Cranes dominate the skyline, but construction takes longer

The national skyline is dominated by steel giants while construction of office towers, industrial warehouses and high-rise apartment buildings reaches new levels.

The 21st edition of the Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) RLB Crane Index, covering the third quarter of 2022, shows that the number of cranes across the country has risen to 868, the highest number since the survey began in 2012.

Barangaroo construction site

Barangaroo construction siteRecognition:Peter Ree

Domenic Schiafone, director of research and development in Oceania at Rider Levett Bucknall, said that 300 new cranes have been added to the development sites and 245 removed in the past six months. With the additional 55 cranes, a total of 868 cranes are now in use nationwide.

But he said cranes are staying on job sites longer due to staff shortages, inclement weather and supply chain issues, pushing up construction costs.

“When cranes providing logistical support for multi-storey construction projects remain on site longer than expected due to weather events and supply chain disruptions, the cost of preliminary work increases, leading to an increase in overall costs,” said Schiafone.


“With the additional 55 cranes, a total of 868 cranes are now in use nationwide, a new high in the RLB crane index since its introduction in 2012.”

One of the many developments is Barangaroo with apartments and new retail space.

The RLB Crane Index LB Crane Index measures construction activity in cities across Australia. In this issue, the Advisory Group broke with tradition and introduced a churn rate, calculated as the number of cranes removed in a period divided by the final number of cranes and expressed as a percentage. Cranes dominate the skyline, but construction takes longer

Brian Lowry

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