The innovation cost the company £9M.

The NO6 development is one of the last remaining development plots in the East Village neighbourhood, adjacent to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The two towers will be 26 and 31 storeys high with two 10 storey pavilions which have been merged into a single development connected by an inhabited sky-bridge.

The buildings have been designed by structural engineer Walsh and architect Hawkins Brown. Construction of NO6 is due to commence in December 2018, following completion of enabling works on the site.

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