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Building in urban areas – 3 key takes for going higher instead of wider

By Peikko's blog team

January, 30, 2020

According to the United Nations, nearly all global population growth between now and 2030 is absorbed by cities. The lack of space means that we need to build upwards – higher and higher each time. The new way of building calls for new ways of thinking.

The evolving skyline of Winnipeg

The Winnipeg skyline got a new landmark when the 21-story GlassHouse was completed.

A fourth-generation builder, the Director of Project Delivery at Bockstael Construction, Nick Bockstael, provides his insight with 3 key points for when building upwards instead of building at the ground level.

1. Safety must come first

Safety issues have to be taken seriously. In addition to gravity, there is also another element that needs to be reckoned with.

“Wind is always a factor on a high-rise. Materials can blow off the site if you don’t pay attention to safety measures. The same goes for pouring concrete. Splashing concrete can be tamed by meshing the work area, but that’s, of course, an additional cost.”

2. Smoothly running supply chain

“This is a universal challenge for managing urban sites and their material flows. There is usually no room for storing the materials,” Bockstael notes.

“Everything needed had to arrive on site just on time, so we had to use a small depot outside the city to truck the materials over. There was no place for hiccups in the supply chain.”

3. Building method can make a difference

Bockstael Construction uses precast in around 60 percent of their projects, urban or not. “It all depends on the shape and type of the building. But when space is at premium, using steel and hollow-core construction helps,” Nick Bockstael says.

And how did it go for them?

“There were no major safety incidents and we delivered on time and on budget. Needless to say, the owner was happy,” Nick Bockstael concludes.

Want to know more about collaborative projects? Read the blog post from Matti Vartiainen, DELTABEAM® product manager at Peikko.

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