How We've Turned Construction Upside-Down

 Reducing the complexity of multi storey construction - save money, save time and improve safety. 

The jJack building system was developed in response to Home owners and Builders frustrations with the safety, time and cost issues of traditional multi storey construction. Traditionally work is performed on scaffolds using cranes and hoists to load materials onto upper levels. Ladders are required to provide access for people. These methods complicate the building process, are costly, reduce room and access on site, slow down work, cause delays and create a safety issue.

  • Through a constant review process it was realised the majority of construction delays resulted from using scaffold, cranes and hoists.

Scaffold Restricts Access on Site


Delays associated with using scaffold arise from restricted room on site, blocking of access to the ground floor and working at heights. 

These were compounded by shrinking lot sizes and an increasing number of 2 storey homes being built.Working at ground level, access is better and there is no interruption of work from scaffold raising and lowering.

Builders Hoists can be Dangerous

tradespeople prefer to work at ground level


With more room on site and working at ground level multiple tasks can be done at the same time.

Construction work is easier at ground level

...and working at heights has its dangers

Scaffold retricting access

To build a 2 storey home scaffold must be raised and lowered upto 3 times. This means trades must leave site and return after each scaffold change. Before adjusting scaffold it must be emptied, raised or lowered and re loaded before trades can return to work. 

Using jJack visits to site by trades reduce from 31 to 9.

Working at ground level (without scaffold) means less visits to site and a lot less down time.

During boom times these delays are magnified are the cause of long delays due to trades having to leave site and start other jobs. This is a major cause of long build times and its not unusual for 2 storey homes to take upto 30 months to plan and complete. Eliminating the need for trades to leave site reduces delays.


Scaffold is as ancient as the Pyramids


Changing this traditional method would be going against the well established status quo. Trades were well acquainted with working on scaffold and using cranes and hoists to lift materials onto the new levels above the ground floor.

The constant search for faster, better, less expensive building process and products lead to the latest development of The JJack Building system, building the upper floor at ground level and then jacking it  up to build underneath.

The idea of eliminating scaffold attracted enthusiasm from builders and building trades who were frustrated with the dangers of working at heights, restricted access, less room available on site, having to leave site while scaffold was cleared, partly dismantled, lifted to a higher level, reloaded with materials before workers could return to site and then set up again to re start work.


For builders this scaffold raising and lowering process resulted in delays & costs, resulted in working at height dangers and costs, caused delays with workers leaving site and returning after scaffold raising and reloading and often causes damage to finished surfaces. Consequently builders were enthusiastic about the idea of eliminating scaffold, cranes and hoists.

scaffold hoist resticted access
Scaffold retricting access

At times the magnitude of the task was overwhelming

Phil and the team persisted in the search for ways to eliminate these delays from the 2 storey build process. Eventually the idea came in a miraculous way and after millions of dollars, 6 years of research, partnerships with multiple engineering, manufacturing, building and supply companies and over 140 successfully lifted experimental projects, the latest innovations make 2 storey houses much faster to build and less expensive.

Our New Approach To Double Story Building

As you can clearly see from our timelaspe video, there are many benefits to our new top-floor first building method, including:

Phil Jenner

Founder & CEO, jJack Systems

Phil Jenner - jJack Founder

Philip Jenner is driving force behind the development of the jJack building system.

A registered builder, he started his building career in 1989 and founded Great Living Homes in 1992 specialising in the 2 storey market.

Phil's focus has always been on build quality, innovative design, reducing complexity and speed of construction. By 2009 the company was selling nearly 100 homes a year.

Massive Reduction In Build Time

Big savings in cost of construction

Simplifying construction methods

Fewer critical path activities making scheduling on site easier

Safer work sites, virtually eliminating working at heights

No interruption of work and trades from scaffold raising and lowering

Trades work under the lifted upper floor during rain 

  Ground floor tradespeople work in the shade in summer

Fewer deliveries to site and better access to work areas

Less equipment on site with more work room and storage areas

More room for vehicles and parking

Our R&D Timeline

2008 - Identifying The Problem

2 storey homes cost more and take a lot longer to build than single storey of the same size.


Scaffold costs around $20,000 for a standard 2 storey home, with no lasting benefit.

Working on scaffold slows down the build progress, trades need to leave site while scaffold is raised, lowered and re loaded. Trades charge for this inconvenience and interruption.

Cranes are needed when working on scaffold. Cranes are called back to site numerous times costing around $3500.

Hoists which can cost around $3500, are needed when working on scaffold. Plus trades need to be paid extra to get themselves, materials, equipment and tools up to the higher level.

Scaffold takes up a lot of room around the building, uses up important space needed for materials storage, parking, rubbish bins, work areas etc...

2009-2016 - Developing A Different Approach

Could a multi storey building be built without scaffold, cranes and hoists? ...and could it be done any faster if it was?

How could it be done?

Numerous options and methodologies were investigated and explored. Some had been tried in the past without success.

With many variations in design and build methods trialled the system can be adopted to suit a wide variety of materials, designs and construction systems.

Testing of the options was conducted over 6 years on hundreds of buildings.

2016-2018 - Market Testing

Would the market accept this disruptive technology? 

Although it seems logical and simple to say build the upper floor, lift it up to build under, its a much more complex series of critical tasks than it looks.

To deliver this system to builders and home owners so its easy to adopt and simple to implement is not simple or easy.

Eliminating or minimising disruption to the existing building process was the key, and eventually lead to builders welcoming   the new approach and being willing to trial it.

2018 - Broader Market Adoption

Interest has been received from all over Australia and some international enquiries have been received.

The Australian market is the initial target in the short term with the global role to follow once industry partnerships are secured.