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10 2022 Exchange ENR Article Hero
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ENR: With Exchange, LIFTbuild Delivering First Top-Down Project in the US Since the '70s

ENR: With Exchange, LIFTbuild Delivering First Top-Down Project in the US Since the '70s

The Exchange – a 16-story condo and apartment tower in Detroit’s Greektown neighborhood that is being constructed using LIFTbuild’s patented top-down technology – was featured in an Engineering News-Record article. LIFTbuild’s technology allows individual floors to be built on the ground and then lifted into place, ultimately accelerating a given construction schedule by up to 30%.

The Exchange structure – a proof of concept for LIFTbuild – is supported by two concrete cores or “spines”. The core walls are 10-12 inches thick and house the stairwells and elevators. Every steel-framed floor deck of the high-rise is built on the ground using more than 75 tons of steel and 110 cubic yards of concrete.

When each of the 500-ton, 11,000 SF floorplates is ready to be lifted, it is raised by eight strand jacks, with a capacity of about 200 tons apiece, staged on the ground with pulley systems at the top. The floor segments rise at a speed of about 20 feet to 30 feet per hour. The floors are connected to the cores with a proprietary bolted connection once fully elevated. As one floor is raised, work can safely begin on a new floor below it.

Ghafari is a proud member of the design team supporting Gratiot Acquisition Partners and LIFTbuild (a subsidiary of Barton Malow) on this groundbreaking project. In addition to 165 residential units, the 207-foot-tall building will also provide 30 private office suites on the first floor that can be leased by the residents or the public. The second floor will offer a resident clubroom, fitness center, and deck.

To date, eight floors have been built on the ground and raised to the top of the structure. No trusses or other structures on the roof support the floors; they are held up entirely by the building’s cores. The Exchange is expected to welcome its first residents in late spring of 2023.

Read the full ENR article about the project – featuring a quote from Ghafari’s own senior project architect Dan Harding – here (ENR subscribers only).