Potain Tower Cranes Key to Constructing France's Third Tallest Building

Two tower cranes are averaging one floor per day during construction of a new commercial development in Lyon, France

Both cranes are climbing at a rate of 49 feet per month and set to reach final working heights of 918 feet.
Both cranes are climbing at a rate of 49 feet per month and set to reach final working heights of 918 feet.

The challenge:

Building France's third tallest building while working around a demaning schedule and an inner-city location

The players:


The process:

Two Potain tower cranes are building an ambitious commercial development in the heart of Lyon, France. The 656-foot-tall Tour Incity will be the tallest building in the city and the third tallest in France. The Potain cranes are working 14 hours a day for 30 months to build one floor per week at the congested jobsite.                                                                                                                                                                    

The demanding schedule is the result of the building’s inner-city location. Flanked by a busy road, a school and a shopping mall, work must adhere to a strict schedule to limit disruption to the local area.

The Potain MD 550 and MDT 222 tower cranes, which are owned by the project’s main contractor Bouygues, were chosen for the project because of their proven reliability and performance that will ensure the project runs smoothly, as Julian Bargues, jobsite manager at Bouygues explains.

“We are absolutely convinced that the Potain cranes will deliver to the high standards and strict schedule we demand,” he says. “Working in such a tight space means we need very precise load control and smooth movement, two things we know Potain cranes are ideal.”

The Potain cranes at Tour Incity were erected in 2013. They are lifting general construction materials in loads. Both cranes are climbing at a rate of 49 feet per month and set to reach final working heights of 918 feet.

The cranes’ exact position and jib lengths were carefully planned to ensure maximum coverage of the jobsite, yet minimal disruption to the busy streets below. As a result, one of the Potain cranes, the MDT 222, is climbing internally, adding to the technical challenge of the project, as Alexandre Chanteclair, EMEA product manager at Potain, explains.

“Big projects need smart and efficient solutions. Our Lift Solutions team worked closely with Bouygues to design the perfect lifting solution,” he says. “Erecting the MDT 222 internally minimizes the two cranes’ footprints on the jobsite, while giving the crane the optimum capacity over the maximum area of the jobsite. It also ensure the cranes can work at a good pace without causing problems for the local area.”

The Potain MDT 222 is erected with a specially-adapted floor climbing system where a unique frame is attached to the building’s concrete core. This allows the crane to reach its final working height while maintaining its strength and stability. The MD 550 is installed with Potain’s external anchorage system where several frames fix the mast to the outside of the building.

Manitowoc Crane Care service teams regularly work alongside Bouygues at the jobsite, ensuring the cranes perform perfectly and climb with ease.

Potain’s MD 550 is a top-slewing tower crane configured with 196 feet of jib at the jobsite. The Potain MDT 222 is a topless city crane that is fitted with a 98-foot jib at the project.

Tour Incity is a mixed-use commercial development in the heart of Lyon’s business district. The tower will comprise of 44,000 square meters of offices and four restaurants. Tour Incity is the first inner-city building to be accredited as HQE (High Quality Environmental Standard) in France thanks to a variety of environmental innovations.