Job-Site Innovations Slash Time, Cost of Constructing Canada's Tallest Skyscraper

by Keith E. Roberts, Vice-Pres.; Operations, Olympia & York Developments Ltd., Toronto, Canada,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1976, Vol. 46, Issue 8, Pg. 42-46

Document Type: Feature article


In Building Canada's tallest office building, the 72-story First Bank Tower in Toronto, owner-developer Olympia & York introduced several job site innovations that dramatically cut the time and cost of constructing the skyscraper. Key idea: drastically reduce the time for moving men and materials. Among major innovations: First, nine temporary elevators to move men and materials up and down the building; these later became permanent building elevators. Second, a truck carrying materials drives onto a giant street-level elevator,which carries it down to the basement. There, the truck drives onto a large turntable, which positions the truck to any one of 11 loading docks. Again, this system becomes permanent. Third, two self-climbing cranes were used to erect steelwork. Fourth, ready-mix trucks at street level dump their concrete down a vertical chute, which feeds a horizontal conveyor in the basement. The conveyor then transports the concrete to a hopper, which feeds twin concrete hoists travelling up what would later become permanent elevator rails.

Subject Headings: Trucks | Elevators | Concrete | Rail transportation | Innovation | High-rise buildings | Commercial buildings | Basements | Canada | Toronto | Ontario

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