The Towering Tower Crane at SLS Lux Is Coming Down – How Do They Do That?
The tower crane that erected the nearly sold-out SLS Lux to its height of 60 stories is being removed this weekend. Allen Morris, the co-developer of SLS Lux has joked that the tower crane is the State Bird of Florida and while I chuckle, he does have a point. During the high point of the building boom, I’ve counted as many as 33 tower cranes in the skyline.
Many people have been curious about the process of building and disassembling such monstrous tools. How do you build something that is designed to build a building that tall? There is no tool tall enough or strong enough to take it down when the job is complete, so how do they do it? Interestingly enough, it takes itself down.
The tower portion (also called the mast) is designed in a way that it has a brace, allowing workers to raise the crane with hydraulics, then the crane lifts the next piece and workers slide it into place. This happens gradually as the tower rises, and then the opposite happens when they are finished. When the tower is low enough, a mobile crane will arrive and disassemble the rest.
Here is a short video that demonstrates how the cranes build themselves up:
Below is an image taken from Brickell Heights next door. You can see that the crane is being lowered for disassembly. The jib (arm) is moved into the North/South position so that it does not damage the building, and is slowly shrinking from its tallest height of 700 feet. According to the workers onsite, the process takes about a week.
SLS Lux is expected to open later this year. All of the residences and designer suites have been sold, but 2 penthouses remain available. We had the opportunity to preview the penthouse views when the building topped off in December.