Product of the Month: Self-Climbing Kokoon Perimeter Protection System by Despe takes NYC projects to new heights

February 02, 2021 - Owners Developers & Managers
Self Climbing Kokoon installed at One Manhattan West (photo taken from across 9th Ave. and 33th St.)

New York, NY Despe brings construction to the future. They are the makers of a first of its kind Italian-built cocoon, soon to complete its second U.S. project with a third immediately to follow. With growing industry interest in next-level panel protection systems in high-rise buildings, Despe, a 40-year-old family business from Bergamo – the Italian hub of construction innovation–is making a name for itself in Italy and across the world for its solutions for complex challenges faced by high-rise construction and demolition in dense, urban areas. 

As cocoons are necessary for reasons including improving worker safety standards, providing a complete perimeter protection system on a self-contained work platform, eliminating the risk of falling objects and creating more work space, Despe’s Kokoon differentiates itself for climbing from floor-to-floor as a complete single unit, with the push of a button. 

Exemplifying the growing interest in Despe’s Kokoon method, if you look upwards to the skyscrapers of Hudson Yards you will see a lesser-known structure that is an achievement in its own right: the Despe Self-Climbing Kokoon at 50 Hudson Yards. It is following its success with the 67-story One Manhattan West performed from September 2017 to September 2018, and upon completion of 50 Hudson Yards on January 21st, 2021, the Kokoon will be starting the South East Tower at “Two Manhattan West” as its next project.

Ironworker standing on Kokoon at One Manhattan West with greatly improved access to beam, creating the safest environment possible while enhancing productivity

Replacing traditional panel protection systems which are inefficient and time-consuming to relocate, the Kokoon–an actual machine–
hydraulically climbs up the sides of buildings, providing state-of-the-art structure around the steel frame of the building, not only protecting, but also giving much needed perimeter exterior access for steel erection itself. Fostering the growth of skyscrapers with engineering integrity and physical prowess, the Kokoon was brought from these Italian visionaries and together with the help of local New York professionals who are experienced and insightful in building high-rises. By shortening crane time and lowering labor costs, the Kokoon is bringing Manhattan building construction into the 21st century.

Kokoon experience that is being tested in many countries of the world. Starting from Italy, the growth of Despe has, step-by-step, reached all main European countries such as France, England, Scotland and then progressively Middle East countries and U.S.A. so to bring its great experience to manage construction, deconstruction and special projects. 

Three floors of cantilever of the Kokoon at 50 Hudson Yards

The difference is shown by the fact that Kokoon allows project timelines to be significantly reduced when compared against other traditional ways of constructing/deconstructing methods. And this saving of time is really a game changer since it means that you “just” need careful planning, great skilled people managing the project and then it is just “push-a-button play.” 

Obviously this “push-a-button play” is the result of a careful, long, very attentive project planning that is the result of an effort of a growing family company year after year since its establishment. 

 Headquartered in Italy, and with its U.S. office in Miami, Despe–while making a name for itself in the U.S. for its Self Climbing Kokoon–is primarily known throughout the rest of the world for its “TopDownWay,” a demolition method that is an alternative to explosives. TopDownWay is an innovative, safe, eco-friendly and swift solution for the controlled demolition of urban skyscrapers. With TopDownWay, all the material generated by the demolition works within the containment structure (glass, rubble, debris, noise, vibrations, dust, and sprayed water). As the work progresses, the platform descends in a controlled manner until it reaches zero level and the building has been completely demolished.

This new, cost reducing, precise way of demolishing old buildings, is proving itself in the most performing way to reach the objective: demolishing and a lower cost. 

Transcending the skies of Manhattan, Despe is bringing NY skyscrapers into the future. 

For more information on Despe, visit their website by clicking HERE, where users may inquire about any questions and/or projects. 



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