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Historical Glossary: Lift-Slab Construction

This method of building construction was first used in North America for an administrative and classroom structure at Trinity College (now Trinity University) in San Antonio, Texas, and for the second time for the Saigon Apartment Block in Winnipeg.

It involves the construction of a concrete foundation and the pouring of a base concrete slab. A second and subsequent floor slabs (and roof) are then poured on the base slab, allowed to set, then raised into position by hydraulic lifting equipment. An advantage of the system is in cost savings through elimination of costly construction materials. All floors and roof are built at ground level, reducing the potential hazard for construction workers.

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Frank Reade Lount (1890-1976)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Saigon Apartments (51 Roslyn Road, Winnipeg)


“Lift-slab building method weird but advantageous,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 November 1951, page 6.

“Apartment’s second floor rises - really,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 December 1951, page 29.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 January 2023

This is a glossary of historical terms developed by the Manitoba Historical Society.
To suggest other terms for addition to the glossary, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

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