Top-slewer tops out tallest tower

Biskon Construction is using a Liebherr 200 EC-H 10 tower crane

Litronic crane reaches in the clouds during work on Turkey's tallest tower.
Litronic crane reaches in the clouds during work on Turkey's tallest tower.


A Liebherr tower crane is helping to construct Turkey’s tallest building, the Sapphire Tower in Istanbul, which at 261m has a total of 54 floors.

Under construction by Biskon Construction since 2006, the building is due for completion later in 2009. Liebherr’s distributor in Turkey, Atilla Dural Mümessillik Insaat Ltd supplied the Liebherr 200 EC-H 10 Litronic top-slewing tower crane.

The crane, the only one in use on the project, has been secured to the side of the building and has grown as the structure has grown, the modular design making the extensions and later the dismantling a straightforward matter for Atilla Dural technicians.

Working in conjunction with the crane for materials transportation is a twin-cage hoist, which is also used to carry workers to all levels of the structure.

Sapphire Tower is a residential, leisure and shopping centre project, located in Istanbul’s mixed-use district of Levent.

Designed by Tabanlioglu Mimarlik ve Danismanlik for developers the Kiler Group, the tower has special energy saving features and indoor gardens at various levels.  Every tenth floor is planned as a recreational area, and there will be a golf practice area at 163 metres.

The glass-clad façade consists of a double skin that protects the interiors from adverse weather and acts as a buffer between the interiors and outside world, reducing noise pollution for all the local residents.

The total area of the building is only 157,800 square metres, with the shopping mall taking up 35,000 square metres of space. Six underground levels will provide parking space, and there will be a connection to the Istanbul metro train.
Project manager Mustafa Sakarya says that with a site area of only 11,500 square metres and with the necessity for fast moving of materials to progress the tower at the scheduled rate, it was considered that a single tower crane working in conjunction with a twin-cage hoist would provide a fast and compact system of materials transportation.

“The relatively small footprint of the building, and the confines of the site meant that we had little room for materials handling equipment,” he says.

“When we were planning the project in discussions with Atilla Dural engineers we realised that the 60 m reach of the jib would allow us to lift and place materials to any part of the structure.

“The crane can lift 2.65 tonnes at 60 m, and 10 tonnes maximum, so we had real flexibility. Atilla Dural recommended the crane and hoist combination, and this has allowed us to meet all of our total lifting requirements.”

Mr Sakarya added that the Liebherr crane was also used during the excavation process, which involved digging to a depth of 43 m, with the crane being erected to a free-standing height of 56 m above the excavation and used for concrete pouring and lifting of heavy equipment.

Turkey has been less affected than Europe during the slowdown, despite it’s size. 

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