Without the need for cranes, hoists or scaffolding, speed of construction and safety onsite are significantly improved. After the upper storey(s) is jacked up, temporary props and braces go underneath for the trades to begin framework. A grout goes in (to take the weight off the props), it expands and the props come out a day later.
Phil says build time is reduced by about 30 per cent while the technology also means supervision onsite is a lot easier: ‘You don’t have to be there all the time when people are changing scaffold. When we build we have eight site visits to build an upper floor; when you build with scaffold you have 31.’
Trades aren’t as affected by the weather, and a roomier, cleaner site also helps to improve logistics and worker productivity. Phil adds that the J-Jack suits most house types.
‘The structural integrity is a lot different from a normal building because the whole of the upper floor is tied together very rigidly. Structurally it’s very resilient and we’ve found our maintenance has just about been eliminated. It’s great for use in cyclone zones…or anywhere there’s a lot of movement in the ground because we engineer that into the build.’
The business is completing a three-storey house this year and has done a concept engineering design on a five-storey building, which Phil says ‘is probably about as high as we’d want to go’.
Being presented with the 2018 HIA–CSR Western Australian Industry and Product Innovation award was a big personal achievement, and the recognition has helped to get word out about the J-Jack.
‘It gives you credibility because someone objective has judged it to be a good product. I’ve won HIA awards before, but this one meant more to me because there was so much more time and energy involved in getting there.’
With Channel Seven covering the J-Jack earlier in the year, the business has been inundated with interest.
‘We literally had thousands of enquiries from the East Coast and all over the world,’ Phil says. ‘We’re in discussions about moving east and hopefully that will all be planned out by the end of the year. I’m really looking forward to expanding.
‘It’s wonderful and scary at the same time,’ he laughs.