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How to have a positive experience with a setback – Porch brackets at 1900 Rittenhouse, Philadelphia

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It’s time to pay tribute to the outsiders in our company.  Yes, it’s the swing department.  In fact, I hate to admit this but they came up with that very clever headline.  I wish I could take credit for it but I can’t.

Is our swing department the “bad boys” of the company?  You tell me?  In their spare time all they do is race cars (fast cars) build hot rods, snowmobile through the frozen tundra (very fast) talk about driving fast, and taking chances.  Have you detected a theme here?  All except for the one VW building hippy who just likes to putter around at 50 brake horsepower thinking he’s going really fast…  But then again, he’s got the pop-up camper lid and big screen TV in case he wants to take a nap.  He’s the exception. (Also the one who came up with the headline – not to name names) He actually said, “Some might think that in this day and age of airbags and crumple zones driving a vintage VW bus is kind of  living on the edge.”  He’s a rebel..

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I just thought about it for a second – and maybe I’m bestowing too much onto their “bad boy” image.  It seems to me that the regular scaffold guys are just as loony.  I mean, you would have to be to climb around on the outside of buildings held on only by a harness and your brute strength.  At lest the boys in the swing department have a (sort of) cage to protect them AND motors to elevate them up and down whereas the scaffolding men have to climb up and down under their own power.  Hmmmm.

I guess this debate could rage on for pages.  Can we at least agree on one thing?  No matter what reputation our guys have off the job – they do some pretty incredible work and they won’t take chances with safety.

Which brings us to the actual job.

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I posted this because this isn’t something you see everyday.  While doing facade restoration and window replacement at the high rise at 1900 Rittenhouse Square – our guys at Superior Scaffold used 3 foot and 6 foot porch brackets to allow contractors access to the setback facade of the building without having to reach out dangerously or make additional drops  in work cages.

What are porch brackets, you ask?  They are those unique pieces that so handily clip right into the Altrex staging that fill the gaps.   In the photo above you can see one single 3 foot section on the left and two (3’ sections side-by-side) to make the 6’ section. They not only save time and money but also make it much safer for crews while working on buildings with setbacks and bump outs.

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This 50’ section of staging spans the entire façade and fits perfectly on either side of the window balconies.  The porch brackets allow workers direct access to the façade in one sweep.  This superior scaffold is also rigged with the Bisomac 210 hoist for super strength and reliability.  We can give a shout out to our supplier BeeAccees who provides us with all of these cool items.  This just goes to show how versatile accessories like porch brackets can be when planning out a restoration project.

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In this photo you can see the guys working on the windows actually standing on the porch brackets.  Without them it would be an infinitely harder job and certainly more time consuming.

So, as the debate rages on – swing department = “bad boys” or not – we can be assured that the crews of this job at 1900 Rittenhouse had a positive experience with a few setbacks!

A bit of history on 1900 Rittenhouse:  1900 Rittenhouse Square Apartments is a historic high-rise building on Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was built 1923–1926. The 58-meter-tall, 18-story building has been converted to condominiums.

If you need a positive experience with a few setbacks call Superior Scaffold today – (215) 743-2200.

www.superiorscaffold.com

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Triple the action for Superior Scaffold at the Old Dublin Pike Bridge in Doylestown, PA.

The stone arch bridge was originally constructed back in 1875 and then rehabbed in 1947.  So it was time for a reconditioning – seems that this old bridge still has over 5,000 cars travel over her every day in Doylestown, PA.  Crews needed a way to support the structure and to get into the arches to repair the stones and masonry while keeping the road open above.

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This was the challenge for Superior Scaffold.

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First order of business was diverting the river through two of the arches so one could be fairly dry while the scaffolding was erected.  Then, once that was built, the water had to be diverted again so the second, and then third arch could be constructed.

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The next challenge was how to best shore up the arches so work could be completed but also support enough weight for heavy machinery traveling the road over head.  Superior engineer Bob Robinson decided on 20k scaffold frames to hold up the shoring beams and wood supports.  It allowed the road to remain open for business while construction crews completed the work below.

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It’s a unique way to solve the problem and keep a major thoroughfare open.

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The job went off without a hitch and the mighty river is flowing once again and cars are happily traveling over the old bridge in Buck County.

Call Superior Scaffold at 215 743-2200 or go to http://www.superiorscaffold.com for all of your scaffolding and shoring needs.

Superior Scaffold and the historical Bausman Memorial United Church of Christ

This neat old church at 1064 Penn Ave, in Wyomissing, PA, that began its life in 1909, needed some repairs to the high vaulted plaster ceilings – so they called Superior Scaffold.

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Photo courtesy of Ed Reneger

Superior is known for its skill working with historical buildings and the care it takes around one of a kind artifacts and structures.  This was no different.  We had to construct some cool system scaffolding up, over and around pews, alters, and priceless objects at Bausman Memorial United Church of Christ

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The ceiling was divided into sections with flying buttresses, so the layout had to be spot on accurate.

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We used system scaffold with joists and plank to not only get to the hard to reach places but to also build a solid platform or dancefloor for the workers.

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The steep, sloped, plaster ceilings had new sheetrock added over the old plaster, and then they were textured and painted.

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This gave the old girl the dress up she needed for the next 100 years.

We were proud to bring our skills and experience working with historic buildings to Bausman Memorial United Church of Chris.

Here are some articles detailing Superior Scaffold’s work with historic buildings:

A little history on this church.

Bausman Memorial United Church of Christ is part of a denomination which is a merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches of the United States.

Construction of a small church began in 1909 and it was dedicated in 1911. As the congregation grew, members decided to complete the church building with an addition begun in 1922. The completed building was dedicated in 1924.

1064 Penn Ave  Wyomissing, PA 19610
(610) 375-9790

Bausman Memorial United Church of Christ is a church of diverse learners seeking answers to life’s questions based on the teachings of Christ. We nurture each other with respect, share with each other as family, and engage God and others in worship, music, study and in service. Every Sunday we offer Church School programs for all ages at 9:00 a.m. and gather for worship at 10:15 a.m.

http://www.bausmanucc.org/tp40/Default.asp?ID=278557

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=153612

Scaffolding support for Riddle Memorial Hospital $16.5M emergency department expansion

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Riddle Memorial Hospital
 has embarked on two-year expansion designed to increase its emergency-room capacity by 60 percent.  The two-phase project is anticipated to cost $16.5 million and will expand the emergency room by 4,000 to 5,000 square feet.  Riddle has 33,000 visits annually to the emergency department.  The hospital, which was built in the 1960’s, was made to only accommodate 25,000 to 28,000 visits so this is a much needed expansion.
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The restructuring caused the admissions and registration area to be relocated to the east of where it is now, and the main hospital entrance to move west.  So the call went out to Superior Scaffold.
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The entrance was relocated and it was Superior’s job to build a structure that would provide access and protection for incoming emergency patients.  “The challenge was to keep the emergency room open while all of the renovations were going on inside,” said Pat McAndrew, of Superior.  “We basically had to create an entirely new entry point for the emergency room.”
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The structure was built using system scaffold and aluminum trusses.  Riddle had limited room so we had to set legs of the canopy on top of jersey barriers on one side.  They wanted plywood on the construction side and debris netting on opposite side.  The Jersey barriers were set in place so customers could park in front of the new entrance.
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But because it was on black top we had to use our patented trailer tie downs to anchor the one side.  We drilled and anchored into the jersey barriers on the other side.
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In the end, we provided exactly what they needed so the rennovation could continue and the hospital remain open for business.   And a shout out to the hard working crew who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty erecting these complicated jobs!

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Phase Two is still in the design stages, but is expected to begin construction in June after the Rapid Evaluation Unit is complete. It is estimated it  will cost $15 million.  Riddle Memorial Hospital is located at 1068 W Baltimore Pike  Media, PA 19063.

http://www.mainlinehealth.org/riddle

http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2012/03/04/business/doc4f52d94287e04880827887.txt

Going off the deep end with scaffolding…

The Princeton Medical Center at Plainsboro, NJ is adding on to their illustrious hospital with two new rehabilitation pools.   The crews needed to get access to the ceiling to do some repairs and additions.  Well, with swimming pools spanning the entire room it makes it a bit difficult to reach up that high.

So they called Pat McAndrew at Superior Scaffold and said, “Help.”   Since they had spent most of their budget on these incredible pools they were looking for a low cost alternative to just scaffolding the entire pools all the way up to the ceiling.   They also wanted to use Baker/Painter scaffolds to roll from one end of the pool area ceiling to another.

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So, they creatively devised a plan that would put an 8’ scaffolding tower down into the center of the large pool from the 3’ shallow end down to the 9’ deep end.  They used 8’ horizontal trusses at deck height and then ran aluminum joists from side walls to trusses at 16” centers.  The entire thing was then topped off with a deck of ¾” plywood.  This would allow the baker scaffold to roll freely around the entire room while allowing crews to reach to the ceiling.  You can see just how wide and deep this room is.

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Now, the small pool was a bit different.  They rested aluminum joists on the concrete side walls at 16” centers and then topped that off with plywood.  Since it was only 18’ in diameter the aluminum joists would be able to support all of the weight put upon them.

Bingo, bango, bongo… another Superior solution and satisfied customer.  Superior specializes in creative solutions for scaffolding problems.  Call 215 743-2200 to see what Superior can do for you.

Scaffolding the Cancer Treatment Center of America, Philadelphia, PA

Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Eastern Regional Medical Center (Eastern), a state-of-the-art cancer hospital in Philadelphia, has been offering patients integrated, patient-centered cancer care since 2005.
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When they needed the best multi-trade scaffold to complete their renovation they called Superior Scaffold.
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Not only did they need to get glazers, carpenters, painters and inspectors access to the exterior of the structure but they needed to wrap the top half of the building with weather protection so they could work through the winter elements.  It’s a pretty common practice for the cold months.  It really helps keep the elements out while keeping a warm, safe environment for the crews.  Superior also installed a stair tower and large debris chute.

The biggest challenge with this job was securing the scaffold to the structural steel.  It’s another shinning example of Superior craftsmanship.

If you need scaffolding, shoring, canopy / sidewalk sheds, or suspended scaffold, call Tom Creighton at Superior Scaffold (215) 743-2200.

We will have more  photos as the job progresses.

Scaffolding walkway at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia, PA

Here’s a nifty little job.  Something you might not see everyday: An Interior Canopy.

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Now, you might be asking yourself, why would Superior Scaffold put something that is normally outside on the sidewalk, inside a hospital?

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It’s simple, really – Chestnut Hill Hospital needed to remain open for business while repair crews replaced the skylights in the entire lobby and vestibule.  By putting what amounts to a canopy or sidewalk shed inside, doctors, patients, visitors and guests can all pass safely through the entrance while work continues overhead.

It’s business as usual, as we say in the industry.  I’ll post some pics of the all glass ceiling when I get them.

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Chestnut Hill Hospital is a community-based teaching hospital with 164 beds offering a range of inpatient and outpatient, diagnostic and treatment services in Northwest Philadelphia.

Superior is the best in the business when it comes to canopies / sidewalk sheds.  Call (215) 743-2200 for information.

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.

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.

Superior Scaffold uses unique earth anchors to hold canopy in place.

So, not only did we help scaffold the building for the new support steel but we just installed the canopy at the entryway.  In the background, you can see the 5 story steel structure where our scaffolding used to be.  They are making great progress on the new addition at the Chester County Hospital, and we are grateful to be a part of such a unique project.  (See the original blogpost here.)

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And speaking of unique, this was a very cool and innovative way to tie-down a canopy.  It’s not something you see everyday.
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Normally, there are many places to tie-down a canopy to keep it stable and secured from the elements.  But as you can see from the pics there wasn’t much to hold on to out here in the front of the hospital.  On the one side, you see the large cement Jersey Barriers (no problem) but the opposite side just had blacktop.  And how would we tie into that?

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So our super duper team of engineers and builders came up with an awesome system to keep this baby anchored properly.

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Look at this little gem – called an Earth Anchor.  Aptly named for its ability to anchor just about anything down to the good ole’ blue planet.  If you look carefully, you will see an X type of bracket that has two tubes on it at 45 degree angles.  X.

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Long steel rods (about 2′ – 3’) are driven through those X tubes and down into the ground itself.  The idea is to create an apposing force in the soil that is virtually impossible to pull out.  “You would literally have to move something like 40 square feet of dirt to pull one of these ties from the clutches of mother earth,” said Superior Scaffold’s main man, Shawn MacDonald.

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And then, at the top of the X bracket is a fastener where the tie-downs hook in.  The canopy then can be ratcheted down to these brackets making it super stable and virtually impervious to high wind.

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Here are a few photos of the canopy (sidewalk shed) in place.

Superior Scaffold – innovative scaffolding solutions.  (215) 743-2200.  Philadelphia, PA

Chester County Hospital in West Chester, PA is embarking on a $45.2 million building project to increase inpatient bed capacity with 72 new private rooms and to install a new, state-of-the-art linear accelerator for the treatment of cancer.