The Leadenhall Building

British Land/Oxford Properties
Lifting strategy development, logistics management, cranes, operation and delivery

Full Project Details

Our role: To provide a full crane strategy enabling the construction of The Leadenhall Building, a major commercial building development in the heart of the City of London.

Working closely with the building’s architects, the client and delivery partner Laing O’Rourke, we were able to devise an innovative crane and lifting strategy that was a key enabler in the innovative modular construction methodology, with over 80% of the building’s structural elements constructed off site.

The Leadenhall Building is a commercial office development in the heart of London’s central financial district, immediately between Lloyd’s of London and the Swiss Re building. When complete, it will be a 225 m skyscraper, providing 50 floors. It is due for completion in mid 2014.

The challenge

Unlike other tall buildings, which typically use a concrete core to provide stability, the external steel ‘megaframe’, designed by Arup, provides stability to the entire structure. Lifting of the steel frame sections, as well as modular ‘tables’ forming the services and lift areas for the building demanded a new approach and totally innovative lifting strategy, never attempted on this scale before.

Our Approach

Before The Leadenhall Building, cranes capable of lifting loads of up to 45t simply did not exist. Though Select’s close working relationship with Terex Comedil, one of the world’s leading crane manufacturers, the team literally devised a new design specificially for this project.

The engineering behind our delivery

The Comedil CTL650-45 is now lifting the heaviest loads of any tower crane in the UK, and is critical to the delivery of the project. Laing O’Rourke’s Design for Manufacture & Assembly strategy is at the heart of the building’s rapid delivery programme, with substantial elements such as the steel frame, floor segments, building services assemblies and even complete modular units such as plantrooms all being manufactured under optimum conditions off site, and then lifted into position as and when required. Having devised and agreed the crane strategy, Select not only manages and operates the cranes, but also manages the logistics of deliveries to the site, ensuring that resources are always in position and ready to be lifted into place.  

Select also devised an innovative process to raise the tower cranes as the building grows. Rather than external cantilever mounting, the cranes climb internally, through the attachment of the mast to the building’s steel frame and floor slabs. The crane is supported by climbing collars that fit around the mast at different floor levels. 

  • Heavy lift crane operations
  • Key enabler of latest construction working practices
  • Coordinated lifting and logistics processes