Up Mexico way

15 April 2008

As any visitor will know, Mexico City is famous, for know, two things – its high levels o f pollution and the traffic congestion. A trip from one side of the city to the other can take up to five hours. And that is on a good day.

In an effort to reduce commuting times and distances travelled, developers in the city are gradually c han g in g their approach and beginning to “sectorise”– building m ore commercial p ro p ert y in residential areas and homes in commercial districts. Space is at a premium in what is the third largest metropolis (only Tokyo and New York City are bigger), so a large amount of this construction is vertical.

One such development is under construction in Santa Fe on the western edge of the city. Work began in June 2006 on Cumbres Santa Fe, a luxury gated community, which will feature single family homes and an apartment complex.

The first phase of the project is a high rise apartment building known as Edificio Basalto, an 80 m tall, 17 storey construction of large luxury apartments. Each floor will be 900 m2, with two apartments on each floor of around 420 m2 The structure is steel reinforced concrete, with four levels of underground parking and a rooftop heliport.

Co n s tr uc t o r a At co i s the Mexican contractor responsible for the project. It is using a Potain MCi85b tower crane to deliver rebar, concrete forms and, in some cases, the concrete itself. The MCi85B is working with a 50 m jib at 30.7 m height under hook. Capacity is 1.3 tonnes at the tip with a maximum lift capacity of 5 tonnes.

Antonio Miranda Torres, Constructora Atco job supervisor on the site, says he is impressed by the tower crane, “These modern, easy-to-operate cranes are often replacing very old equipment. Our operator feels this crane is a lot easier to operate than the older machines.”

The MCi85B is one of a number of Potain models suited to the Mexican market, claims Potain dealer Serminter, and interest continues to grow.

Thanks to the availability of the China-built Potains, the company is better able to compete in the Mexican market, says Cedric Peronnet, Serminter general manager. “When we established in Mexico City 27 years ago, we represented Potain because there was a huge potential for tower cranes. That is still the case today, as construction spending has not slowed.

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