April 26, 2022
With 60% of the world’s surging population expected to live in cities by 2030, demand for new buildings to accommodate them is escalating, and with that the added pressure to ramp up labor and material productivity. This is despite global shortages in an industry plagued by low productivity.
This is not a new story in construction. A recent McKinsey study showed that while 13% of the world’s GDP is coming from construction, productivity in the industry over the last 20 years has grown by as little as 1%. If industry productivity is ever going to match that of the global economy, then buildings will have to get up and running faster and more efficiently.
KONE is rising to this challenge with new innovative technologies that are already being integrated into projects to help their customers and the industry get up to speed. KONE JumpLift™ is case in point. Much to their dismay, construction workers spend too much time waiting for materials and tools, with only a third of their time being productive. Installing KONE JumpLift construction time elevators on building sites can carve weeks, even months, off project timelines by optimizing people and materials flow. Until now, the JumpLift technology has only existed for high-rise buildings such as Beijing’s CITIC Tower or Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands while lower-rise buildings have had to make do with stairwells and external hoists to move workers and their materials and tools around.
KONE JumpLift: making fast possible
Now KONE has launched the new KONE JumpLift, tailored specifically for this space and with the potential to revolutionize productivity. The solution was piloted on a mid-rise residential building in Kalasatama, Helsinki, called Lumo One, with 31 floors and 291 apartments.
Mika Kuukkanen, Foreman at SRV Construction, who oversaw the project said, “at first no one would believe that we were going to halve our construction time.” The project added two KONE JumpLifts to the worksite. “This cut construction time by six months,” Kuukkanen says, with workers spending more time doing the job they are onsite to do, more safely and quickly.
Ville Raitio, CIO at Kojamo, the real estate investment company behind the project, said: “Completing the project ahead of schedule was also good news from the point of view of capital deployment as the building could become cash flow producing more quickly.”
Adding building value using AI and connectivity
KONE digital solutions are also playing an outsized role in driving productivity. And with construction being one of the least digitized industries in the world, there is a lot of catching up to do. The McKinsey digitization index currently ranks the US construction sector second to last behind agriculture, and in Europe, the sector ranks last.
For years now, KONE has been providing digital, cloud-based solutions that ensure elevators perform at their peak. Among them, KONE 24/7 Connected Services™ helps to maximize elevator uptime by leveraging artificial intelligence and collecting key metrics to identify and act on potential problems before they occur. These benefits now also extend to construction time use. Similarly, for the existing building stock, the recently-launched KONE 24/7 Planner empowers business owners, housing associations, and facility managers with a powerful asset management tool that greatly enhances planning, cost control, and long-term visibility in budgeting, thereby increasing the value of the buildings. But even with winning technologies, experts caution that in a fragmented industry such as construction, collaboration is still essential for success.
Solving the productivity challenge together
At KONE Experience, a recent event held by KONE to kick off a new platform that encourages global dialogue and action among major players in the construction industry, the message could not have been clearer: collaborating is the key to accelerate progress. Speaking at the event, KONE Senior VP for Major Projects, Sascha Brozek, appealed to an industry audience to focus more on working together – and the earlier in a project the better.
Every building project is divided among contract service providers, which traditionally work independently of each other. One must finish one piece of a project before another can continue, which often causes lags. In elevator installation for example, there first needs to be a shaft and there also needs to be power. “If the power distribution sub-contractors haven’t done their part in advance, which sometimes happens,” Brozek says, “then we can’t start our installation.”
To tackle these potential productivity losses, Brozek advises developers to bring all the sub-contractors together from the outset, build a project team, then, during the course of the project, to solve problems together.
See highlights of KONE Experience 2022 and check out the full event recording here.