The process is intended to streamline construction and make it more efficient, akin to an automotive assembly plant.
“How do we turn the construction site into really a manufacturing facility? That’s our ultimate goal,” Benvenuto said. “It’s making (workers) more productive, which of course helps us and our owners, and that’s really what this is about.”
Logistics is key to making sure as much of each floor is finished when it is lifted, as there are no tower cranes like would typically be seen at a construction site like The Exchange. The building will have153 apartments and 12 condos when it’s completed next year on Gratiot Avenue.
Ultimately, the technology could also help with labor shortage issues that have plagued the industry for years, Benvenuto says. If skilled trades workers are more efficient at sites where the LiftBuild technology is used, that means they can move on to other construction jobs quicker, alleviating some of the pressure on the labor market.
But now that what Benvenuto calls the “validation” of the technology is complete, that will help LiftBuild sell the concept to other developers who may be interested in utilizing it.
“We do have some owners that say, ‘Hey, we love the concept. We love what you guys are all about. But once you have built a building or two, then let us know,'” Benvenuto said.
The Exchange is expected to take its first residents in late spring next year. Deep foundation work began in March 2021 and the spines were completed earlier this spring.