Superior Scaffold Blog
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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.


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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.


I love it when we can help someone out in a pinch.  That’s why we have the emergency services line.  (215) 743-2200.  Kind of like the Bat phone for scaffolding.  I’d like to think that our very own Bob Sarkisian is Batman (in a way).  But really, the only time he’s like the caped crusader is when he’s climbing the side of a building in one of his swing stages or answering the Bat phone, like this case.
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We say it – and we mean it.  We will have crews on-site within 24 hours and the problem solved or at least in motion shortly thereafter.  We really do have the fastest response teams in the industry.  And I’m not just saying that because Batman (Sarkisian) and his trusty partner Robin (Shawn MacDonald) have me squeezed tighter than Anita Bryant and some Florida orange juice.  But it’s true.  In reality, it’s mostly MacDonald who acts more like Batman on these emergency service calls.  I guess trusty sidekicks are always quick to slip into their leader’s shoes when they aren’t around.  But I digress…
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The guys over at 13th and Chestnut needed to get to the top elevation for some cornice repairs and reconstruction.  And they needed to get up “air” fast.  The job was put into overdrive.  From the time Batman (Sarkisian) at Superior Scaffold took the call – all the way through design, engineered drawings, approval, and erection it took only 7 days.   We even added containment netting too.
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Bam!  Pow!  Zap!  Done!  Holy Bat Erection.

Yes, another satisfied customer.  So when you need something in an emergency situation – don’t turn on the Bat signal (Sarkisian or McDonald will never see it – too busy analyzing what effect Bat guano has on steel cross braces) make the call to Superior Scaffold’s emergency service line (215) 743-2200.  You won’t be disappointed.

More pics to come, as the job continues.


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Shoring up the Ben Franklin Museum, Philadelphia, PA

The new Benjamin Franklin museum just off of 4th & Market in an area known as “Franklin Court” is under way.  This will be Philadelphia’s newest exhibit about Ben Franklin and when completed, the new Benjamin Franklin Museum will be underground!

The exterior or top of the Benjamin Franklin Museum.
Ben Franklin Museum – new concrete slabs and support steel.

Yes, an underground museum.  And that’s all well and good but it posed some real challenges when it came time to do the expansion.  You just can’t take a hundred and fifty year old building and slap a bunch of exhibits inside.  You need a complete redesign to support the architect’s vision.  And that exactly what they got.

If ever you wanted to see what shoring actually does – this is the time.  You can clearly see the work going on above the shoring and below the shoring.  It always amazes me at the sheer weight that these post shores can hold when you take in consideration the cement and steel necessary to make a job like this happen.

Beneath the concrete slabs you can see the shoring necessary to hold up the new steel and cement.

This was an extensive demolition of an old structure to open up the building.  Walls had to be removed, ceilings had to be shored up so new steel and concrete could be poured to support the new additions.

The view from below the concrete pour going on above in the first shots.
Another view from the basement.

15” thick Concrete slabs were poured and giant concrete beams were brought in to help support the weight.  That was probably the biggest challenge on the job.  The steel was so long it took several cranes and expert crews to get them in through the alley and into place.  Superior Scaffold shoring guru, Bob Robinson, had to calculate all of the weight loads so the proper equipment could be utilized and the work done safely and up to code.

The underneath shot.
What’s going on above the shoring.

Some of the concrete beams in the new design were 36” wide X 42” deep and spanned 42 feet  column-to-column!

When it’s all done, the exhibits will be divided up into different rooms that reflect various aspects of his personality and his life.  The museum will feature interactive displays exploring his life as a private citizen and statesman through individual, room-like installations. The library is intended to be the culminating experience.  Other 21st century additions to the underground museum include interactive elements like touch screen kiosks, a computerized version of Franklin’s glass armonica a musical instrument employing glass and water to create sound, and two-minute animated vignettes designed to help visitors understand critical turning points in Franklin’s life.

A clear view of the shoring necessary to support the work going on above.

More information:

CBS local news coverage on the job.

Click here for news on the construction job.


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Truly amazing 4 story shoring project in Princeton, NJ

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Surprise, surprise, surprise.  I walked into this old building thinking I would find a few dirty post shores holding up a section of calapsing entryway or maybe even a portion of cieling that needed support but what I found was truly amazing.

Now, shoring isn’t the most glamourus sector of the construction industry – relegated to dusty old basements and haunted houses deep in the underbellies where ghosts and spiders live…  So this renovation at  the Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart  at 1128 Great Road was a pleasant surprise.  They are expanding this old structure in a big way, updating the old 4 story brick school building to a more open style learning environment.   But to do that – they needed to take out most of their support walls and put new steel and concrete in to carry the weight.  Normally, not a big deal because you do it one floor at at time.

But this job was doing it ALL AT ONCE…  Yes, 4 massive floors of concrete and steel being supported or shored up at once.

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These old buildings once had many rooms and walls that would support the weight of the ceiling/floor above them.  Take a look at these pictures and see just how incredible a task it was to support the floors above one another simultaneously.

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The really unique challenge here was that most projects like this work on one floor at a time as the new steel and concrete are added.  Once that structure is stable and in place you move to the next floor up the line.

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But with this project, Superior Scaffold engineer, Bob Robinson, had to design a shoring system that supported the existing steel and concrete for ALL 4 FLOORS AT ONCE!  Crews could then modify and add the new steel and supports needed for the additional weight.

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You can see the bottom floor in the photographs.  This was where the bulk of the support weight was being carried from the floors above it.  Robinson had to calculate the weight loads and provide the proper shoring equipment necessary to keep this project standing.  All of the architectural drawings had to be PE stamped in NJ before the project could begin.

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Currently, the bottom and the second floors are complete.  We will bring you updates and photos as the job gets closer to completion.

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Superior solutions for shoring projects call (215) 743-2200

http://www.princetonacademy.org/main/index.html

http://www.facebook.com/PrincetonAcademy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeton_Academy_of_the_Sacred_Heart

Additional information on the school.

Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart is an independent all-boys Catholic school located in Princeton, New Jersey and is part of the Sacred Heart Network of Schools. Princeton Academy serves students from Junior Kindergarten through grade 8 and is the only all-boys Catholic primary school in the state of New Jersey.[2] The school operates within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton.


Oscar Niemeyer Architecture

How cool is this? Just amazing stuff.


We get this call quite a bit.  And even though it’s a smaller job, we wanted to show you what can be done when there doesn’t not seem to be an easy solution.

The good people at Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Academy were installing a new HVAC unit and couldn’t figure out how to make the tie-in at the top safely using their ladders and scissor lifts, so they called Superior Scaffold.

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Superior estimator and creative guru, Pat McAndrew, quickly devised a solution that put system scaffolding on either side of the unit and then added an access ladder and 2 decks for workers on the top so they could span the section across the apex of the HVAC unit.  Crews were then able to safely tap into the duct work up top and then down into the HVAC unit itself.

It looks simple, but trust us, it takes an expert designer to devise a safe and simple solution like this.

Call Superior Scaffold (215) 743-2200 when you need creative scaffolding solutions.


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Amazing underground scaffolding

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This is one of my favorites.  Yes, it’s technically under a building – the Philadelphia VA Medical Center but it’s still underground.

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Superior Scaffold set this up so crews could get to the electrical underneath the floor of the hospital.

But that’s not the half of it.  Getting the equipment into and beneath the hospital building was the major challenge.  Check out the video for what was involved.

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Superior salesman Tom Creighton did a bang up job estimating the layout and materials to make this happen.  Not only is it under the building but it’s on a radical inclined as well.

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Crews had to lug all of the materials through a maze beneath the hospital and then out a tiny door and then climb up a rope just to get to the bottom of the bottom.  And then they had to assemble the scaffolding; all of this intricate craftsmanship to run new conduit from one electrical box to another!

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In the end, the client was happy.  The job was completed.  And we got another story to tell.

For all of your scaffolding needs call Superior Scaffold (215) 743-2200


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A renovation for the ARCH Building at University of Pennsylvania

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Superior Scaffold salesman, Anthony Pini rocked the house on this job at the University of Pennsylvania’s ARCH Building (Arts, Research and Culture House) in Philadelphia, PA.   Not only did he meet the client’s needs on every phase, but he went so far as to bring the crews coffee and donuts on several occasions.  He’s is certainly the king of customer service for Superior Scaffold.

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This is a very deceptive job from the outside because it’s shrouded from trees, signs, and netting.  It masks the major renovation going on both inside and outside of this historic building.  Built in 1929, it was in desperate need of a renovation.  This $15 million redo will add new flourishes while preserving the original ornate structure.

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The job was unique because it required Superior to scaffold half of the building so crews could get to the roof, façade, gables, balconies, windows, and even interiors all at the same time.  It was truly a multi-trade scaffolding job.  But the truly challenging part was that Superior crews had to take it all down and put it back up again when the work moved to the other side of the building.

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You can see here that intricate woodworking around the ceiling also needed to be addressed, so Superior provided the University of Pennsylvania with several rolling towers for the inside of the massive structure.

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The U of P had strict deadlines and timeframes for each phase of the job which Pini and Superior Scaffold met and exceeded.


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How to change a light bulb – Scaffolding style

How do you change light bulbs on the ceiling above a giant spiral staircase that descends several floors?

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You can see the light fixtures just out of reach from the railing in the shot.  Sure, you could dangle precariously from several extension ladders, or you could cautiously lean over the edge while your coworker holds onto your belt loop while you reach with all of your might to grasp the super hot bulb and pray that you didn’t piss them off in the past.   But then, how would you get to the recessed ones directly in the center?  Hmmmm???  Or you could do it the Superior Scaffold way – using system scaffold.

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The Cira Centre is a 29 story glass high-rise in the Universal City area of Philadelphia.  You can’t miss the glass structure against the skyline.  They had a problem.   Several of the light bulbs in the ceiling had burned out and they couldn’t reach them to change them out.  They called Superior Scaffold to devise a creative way to breach the spiral staircase in between the 24th and 26th floors so crews could replace the old bulbs with longer lasting energy efficient ones.

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“The benefit of using system scaffolding in an area like this is that we can build the base around almost anything, even a spiral staircase.  It’s very versatile and stable, especially when you need legs of different lengths or heights,” said estimator, Pat McAndrew.

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You can see from the photos just how they built the scaffold to fit into and around the staircase.

So remember, when you’ve got something you can’t reach with a traditional ladder or other means – scaffolding just might be the trick.

More info on the Cira Center at 2929 Market Street  Philadelphia, PA 19104.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cira_Centre

http://ciracenter.com/