Metropolitan Walters Deploys “Cocoon” Technology to Enhance Worker Safety and Productivity

A five-storey “cocoon” has begun climbing up a new Manhattan skyscraper. The protective shell moves under its own power like a living thing, but it’s actually a groundbreaking technology that has the potential to make skyscraper construction faster, safer and (as the name suggests), just a little bit cosier.

Metropolitan Walters, the integrated division of Walters Group that offers installation and erection services to the New York City market, has secured exclusive North American rights to use this new Self Climbing Kokoon technology. They recently deployed it for the first time on a 70-storey mixed-use high-rise that is part of the One Manhattan West Project on Ninth Avenue.

The Kokoon system provides a protective shell that moves with construction activity. Workers are shielded from the elements and protected from falls. The Kokoon creates a safe external walkway that allows workers to do bolt-up, detailing and decking operations easily and safely. In addition, the Kokoon protects tradespeople working on lower floors from falling objects. When workers finish one floor, the Kokoon moves with them to the next.

“Once the Kokoon is in place, we don’t require a tower crane or other major equipment to move it.” says Metropolitan Walters CEO, David Pisacrita. “It has its own power source and hydraulic arms. It only takes three people to move this 700-ton beast to a new spot.”

The Self Climbing Kokoon, developed by Italy-based demolition engineering firm Despe S.p.A., creates a curtain of steel that shields the active construction site from the elements. Demolition teams have used related technology before, but this cocoon is the first tool of its kind designed to be used during construction. Pisacrita was instrumental in re-designing this technology to work from the ground up.

“We firmly believe that worker safety and productivity go hand in hand.” says Pisacrita. “Metropolitan Walters makes it a point to be at the forefront of new technologies that enhance both these factors.”

About Walters Group
Founded in 1956, Walters Group is a family-owned steel construction company that designs, fabricates, and constructs commercial and industrial projects throughout North America.

Regardless of the industry, size or complexity, we always bring the same passion and commitment to every project we take on.

Our ability to provide vertically-integrated services “in-house” allows us to deliver a seamless experience and control every stage of a project. From construction engineering and design-assist, to detailing and fabrication, to finishing, delivery and construction – we are with our clients every step of the way.

Through our integrated network of companies, we provide products and services that complement our core business of structural steel. From industry-leading Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) and high-end architecturally fabricated structures, to the latest in lightweight flooring technology, we’re able to bring innovative ideas and solutions to our clients.

About Metropolitan Walters
Metropolitan Walters is an integrated division of the Walters Group that offers installation and erection services to the New York City market.

Metropolitan Walters offers advanced installation and erection capabilities, combined with an intimate understanding of the city. We have been a part of building many of Manhattan’s landmark towers, including the residential tower at 432 Park Avenue, One 57 on 57th Street, and Brookfield Place on Vesey Street.

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