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Quebec firm to deploy crane-free construction system for Monaco build

Don Procter
Quebec firm to deploy crane-free construction system for Monaco build
SCREENGRAB — Quebec-based engineering firm Upbrella Construction will be using its crane-free sheltered construction system to help build a 12-storey luxury residence in the heart of Monaco, those attending a webinar were told recently.

A Brossard, Que.-based engineering firm is heading to Europe this fall with its patented crane-free sheltered construction system to help build a 12-storey luxury residence in the heart of Monaco, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Upbrella Construction’s engineered system, which allows for building a floor at a time under cover of its pre-built roof, is tailored to the project on the tight site in the dense city-state, Jacques Gauthier, Upbrella’s vice-president of business development, explained.

Gauthier was a speaker at a webinar recently on the construction of the novel Carmelha Tower — a concrete/cross-laminated timber (CLT) hybrid — and its innovative approach to construction which employs elevator type actuators to lift each floor into place.

Monaco’s new stringent noise regulations was among the reasons the design team that included Simonin, a French designer and manufacturer of CLT and mass timber components for the building, saw merit in Upbrella.

Construction will be under Upbrella’s shelter to minimize noise, dust and “make the site friendlier for construction,” Gauthier told the webinar audience.

Prior to selecting the Quebec firm, the design/building team had looked at alternatives, including a French company’s “untested static canopy” still in the early stage of design, Gauthier said, adding Upbrella has been specified for several towers in Quebec, including a 17-storey hotel in Montreal.

To commence construction in October, the tower will be prefabricated off-site and delivered on a just-in-time schedule per floor, Vincent Ballion, project director of France-based architect Studio Bellecour, told the webinar.

Upbrella’s system starts with the assembly of the final roof followed by the worksite shelter where the floor assembly is completed and then lifted into place. Construction of the building envelope follows as the floors rise.

Gauthier said 80 per cent of construction will be done at worker height in the shelter which minimizes safety risks, including falls, which is the most common hazard on construction sites.

He said the existing building on the property is slated for demolition in September with the Upbrella shelter’s construction along with excavation and foundation work to follow later in the fall.

“Once completed, the Upbrella shelter will be redeployed, adding the peripheral platform for the envelope work, the monorail and other vertical material handling systems, for the tower assembly,” he said.

Gauthier said the assembly will be shipped from Quebec across the Atlantic and the Mediterranean to the nearest port to Monaco.

Upbrella will be working with another Quebec company on the project, structural engineer L2C Experts.

Gauthier said Upbrella has been marketing its engineered system in London and Paris for about three years.

“Monaco was an unexpected opportunity,” he added.

The webinar was organized through Propel by MIPIM Daily Talks.

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