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Chapel inside of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Camden, NJ

Here is another unique scaffolding job.  It just goes to show you that when you think you’ve seen it all – think again.  Here is a chapel inside of a hospital, and not just any hospital, mind you.  This is in the heart of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Camden, New Jersey.

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And what makes this even cooler is that the altar literally sits directly below the statue of the
blessed Mother.  It’s 6 floors beneath the giant statue but it’s very close to being directly beneath
her; pretty darn cool if you ask me.  And you remember the Superior blog about
saving Our Lady of Lourdes?   Well, this is the same place.

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Except this time, it wasn’t quite a pressing emergency as after the earthquake.
But the earthquake certainly might have exacerbated the damage.

Superior Scaffold was called to erect a scaffold around the altar so repair crews
(Brandywine Historic Services) could get to the crumbling plaster on the ceiling.

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The challenge here was that the church had to remain open for daily services.
So, Superior Scaffold master, Pat McAndrew devised a way to use 10’ horizontal trusses
to span the altar so the good father could conduct mass.  They also used foam insulation
under the jacks to protect the vintage marble floor.

After starting work the repair crews discovered more damage and called Superior back to
enlarge the scaffold to reach the affected areas.

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The chapel gets to remain open (business as usual) and the repair crews get access to the ceiling.
It’s a win win for everyone involved.

From the Lady of Lourdes Hospital web site:

The Chapel is always open for patients, visitors and associates. Visible upon entrance to the main lobby, the hospital Chapel is at the very heart of the Medical Center. It is a place of scripture, worship and prayer from which comfort, grace and blessing flow into the halls and rooms of Lourdes. Mass is held daily at Noon. Special schedules for holidays are posted outside the chapel.

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Our Lady of Lourdes blessed morning photograph

Superior Scaffold estimator Pat McAndrew was at Our Lady of Lourdes medical center early last week and snapped this gem of the Mother Mary statue in her full glory.  Yes, it’s an iphone picture but you can clearly see that she’s up and beaming once again.

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I particularly like the halo at the top.

Pat was at the medical center for another scaffold install we are doing up “air” (as they say in Philly).  I’ll get you details on that just as soon as them become available.

Until then – enjoy.

You can read the original article about saving our Lady of Lourdes here:

And the follow up article in scaffold magazine – here.

Scaffolding Sculpture

Artist Ben Long’s ‘Scaffolding Sculptures’ are series of three-dimensional constructions made from conventional scaffolding components.  By using these builder’s materials out of their everyday context, Long creates meanings and symbols an audience would not normally expect.  In this exhibit he creates the words Art and Work.

The word ‘ART’ embodies the creative thought-process inherent in the conception of a piece as well as the practical skill required to physically make it.
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Likewise, the word ‘WORK’ describes not only the intellectual endeavor in pursuit of a final idea, but also the effort involved in an artwork’s construction.
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By separating the word ‘artwork’ into its two component words, Long leads us to contemplate the key ingredients required in the making of any work of art; the initial spark and development of an idea, and the productive course of activity that makes an idea into an artifact. (from the Man&Eve exhibit blog)

He does amazing things with scaffold materials that we, at Superior Scaffold, use everyday.  Here are videos of him assembling his gallery pieces.

Superior’s emergency scaffold services at Cooper Medical School, Camden, NJ

Superior was called out to scaffold the auditorium in the new
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, in Camden, NJ
so lights could be repaired and installed.

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The challenge here was that all of the auditorium seats had been placed into their permanent locations prior to fixing the lighting issues so Superior designed rolling scaffold to access and repair the malfunctioning lights – and to work around the seating.
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“Superior Scaffold and our emergency services team quickly assessed the problem and quickly came up with a mighty fine solution,” said estimator, Pat McAndrew.

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Rowan University and Cooper University Hospital have embarked on a unique partnership that will initiate the next generation of medical education and will improve health care delivery throughout the region.

With national rankings and a history of educational leadership, Cooper and Rowan are well prepared to develop what will be the first new medical school in New Jersey in 30 years. Students in the planned four-year allopathic program will be educated in a new facility in Camden and graduate to serve the greater South Jersey community and beyond.

The Renovation of Strawbridge & Clothier Building, Philadelphia, PA

Superior Scaffold was called in to assist with the renovations of the historic Strawbridge & Clothier building in downtown Philadelphia.  The 100 year-old building was once the worlds largest dry goods building.  Over the years it has sat in disrepair until they decided to bring it back to it’s former glory.  They new center will be home for 100 businesses as 1000 residential units.  They are doing a superb job of keeping the old style while giving the new structure nice upgrades.

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The bank of 20 elevators, yes, I said 20 elevators, wow, are a glorious site to see, however, only 10 will remain in service.  The other shafts will be used for vents, electrical, plumbing and other things.  It’s really a smart use of space.

Superior was called in to help assist crews working in the elevator shafts.  Aluminum beams were placed across the open shafts on specific floors and then planked so crews could work inside the actual shaft.  The units were moved up each floor as needed.

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I just find it fascinating the ways crews can use scaffolding to access different parts of jobs, all kinds of jobs, large and small.

Saving Our Lady of Lourdes

TIMELINE OF HOW A SCAFFOLD COMPANY SAVED AN ICON – in less than 24 hours!

At 1:51 pm on Wednesday 8/23/11 an earthquake of 5.8 magnitude rocked the east coast.  It was followed by two smaller aftershocks of 2.8 & 2.2.  On the whole, structural damage was fairly limited – given the wide scope of the quake.

Immediately, inspectors were sent out to every scaffold job site to make sure nothing had shifted, moved, or changed with the scaffolding around any of the structures.  As the world found out – there were a few national structures that were damaged, such as the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral.  But up in Camden, NJ a national treasure was teetering on the brink of disaster.

Medium Shot of the statue on top of the building with scaffolding

The statue on top of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical center had shifted and broken.  The big fear was that an aftershock would topple the statue of Mother Mary – not only breaking the iconic figure but endangering patrons at the medical center.  The call went out to Superior Scaffold’s emergency services unit.

Our Lady of Lourdes Shift and CracksChips from the statue

Timeline for a rescue:

7:30am – Superior received the call the morning after the quake.

8:30 am – Superior was on site assessing the damage up on the roof.  A material list was sent out, as well as calls to team members who assist in erecting the scaffolding on top of the roof.  A truck was loaded at the yard and sent to Camden.

11:00 am – The equipment truck as well as 6 team members arrives.  A plan was in place to get the scaffolding to the roof – not an easy task (which I will detail in another blog about access).  Crews would have to use freight elevators to the highest point and then all of the necessary equipment would have to be taken up several staircases that wind up through the hospital to the second roof.

Access to the roofAccess for crews to get to the statueRoof Access to Lady of Lourdes statue

Once to the lower roof, a stockpile scaffolding to be used up on the next level was made.  Portions of the scaffolding were actually assembled in the very small second roof and then handed up to the top section.  Crew members had to climb through several more narrow areas of the hospital just to reach the statue on the roof.  Once there, a rope and wheel hoist were used to get the scaffolding up to the statue where it could be put into place.

The superior team worked until the wee hours erecting the scaffolding and securing the iconic statue to make sure no further damage could be done should there be more aftershocks.   Guy-wires were strapped all around the statue and tied down to make sure she couldn’t and wouldn’t topple over.

Guy-Wire all over the statue of Mother Mary

3:00 am – Less than 24 hours after receiving the emergency call Superior’s team finished the job.

Our Lady of Lourdes ScaffoldingOur Lady of Lourdes in place

In the oncoming months, restoration crews will come in and repair the damage that was done.

Even though the images of the guy-wires strapping her down are intense – the statue of the Mother Mary on top of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical center is safe and secure.

Top of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical BuildingOur Lady of Lourdes statue on top of the Medical Center in Camden, NJ

Mother Mary looking over the city of Philadelphia

Hospital administrators could now rest safely, knowing that one call to Superior scaffold saved an icon. (Our Lady of Lourdes)

New article in ALH magazine features Superior Scaffold

Access, Lift & Handlers magazine’s September – October 2011 issue features a wonderful article by Lindsey Anderson.  In her Scaffold Market report she take a look at how the recession has affected the overall scaffold and scaffolding industry and how companies are adapting to be successful.

She features several heavy hitters in the industry including Superior Scaffold, Philadelphia, PA.   The article also features several job photographs taken by Erik Highland.   Photographs include the renovation at Temple University’s Baptist Temple Church into the new performing arts center, the new Capital Health Hospital in Hopewell, NJ, and the renovation of Independence Hall tower in downtown Philadelphia.

You can read the article titled, Shifting Markets here.

 

Scaffold Industry Report

There are also several great quotes from CEO, Guy Bianchini on the long term outlook for Superior and others in the scaffolding industry.  Thanks to Lindsey for featuring Superior in ALH – and kudos for a great job on the Magazine Article.

Cool Technology X-Ray for a facade renovation at the Golden Nugget Hotel Casino! Why?

Now I’ll be honest with you.  I’m a sucker for cool technologies being used in innovative ways (just see my previous blog entry about the hanging scaffold system).  But when I learned what Superior Scaffold had to go through to get their giant mast climbers up to do the renovation work, I had to blog about it.

Did you  know that they actually had to X-Ray the cement on the side of the building to locate floor slab tie locations?  Yep.  And after having it explained to me it makes total sense.  You see the tall (dual) masts for the Mast Climber 3615 have to be anchored to the building at their highest point (for obvious reasons) while also being stabilized on the ground.  This allows for the platform to climb up and down the masts effortlessly.  Now, I never gave much thought on how they did it – just that they had to be attached somehow.  But logically, you just can’t go drilling into any place on the side of a building.  You need a very sturdy anchor point.  But since the Trump Marina was constructed with post tension floors there was the possibility of having steel reinforcements inside the slabs. Thus – the X-RAY machine!

The X-Ray technician had to xray specific points on the building to determine if they were free of steel so the anchors for the mast climbers could be installed.  And while he was up there, he also Xray’d the masonry condition of the exterior so they would have a better idea of what needed to be repaired before they put the new facade on.

Once the technician gave the approval for the mast climbing anchor point – the crew had to cut out the exterior brick exposing the cement floor slab tie location so they could install the fasteners – and then the masts.

Here’s a great shot of the crew installing one of the masts at the Golden Nugget.

And here’s the underside of the MC-3615 platform.

And once both masts are anchored and the platform is in place – it can be put into service.  Here it is going up for the first time.

And once all of the 8 masts were anchored to the exterior of the Golden Nugget.  This is what it looks like.

If you look carefully, you can see the fourth unit on the right side of the building.  An X-Ray machine?  Who would have thought a scaffolding company would be so hip.

The work continues on the facade renovation.  The workers used the mast climbers to install a unique scratch coat of a new type of material (specifically designed for this job) over the existing brick – essentially giving it a facelift.  I’ll have more shots in my next entry.

Ever wonder how they do bridge repairs over water? A hanging scaffold system!

This is very unique way to get beneath bridges to make repairs. Instead of anchoring a barge in the water beneath the bridge, or parking a giant truck with a bridge inspection bucket (like a cherry picker with a platform)  above it they can suspend a platform from the steel beams and girders beneath the bridge itself.

Superior Scaffold hanging scaffold system

Beam Clamp

I was on it yesterday and it’s as stable as traditional ground based scaffolding.  I was shocked.  Those brackets essentially hold the weight of the scaffold platform beneath it and all of the workers, equipment, and parts necessary to make the repairs. It’s really a very cool way to get beneath a structure like that.

This photo shows the pipe that was leaking and is now being repaired.

This way, entire crews can work beneath the bridge without being limited to a small platform on a bucket truck.

For instance, on this job, crews are removing and repairing large sections of pipe over the river. This hanging platform system prevents leakage into the water below and allows for much greater mobility.  It also allows the bridge and waterway to remain open for business as usual.  Superior guys did a heck of job on this one.  Really smart and stable!