Potain towers build Italian Shard

02 February 2021

Italian contractor Colombo Costruzioni, working for Italian real estate company Coima SRG, has deployed two Potain top slewing tower cranes for the construction of the GIOIA 22 skyscraper in Milan. An MD 365 B L16 and an MD 208 A are being used to help build the 120 m high building. Dubbed ‘Scheggia di Vetro’, or ‘Shard of Glass’, the building will become the headquarters of Italian banking group UBI Banca.

It has been designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects as the first skyscraper in Italy to meet nearly zero-energy building (NZEB) standards. Sustainable building practices will be employed throughout, and upon completion, its exterior will be covered in more than 6,000 m2 of solar panels, generating enough power for the equivalent of 306 homes.

Engineer Matteo Pastore from Manitowoc Crane Care Lift Solutions Southern Europe, who has spent a lot of time on the jobsite and working on the placement of the cranes, said, “Planning takes place in plan view and vertical view. In plan view, it’s necessary to avoid interference between the cranes and provide, in addition to the assembly, the disassembly phases for the cranes to return to ground level with the tower built in front of them,” he explained.

“In the vertical view study, the cranes must rise together with the building by anchoring on it – and to do that, it is necessary to design the right number of anchors, avoiding interference with the rampant formworks.”

The 16 tonne capacity MD 365 B L16 will reach a maximum height of 136 m and has been fixed with two anchors. The 10 t capacity MD 208 A will reach a maximum height of 151 m and uses three anchors. Each anchor consists of an 18 m beam and weighs 3 t.

Stefano Crespi, project manager at Colombo Costruzioni, said, “Thanks to the excellent engineering support and technical services provided by Manitowoc, we have been able to respect and meet all the deadlines set by Coima.”

The project is due for completion in March 2021.

Colombo Costruzioni previously used the MD 365 B L16 on financial services provider Allianz’s Italian headquarters, the Isozaki Tower, also known as ‘Il Dritto’ or ‘The Straight One’ in Milan’s CityLife district, and the MD 208 A on the Unicredit Tower, which is also in Milan.

“Potain’s collaboration with Colombo Costruzioni goes back a long time, and the new Milanese skyline now counts a lot of towers realized by Colombo Costruzioni using Potain cranes,” said Sabino Riefoli, export sales and key account manager at Manitowoc Crane Group Italy. “On its many important projects, Colombo Costruzioni has always relied on Manitowoc, not just for cranes but for solving technical and organizational issues, finding better lift solutions, optimising the placement of the cranes, and the development of jobsites phase by phase.”

Gianluigi Consolaro, Crane Care manager for Manitowoc Crane Group Italy, added, “Thanks to Colombo Costruzioni, our Potain cranes are well known all around the country, with the Potain name connected to major projects such as the Allianz Tower, the Unicredit Tower and now the GIOIA 22 ‘Shard of Glass’.


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