The Rising Factory – Reaching New Heights in UK Construction Industry Productivity

Kristen Whittle
Director
Bates Smart, Melbourne

Optimising the use of pre-fabrication and off-site construction has been the industry response to current and future urban habitat challenges in the UK construction market, such as; housing crises, high demand for build to rent accommodation, labour shortage and carbon footprint. The innovative use of identical Rising Factories to construct twin residential towers at East Village, Stratford, London has advanced this quest by providing enclosed, safe, factory environments where a complete off-site and on-site supply chain collaborated to achieve completed floor plates with integrated service modules, bathroom pods and cladding on a weekly cycle.

This presentation describes the strategy for construction delivery of the two residential towers including the logistical and vertical transportation requirements using the rising factory concept. This includes the coordinated structural engineering design, procurement and manufacture of the structural form of the factories their support system, gantry cranes, enclosure and weekly lift cycle.

It highlights the level of co-ordination achieved throughout the off-site works including the design and manufacture of precast concrete floors, twin wall core, unitised façade, multi service distribution modules, utility cupboards and bathroom pods. It discusses the measured benefits to programme, quality control, safety and sustainability targets.

It summarises the lessons learned from the factory operation, structural concrete and MEP; sub-assemblies, products and components used in the residential construction. It demonstrates how the factory method can be optimised for further use, and hence how similar enclosed factories might be used in the future throughout the industry.

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