Monthly Archives: February 2014

How to erect a canopy – Aramark Tower, Philadelphia

It’s not every day that you get to see just how we erect a sidewalk shed (canopy).  We usually concentrate on the finished product and how well the client liked our work.  But today is another story.  You get to see just what it looks like before, during and after we install overhead protection on a job site.  We are going to look at the work done in the middle of one of Center City’s busiest intersections at 11th and Market – the Aramark Tower.

Crews usually start at night to avoid the massive traffic that will ensue during the daytime.  In this first shot they have started building the base framework which consists of the 2 inner and outer main posts (or tubes), the bracing frame (s), the jack (s) and the intermediate plate (s).

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Here we see crews are just starting to put the steel beams on top of the aluminum posts.  These will be placed all the way down the run and act as support for the aluminum joists to follow.  Rolling towers are used to get crews up high enough to place the beams.

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You can see here how the Superior Scaffold trucks deliver the equipment to the job.  Again, in the evening or early in the morning to avoid traffic.

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This shot shows the main framework as well as the steel beams that will support most of the weight overhead.

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Crews have carefully designed the layout so that doors and staircases are still accessible to pedestrians.

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The aluminum joists are then laid over the steel beams for added support.   These will handle the weight of the planks and/or corrugated steel panels that will lay over top.

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You can see how the pieces intertwine to create a super stable base for anything going up on top of it.

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You can see how the height of the rolling tower is adjustible to reach diffrerent eleveations.

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And then finally, in this case, the Microlam wood planks are added to the top of the sidewalk shed.  In downtown Philly, canopies have to have a 300 lb/sq foot rating so you can put suspended scaffolds on top or even additional scaffold, if needed.

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And the last part of this very long process is adding the 4X8′ debris panels that can be painted to match the client’s decor (which these will be) or left a beautiful Superior Scaffold red.

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As a finishing touch, temporary lights will also be strung beneath to illuminate the walkway at night.

And in a very simplified form, that’s how a canopy, sidewalk shed, overhead protection is assembled.  There are many different types of sidewalk bridges too – some made from scaffold frames, some from bridge columns and some from aluminum posts.  You can go here and see the different options we have available at Superior Scaffold.  Call (215) 743-2200 today if you need one of these beauties for your project.

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Superior Scaffold ramps up for Toyota at the Philly Auto Show

The Philadelphia Auto Show runs from February 8 – 16, 2014 at the The Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia PA 19107

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Toyota set up an indoor track complete with traction ramps, water hazards, sand traps and suspension bumps giving the user the ultimate car buying experience.  Patrons are invited to ride along inside the new line up of Toyota vehicles to get a real world idea of how they will perform.

Toyota contacted Superior Scaffold to build the ramp that would test the climbing and traction control of their vehicles.  We jumped at the chance.  The ramp is 8’ high by 14’ wide and 53’ long.  (see pic)

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The challenge here was that the ramp not only had to support the weight of the cars driving up and over it but also the 100 tons of dirt that would be put on top of it.

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Superior engineers put pen to paper and calculated weight ratios and all of their super mathematical formulas and came up with a superior design (which was stamped and authorized).

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Work set out using beams, system scaffold, and shoring materials to construct the ramp.

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Details: 14’ aluminum beams on 2’ centers were used at the ramps, 14’ steel beams at 2’ centers were used at the top (flat) section.  3’ and 4’ spans were used going side to side, and 2’ spans going ramp to ramp.  They also used U-Heads on the flat sections and swivel U-Jacks on the ramps.  Then they crossed everything with 18’ aluminum beams on the ramps at 1’ centers and 12’ aluminum beams at 1’ centers on the top section.  And then the entire thing was skinned with 3/4’” plywood.

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It’s a wild looking design that ultimately holds ton’s of weight. It’s so sturdy in fact that Superior Estimator, Pat McAndrew, and foreman, Kenny Foreman were putting finishing touches on beneath the ramp and Pat said, “We were under there for at least 20 minutes and unbeknownst to us – cars had been driving over it the entire time.  We never felt a thing.  It’s that sturdy.”

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We were glad to help Toyota show off their new line up of vehicles.  Now, if we can get a test ride around the track a few times we will be happy.

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Call Superior Scaffold at (215) 743-2200 for all of your scaffold needs.

Visit www.superiorscaffold.com today.

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How to add floors to an existing building – high exposure cantilever scaffold

This is amazing to me.  How do you add 3 floors to an already existing building?  You probably haven’t thought about that before.  I know that I hadn’t but the people at Superior Scaffold have many times.  In downtown areas space is a valuable commodity so sometimes the only place to expand is up.

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But this leaves a myriad of challenges.  The biggest one being how do we do all of the necessary heavy work outside of the building that needs to be done?  Well, by creating working space outside of the area being built.

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And in this case at the Parc Rittenhouse – there needed to be enough room and support to handle all of the weight for construction materials and the guys laying the bricks, facade and masonry work on the new addition.

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Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Check out how Superior Scaffold engineers solved the problem.  It wasn’t from scaffolding from the ground up (impossible on this job – the lower roof wouldn’t support it) but from beneath the floors that were being added onto.  They used a high exposure cantilever scaffold system with giant weight supporting aluminum beams.  Check out the photos!

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Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

These huge beams are levered inside the floors below and stick out the windows.  They are then counter-balanced with another set of aluminum beams up against the ceiling joists to hold the weight outside of the building.  The ceiling beams are shored up and the system is balanced.

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It’s a crazy system but makes total sense.  Let the existing building take the weight and leverage to support anything outside on the beams.  See the photos.

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In some cases, like on the corners, crews had to actually cut holes into the brick to stick out the aluminum beams.  And then, they would deck them and add scaffolding.

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Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Then, the crews deck it and put any scaffolding onto it to get up the next level.  I don’t know the weight ratio of what it can hold (I’ll have to ask the engineers and get back to you) but it’s a tremendous amount.

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Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Superior  then erected a 45′ high systems scaffold to allow worker access to each of the floors as they were constructed.  They also added several man material hoists to get building materials and equipment up to the top.  There are suspended scaffolds on the job too helping install the new balconies.

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Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Superior also had to install overhead protection all of the way around the building. This was quite an extensive job.

Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

The building exterior also underwent a makeover bringing it back to its former glory of almost ¾ a century ago.

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Here are a few (never before seen) shots of what the additional floors and subsequent penthouses looked like in their finishing stage.  If you look carefully, you can still see some of the cantilever beams sticking out through the brick.

Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

Superior scaffold, (215) 743-2200, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, suspended, PA, Philadelphia, philly, phila, rent, ladders, building materials, equipment rental, de, nj, md, nyc

All in all, this is a very cool way to add additional floors to an already existing structure.  Superior scaffold has done this many times and are experts at it – so don’t try this at home.  Give them a call at (215) 743-2200 or visit them at www.superiorscaffold.com today.

So say it with me, 3 times really fast.

High exposure cantilever scaffold system

High exposure cantilever scaffold system

High exposure cantilever scaffold system

The Parc Rittenhouse is at 225 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA