A new way of thinking about construction for the fast-growing global data centre sector

A new way of thinking about construction for the fast-growing global data centre sector

Australian crane business is successfully adapting its innovative approach and bespoke cranage solutions to data centre projects around the world.

February 2023 – Australian crane company Marr Contracting (Marr), are recognised as world leaders in the design and delivery of heavy-lift luffing tower cranes and complex cranage services. With a proven track record in helping to de-risk construction, reduce complexity, time and cost, and improve safety their innovative approach is increasingly capturing the attention of data centre constructors across the globe.

By removing complexity from construction, Marr’s bespoke solutions for data centres and giga factory projects aims to improve productivity by increasing efficient access to multiple work fronts while at the same time reducing the total number of cranes on a project. This results in accelerated programmes to commercialisation, lower project costs and importantly, the platform for improved safety, higher quality and ‘greener’ construction.

With a focus on early engagement with clients, Marr’s solutions have consistently accelerated construction by reducing the number of critical path lifts required by providing the capability to lift larger precast and structural steel components and increasing the capacity to lift larger and heavier pre-assemblies and modules.

“We are seeing clients we are working with in Australia completing data centre projects in less than nine months, compared with other constructors we are in discussion within the UK and USA taking between 12 and 18 months,” says Simon Marr, Managing Director, Marr Contracting.

How each cranage solution is shaped depends on the requirements of the job, but with its unique fleet of heavy lift luffing tower cranes including the 330-tonne capacity M2480D, Marr can provide high volume construction lifting, maximising the long reach (up to 120 metres), and heavy lift capacity from a single position. This brings an increased capability to lift larger pre-cast components such as columns, beams, and panels. As a result, fewer cranes are needed. This, matched with a small crane footprint, releases laydown and onsite construction areas.

Other benefits of working with Marr is the potential to build structural steelwork with equipment pre-installed, or to build pre-cast in part-room or full-room modules, and install large plant equipment such as diesel generators, water treatment plant and roof steelwork, switch room equipment, and data-handling and storage equipment.

A key feature of the Marr approach, that has been successfully applied to data centre projects is the Marr Transit System, a modular rail system that provides full crane capability with minimal ground preparation. Ideally suited to the installation of product streams or trains, the MTS offers increased site coverage with minimum impact on space, a reduction in the number of cranes required, removing site bottlenecks and reducing de-rigs & re-rigs, and superior positioning of crane solutions compared to traditional craneage, avoiding the need to decommission and move cranes as the build continues.

“We are constantly looking at how we can add value back into a project and that means looking at how we can improve efficiency and secure the constructor’s schedule. The key to achieving maximum efficiency is early engagement with us – and the earlier the better,” says Mr Marr.

He continues, “In one data centre project, the contractor used traditional methods with crawler cranes which sat outside the building. The site became congested, and ‘confused’. Service infrastructure such as power or water couldn’t be installed because cranes were sitting in the way. They were compromised as to what they could lift where and when. In contrast, we worked closely with a client on a recent project, who understood how we could help secure their schedule and support their construction methodology. They adopted our craneage philosophy and their project was completed in half the time of the other build. Now this company has become the partner builder for a data centre provider, and every data centre they build is being completed faster. The last one was completed in just 35 weeks, using our cranes.”

With the knowledge and experience acquired on best practice for the construction of data centres, Marr’s team is now in discussion with clients in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States who have similar challenges.

Marr Contracting will be exhibiting at the Data Centre World conference in London, UK on 8-9 March 2023.



Sophie Toh
T: +971 4 3828900 | +971 50 3739502



Marr Contracting are world leaders in the design and delivery of heavy lift luffing tower cranes and heavy lifting services. With almost 100 years’ experience working on large-scale construction projects in Australia and around the world, their expertise spans the large-scale construction, mining, oil and gas, power, nuclear, major transport infrastructure, technology and marine sectors. Not just a crew and cranes for hire, they’re big thinkers and problem solvers who love a challenge with a string of ‘world firsts’ to their name – including the world’s largest capacity tower crane, the 330-tonne capacity M2480D Heavy Lift Luffing (HLL) crane.


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We work with our clients to find a craneage solution that works – no matter how big or complex the job is. And if the right crane doesn’t already exist, we’ll build one to suit the needs of your project.


We’re not just a crew and cranes for hire. We’re big thinkers and problem solvers who love a challenge. No problem is too big for us.


We believe that the crane needs to suit the job, not the other way around. We don’t just hire cranes – we design craneage solutions.


We’re a third-generation family-owned and run business with a strong sense of tradition and loyalty engrained in what we do and how we work together.


We think of our team as ‘one big family’ of problem-solvers who love cranes and the challenge of working on complex, large-scale projects.


We work with you to find an engineering solution that works. Delivering value through the unique combination of our knowledge, experience, proven service delivery and people.


We’ve worked on some of the most complex and challenging large-scale construction projects across Australia and around the world.


We don’t just hire cranes – we design them. So, if the right crane for your job doesn’t already exist, we’ll build one.


With almost 100 years’ experience, we have a reputation for taking on projects that others can’t or won’t.


We take on the jobs that many others can’t or won’t – but we always put good business practices first.


We take sustainability seriously. It’s inherent in our commitment to finding the best and most efficient solution to every job.


As problem-solvers who love a challenge, we are never shy of tackling the big issues.


We are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and flexible workplace that reflects the clients and communities we work with.