As the home of the world’s tallest building, the world’s largest indoor theme park, and the world’s largest shopping mall, Dubai is no stranger to superlative engineering achievements.
Now, a construction team in the city has added another entry to this list – the $408.4m (AED1.5bn) ICD Brookfield Place’s (ICDBP) project site is currently home to the world’s largest luffing jib tower crane – the Favelle Favco M2480D.
A partnership between Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) and Brookfield Property Partners (BPY) is leading the project’s development. Designed by Foster + Partners, ICDBP features 9ha of Grade-A commercial space. The 55-storey building offers column-free units, with floorplates ranging from 1,579m2 to 2,787m2.
Multiplex and Ssangyong (MSS) are working in a joint venture (JV) as the project’s main contractors. Project management and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering services are being delivered by Aecom, while BSBG is on-board as the project’s delivery architect.
The Favelle Favco M2480D luffing jib tower crane is being used on the project for its lifting capabilities, Scott Cunningham, operations manager for Multiplex Technologies Plant and Equipment, tells Construction Week. At 330 tonnes (t) maximum lifting capacity, the luffing crane is the world’s heaviest in terms of capacity.
“For this project, the crane has been configured to 110t capacity on a single line, with a 55m boom radius and 76m free-stand height,” he adds.
The specialised piece of equipment is at ICDBP’s site for a six-month period, and was shipped from Australia specifically for use on this project. The crane was supplied by Marr Contracting, a specialist Australian heavy lifting contractor, Andrew Lipshut, technical manager at Multiplex Middle East, tells Construction Week.
A luffing jib crane as large as the Favco M2480D has never been used in the UAE before, and Lipshut says numerous design approvals were needed to bring the crane to its current home, adding: “A crane of this size, [combined] with the reactions of the base, needed a lot of engineering work to make sure that it was capable of withstanding the forces, [and] it entailed a lot of technical work to get it where it is.”
It took the contracting team two weeks to erect the crane, during which some road diversions and closures were implemented to get the equipment on site. Cunningham says the contractors’ in-house operators are fully capable of working with the crane, and are helped by the “very good training regimes” that are implemented for crane operators in the region.
“We knew this crane was coming a long time ago, so we made sure we’d be ready for it,” he adds.
This readiness is the result of extensive planning and crane selection exercises carried out by the contractor team, and Lipshut says numerous iterations of crane models and sizes were considered when project planning began.
“The largest lifts needed are around 80t to 85t, so the original scheme we had featured a smaller crane in four locations, which would be shifted around the site,” Lipshut continues.
“However, getting the crane set up and shifting it to different locations takes time as well. Instead, the current scheme involves the larger [Favco M2480D] crane being set up in only two locations.”