The Philadelphia Auto Show runs from February 8 – 16, 2014 at the The Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia PA 19107
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)
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.
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).
Work set out using beams, system scaffold, and shoring materials to construct the ramp.
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.
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.”
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.
Call Superior Scaffold at (215) 743-2200 for all of your scaffold needs.
Visit www.superiorscaffold.com today.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Superior also had to install overhead protection all of the way around the building. This was quite an extensive job.
The building exterior also underwent a makeover bringing it back to its former glory of almost ¾ a century ago.
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.
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
Deep in the heart of Philadelphia’s most prestigious historic district (Rittenhouse Square) is this gem of a pre-war building called Rittenhouse Plaza at 19th and Walnut. The historical structure of this building is being preserved to retain the integrity of the original design (1926).
Superior Scaffold was called in to help get crews all around the perimeter of this 21 story art deco building while they give it an extensive exterior restoration. Our experience working with historic buildings gave us the upper hand in designing a suspended scaffold plan to get crews onto the facade. Bob Sarkisian, V.P. of Suspended Scaffolds worked extensively with the client on the best approach to complete this job. Ultimately, there were multiple suspended scaffolds working simultaneously to finish the job.
Because it the building’s design and limited access to the roof area, Sarkisian spent many hours working with the clients designing the rigging and platform layout for utmost access and safety. You can see in this photo where he had to place the outriggers and counter weights to balance the suspended scaffolds. If you look carefully at some of these other photos around the back and sides you can see the swings and the outriggers.
And in these photos you can see the shape of the building and how the staging was building to accommodate the corners (to get the most real estate for crews)
Superior also designed a fully functional overhead protection system that allowed the work to continue overhead while everything went on business as usual down below.
Crews were able to complete the restoration work on time and within budget helping make the Rittenhouse Plaza shine to its proper glory.
Some fun facts about The Plaza:
*The building is a Co-Op and not a condominium.
*1901 Walnut St. is finished in an Art Deco Style, and has one of the most visually interesting lobbies in town.
*When first constructed in the 1920’s, the building was designed in such a way that it basically could be split down the middle,
and would be the same on both sides. Two elevator banks, serving 3 units per floor.
*Elevators were manned until the mid 1990’s…today, they are fully automated 🙂
Call Superior Scaffold today for all of your suspended scaffold and overhead protection needs. (215) 743-2200
In this edition of “Scaffolding Philadelphia” we get to show you how we can do double duty with our scaffolding creations.
This particular story was previously documented in the number 1 hit blog “Bend Me, Shape Me” that detailed the versatility of the altrex staging used by our suspeded scaffold division. But this soon to be number one blog hit “Double Duty” (I can see Foreigner singing the theme song here or since this is a Tony P job – even Journey with Steve Perry) details the lower half of the job at City View.
Not only did this overhead protection have to protect the general public from all of the window and facade work going on above them but it also had to become the platforms for the swings to sit on at the end of the day.
This is a fairly extensive canopy that had to allow for the entire walkway, entryway, and even shops to remain open during the entire phase of renovation.
The people at 2001 Hamilton St, Philadelphia, PA 19130 were more than gracious while Superior Scaffold erected this sidewalk shed out front. Here’s a shot of the job as it is being built.
Here’s a shot from the roof where you can see the outrigger for the swings dangling below.
And this is a shot of the building’s setback that the swing department had to negotiate. See the shots below on how they managed that – or read the “Bend Me, Shape Me” blog.
The day I was “up air” super salesman, Anthony Pini, provided coffee and donuts for the crew. It obviously paid off because not only did the overhead protection do the job but it looked great as well.
You can see the extensive work crews did to keep this patio restaurant open for business.
If you need a sidewalk shed, overhead protection, a canopy or even a custom swing (Suspended Scaffold) job call Superior Scaffold today at (215) 743-2200 and ask for Tony P.
I am a reminded of a quote by Prince Phillip, “I declare this thing open – whatever it is,” while opening a new annex at Vancouver City Hall… Now, why you say? Well, because when I first saw this – I really didn’t pay much attention to it – other than what it would seem to be, on the outside; a couple of mast climbers and some overhead protection. (which really worked well – see pic 5)
But if you dug deeper into the first photo you would see, as I did, a much more complex set of circumstances at play here. Not only did Superior Scaffold master estimator, Tom Cruise, aka Tony Pini, have to get the mast climbers up to the sky and into the stratus to do facade restoration but he had to build a custom entryway that would allow delivery trucks to maintain their daily routes in and out of the back of The Dorchester Apartments.
So, you will see two different levels of overhead protection going on here. Subtle, yes, but there nonetheless. If you look carefully, there are two sections of the loading dock that needed constant access, the main dock and smaller trash pickup area. And then the mast climbers sit on top of the overhead protection – all out of the way.
If you actually take a minute to stop and smell the roses or construction dust – you might see something deeper than it appears on the surface.
Like this shot. Seems simple right? You bet. The debris netting that is put up to capture falling debris and prevent it from landing on the ground has done it’s job.
Here you can also see the single mastclimber MC-10 (with platforms) on the left that fits nicely into the smaller recessed area of the building. And to the right is the larger mastclimber that provides access to the entire wall and even around the corner with the added return.
I am reminded of this quote: “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m schizophrenic, and so am I.”
The Dorchester on Rittenhouse Square sits directly in the middle of the world famous Rittenhouse Square, 226 West Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 546-1111
People just rave about The Dorchester – but don’t take my word for it – or mine… read this:
And if you should require custom built overhead protection while doing facade repair or mast climbers call Superior Scaffold (215) 743-2200 or go to www.superiorscaffold.com
This is a monstor of a job. We promised some photos and since we, at Superior Scaffold, keep our promises – here they are.
It’s hard to believe that this all hangs 40 feet ABOVE the entire gaming room floor while people are hustling and bustling about underneath.
They sit above the interior that is the size of 2 full length football fields.
These wings or fingers are 300 and 400 feet long!
What this project entails is getting crews up underneath the ceiling while the casino remains open for business as usual so they can get the new HVAC and mechanicals installed.
The solution came in the form of what is called a multi-point suspended scaffold. It’s not only wide, but stable enough to hold equipment, rolling towers, HVAC piping, etc.
These giant work platforms actually hang from chains from the arched trusses at the ceiling. It’s netted in so nothing can fall off of the sides and its sturdy enough to support just about anything you can put onto it.
We’ve done these before (see blog on Hanging bridge platform) but never at this scale.
The ceiling has giant arches which of course curve and give different elevations along that curve. So the challenge for our crews was to get the lengths of chains correct over the entire spans of this platform while they were assembling them to keep the platform perfectly level.
The segments had to hang at different elevations from the trusses to accommodate the particular ducting and venting going on up there. Some lengths would be 20 feet while others would be 10 and so forth. But once our guys go the proper lengths in place the platform was installed, level and sturdy.
Here is a video so you can see in real time what these platforms look like.
There aren’t many comapanies that can or will undertake an immense job like this. Our star estimator, Anthony Pini, made it his personal mission to come up with solutions to solve this engineering problem – and his team succeeded without incident.
The new HVAC and mechanicals are installed and everyone at the Seneca Niagara Casini can literally breathe easier!
Call Superior Scaffold today at (215) 743-2200 for solutions to your unique scaffolding project. Ask for Tom Cruise, AKA Tony Pini.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
Superior Scaffold is proud to be providing scaffolding support for Amrak’s renovation of their 30th St. Station in downtown Philadelphia. The historic building that opened in 1933 will get a much needed facelift. It’s an incredible looking structure and can you just imagine what it’s going to be like when it’s finished? Wow…
Amtrak wants to make the neoclassical 30th Street Station a more welcoming gateway to West Philadelphia and Center City. The 30th Street Station handles 120 Amtrak trains, 960 SEPTA trains, and 26 NJ Transit trains each weekday. More than four million Amtrak passengers went through the station last year.
Superior’s first order of business was to erect canopies and sidewalk protection around the entire building – and that’s a good sized building. The station is a hustling, bustling metropolis all of its own with cars, buses, and lots of people all the time. Those are just some of the challenges faced when erecting scaffolding around a busy building like this. For that reason, most of the work was done at night as pedestrian and vehicle traffic was diminished.
I love this part of the description because we actually get to see BEFORE and AFTER shots of the scaffolding (something we don’t always get). But this gives you an insider’s look at just what goes into scaffolding an historic building like this. It also lets us see some the challenges crews face.
The jersey barriers on each side were quite the problem. Superior had to scaffold around all the physical obstacles, lamp posts, bollards, parking meters, taxi cabs, pedestrians.
All of 30th Street Station is hollow underneath so Amtrak required Superior to build canopies on top of barriers to distribute weight load.
This was done so scaffolding can be installed on top of the canopy to do facade restoration.
Amtrak even specified the type and color of paint…a beautiful soft green. Customizing the look and color of a canopy is an option that many of our clients choose.
This is going to be an 8 – 10 year project.
Superior had to construct overhead protection at different elevations for buses, cars and pedestrians.
The biggest challenge was finding jersey barriers with one flat side as Amtrak mandated.
Fortunately Rob Buckley from Buckley Construction had what the doctor ordered. 177 – 12′ barriers.
Next challenge was setting them in place. We used a lull and a unique clamp made just for lifting the barriers.
We also had to cut many of them to fit into Amtrak’s layout (parking meters, doors, etc.) It’s not easy cutting concrete barriers!
Some shots to give you an idea of the scope of work with the canopies and overhead protection.
Some of the detailed work that goes into doing an extensive job like this.
These structures are just the first phase in an extensive renovation. They have to be strong enough to support additional scaffoling when they start renovating the facade of the building.
Superior provides scaffolding for renovations, inspections, new construction – just about any type of project.
Give us a call today at (215) 743-2200 or visit www.superiorscaffold.com for more information.
Superior Scaffold – Firestone Library, Princeton Univeristy (Last Phase) Scaffolding the entire building
This is the last phase of the scaffolding and exterior renovations.
It’s also a follow up to our original post. (scroll down for link)
Princeton University has committed to a comprehensive renovation of Firestone Library
and Superior Scaffold has been there every step of the way. The entire building is scaffolded
and debris netting has been added.
The renovation is a long-term project that is being done in multiple phases and will take almost 10 years to finish, during which time the library will remain open, and its collections available during normal hours of operation.
Superior erected as system scaffold allowing crews to get access to all areas of this monumental restoration.
As stated above, the library has to remain open while crews do the work.
Superior also provided a series of debris netting and trash chutes to the project.
The Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library opened in 1948 as the first large American university library constructed after World War II. Roughly 1.5 million volumes were moved during the summer of 1948 from Pyne and Chancellor Green Halls, which until then had served as the University’s main library. The library building was expanded in 1971 and again in 1988 and currently has more than 70 miles (110 km) of bookshelves, making Firestone one of the largest open-stack libraries in existence. Though not the largest university library in the world, the library has more books per enrolled student than that of any other university in the United States.
You can keep tabs of the multi-phase renovation here:
You can see our original post about the Firestone library here:
For all of your scaffold and scaffolding needs call Superior Scaffold today (215) 743-2200
or visit http://www.superiorscaffold.com
Can you say needle beam? I just love that word. Needle beam, needle beam, needle beam.
Did one just appear?
It did. (See the photos below.)
That is a needle beam. I know, like me, you probably thought it would resemble an actual needle but no. It’s just a term that the engineers like to throw around loosely anytime a beam needs to be put through something for support.
Here’s the actual definition of needle beam from the free dictionary: in shoring, the horizontal cross timber which goes through the wall or a pier, and upon which the weight of the wall rests, when a building is shored up to allow of alterations in the lower part.
Well that makes sense. So now look at the picture. You see the needle beams?
A store in the Hillview Shopping Center in Cherry Hill, NJ wanted to expand the front entrance to their building so the call went out to Superior Scaffold, who are experts with all things shoring by the way (shameless plug). So the grand wizard of engineering, Bob Robinson, devised this nifty bit of shoring using 20 kip heavy duty post shores to support the exterior walls with needle beams sticking through.
And on the inside, Superior used their hi-load shoring frames with aluminum joists to support the bar joists.
How about that? I just realized that I’m going to have to do a post just dealing with scaffold terminology. Kind of like the urban dictionary for scaffolding. I’ll get to that so you all know what 20 Kip means, and what Bar Joists are, etc.
Anyway, the job went swimmingly and the client was thrilled. And I am happy to report that there were no Beetlejuice sightings or random appearances of needle beams either.
Needle beam, needle beam, needle beam….