Superior Scaffold Blog
(All things scaffolding...)

Our expert tells us about how this new 4 wire electric system replaces the traditional heavy 110 transformers on suspended scaffolds.

This is the first in a series of videos that will give tips and advice for the suspended scaffold / scaffolding users.


Virgin Mary statue taken down for repairs

Superior Scaffold was called back to Our Lady of Lourdes to add another level of scaffolding to the existing structure so crews could more easily remove the sections of the statue of the Mother Mary.

It has been taken down in sections and sent off for repair.  As you know, it was damaged in the earthquake.

 

I’ve compiled a few of the news stories here  – including a CBS news clip in which you can see the damage directly after the earthquake and the day before Superior’s emergency response team raced in and secured her in place.

 

 

Virgin Mary Statue Atop Lourdes Hospital In Camden Coming Down For Repairs « CBS Philly.

Virgin Mary Statud atop Camden hospital removed for repairs (philly.com)

Original Video of the statue directly after the earthquake.

Blessed Mother statue in Camden braces for Irene (philly.com)

The statue of the Virgin Mary will be restored to her former glory and reinstalled in her proper place.


CBS News Checks in at Independence Hall

CBS Channel 3′s Pat Ciarrocchi climbed 14 flights of metal steps to get a closer look.  What she found was that it has come a  long way in the past few months. (See video below)

CBS News

 

The top portion including the spire, bell housing, and lightening ball all look fantastic.  Even the clock faces are almost ready.

The unveil without the scaffolding is slated for December.

Thanks for the update on Independence Hall.

 

 


Guy-Wire all over the statue of Mother Mary

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 takes 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.


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.


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!


Independence Hall Update – 10.4.11

Well, things are surely coming along at the Independence Hall Tower.  Crews have really done a terrific job getting the spire repainted, the ball and weather vane re-guilded, the roof flashing in place.  It’s looks great.  They have even taken most of the decorative urns down to have them repainted as well.   I saw it with my own eyes.  It’s been a good 6 months since I was last up on the scaffold.  I do have photos and will post them up tomorrow.   We got to see inside the bell housing as well.  They have put new metal flashing down in there as well and completely repainted the surrounding bell housing.  This new refurb should last another 100 years.  It’s pretty cool to see how the tower is taking shape as they move down further towards the ground and take down the decorative scrim.  We did notice that they are getting the gold colors in the clock faces as well.  Just a quick entry here but I will post more details when I get the photos up.


The earthquake did more than rattle buildings up and down the east coast.  It also toppled figurines at churches in Washington DC, and damaged statues and monuments as well.  One of them was the giant statue at the top of the Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, NJ.

Superior Scaffold was called because of our super fast response times (within 24 hours).  We got the call and within 24 hours we had an emergency scaffold in place to start repairing the cracks in the statue.

It’s one of the services that we pride ourselves on.  We have the fastest turn-around times in the business.

You can see the statue here in this photo from a very cool service from Bing Maps.

I will include the link too because it’s a great service that I never knew about.  It’s called Bird’s eye view  I would normally use google.


It’s crazy just how the world works sometime.  We had just gotten our stuff to Vince at Scaffold Industry Magazine and the article hadn’t even come out yet when someone in our office remembered being contacted by Lindsey Anderson over at  Access Lift & Handlers Magazine (part of KHL group).  Again, we turned her name over the Erik who told her about the work we were doing over at Independence Hall.  She was excited when she saw the images.  She even thought that we would get the cover shot of the magazine.  Yeah!

So, we went back to the press release and tweaked it a bit so it wasn’t the exact same as the one we sent to scaffold magazine.  By the way, I did inform her that we had already had an article coming out in the other periodical – it’s just good business to be honest about where you stuff is being seen.  She assured us that there were no worries.  We went back and forth a few times as Lindsey prepared the article and layout… She was very cool and professional throughout the entire process.  And a few weeks later… Bam.

The cover of Access Lift & Handlers Magazine.

The article inside was great and we had accomplished our goal.

See the article inside – here.

A giant shout out to both Lindsey over and Access Lift & Handlers Magazine, and Vince at Scaffold Industry Magazine for the work they did on the Independence Hall project.

We thought that this worked so well that we are now making this part of our over-all marketing strategy.