Posts Tagged ‘facade’

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Superior Scaffold wins big at the SAIA Scaffold Builders Challenge

A 1st Place win for the Superior Scaffold team at the Scaffold and Access Industry Association annual convention.

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A big shout out to the best scaffold building crew on the east coast for blazing a superfast time of 43 minutes 59 seconds, up, down and racked for a system scaffold in the ballroom at the Loews Philadelphia.  The final tally was 133 points for our team.  We beat worthy competitors – Vertical Access (56 minutes 50 seconds / 128 points), followed by Safway and Brand finishing in that order.

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Our team of Rich De Tora, Tomas Cotto, Nick Panatalone and Chris Ricketts

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Wasted no time in setting the pace for this competition. 

Watch the time lapse video above.

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This was all part of the SAIA’s annual scaffold convention held this year here in Philadelphia, PA. So it was only fitting that our hometown team took first place!

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The competition is not only judged on speed (up and down) but safety (meeting safety standards), ability to follow architectural drawings, teamwork, and communication.

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Teams were judged by industry giants from across the country. 

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We look forward to defending our title at next years’ SAIA convention in Indianapolis.

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If you want the best call Superior Scaffold today at (215) 743-2200

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Or visit www.superiorscaffold.com to see some of the jobs these champs have worked on.

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Here they are receiving their 1st Place trophy and swag from Robin Miller, Danielle Melson and Granville Loar from the SAIA.

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Again – Congrats guys!

 

 

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How to add floors to an existing building – high exposure cantilever scaffold

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Superior also had to install overhead protection all of the way around the building. This was quite an extensive job.

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The building exterior also underwent a makeover bringing it back to its former glory of almost ¾ a century ago.

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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.

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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


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Suspended Scaffold & Overhead Protection at Rittenhouse Plaza, Philadelphia

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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Crews were able to complete the restoration work on time and within budget helping make the Rittenhouse Plaza shine to its proper glory.

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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 🙂

http://www.centercitycondos.com/high_rises/rittenhouse_plaza.html

Call Superior Scaffold today for all of your suspended scaffold and overhead protection needs.  (215) 743-2200


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Scaffolding support for facade and masonry restoration @ First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA

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Superior Scaffold is proud to be working on the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Philadelphia.

We are providing scaffolding support for a complete facade and masonry restoration on this church constructed after the civil war.

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Superior was called in because of our experience working with historic buildings, especially ones that might have delicate or sensitive objects.  This particular church was no different – they have one of the most extensive stainded glass window collections on the east coast.  See it here.

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The First Presbyterian Church also has some beautiful artifacts and spires at the top of their steeples that required a special touch.

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We also provided debris netting around the scaffolding for added protection as crews performed their restoration.  And we installed a canopy, sidewalk shed, for pedestrian protection and so the church could remain open while the restoration work went on.

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This wonderful church is getting back to it’s full glory.  Superior Scaffold is proud to have been a vital part of the restoration process.

This church has an incredible history.  The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia was organized in 1698, just 16 years after the arrival of William Penn.  For its first hundred years, the church occupied a site on High (now Market) Street, and both the first American presbytery and the first synod met in the church’s meetinghouse.  In the 1820s the congregation moved to the south side of Washington Square where it remained until the late 1920s, when it moved to 15th and Locust Streets.

After the Civil War, the Second Presbyterian Church constructed a new building at 21st and Walnut Streets. (201 South 21st Street (at Walnut) • Philadelphia, PA 19103 • 215.567.0532)  In 1949 the two congregations reunited to form one church, retaining the name First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia though occupying the building of the Second Presbyterian Church.

If you have an historic building that needs scaffolding support – call the best – Superior Scaffold (215) 743-2200.


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Superior Scaffold Sidewalk Shed: The key to commerce.

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To some this might seem a bit commonplace, since you see them everywhere, but to us it’s the key to commerce.  These canopies are what keep industry rolling.  Just think about it for a minute.  If we didn’t construct these sidewalk sheds around buildings that were doing façade work or window replacement or brick and mortar repointing, everything would shut down.  No food for the tenants, no around the corner morning coffees, no treats or ice cream – nothing.  These are our very own little stimulus package.

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Many times, just like with this canopy, it serves a dual purpose; one, keeping the building and byways open for business while protecting the patrons and two; it also works as a platform for our swing stages.  (We will have some additional pics later).

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These are known by a couple of names – Canopy, sidewalk shed, overhead protection.  It really doesn’t matter which one you use or prefer but the result is the same.  I never really understood the term “Sidewalk Shed”.  Maybe it’s because it’s shaped like a shed and provides protection overhead and from the sides?  It’s sits on the sidewalk, that part makes sense but it’s really not a shed, it’s more of a walkway, a passage, a throughput… Hmm????   I looked up the term Shed in the dictionary and this is what it said: a slight structure built for shelter or storage; especially :  a single-storied building with one or more sides unenclosed.  Someone in the office suggested that the term might have come from train shed, or snow shed.  He mentioned that it might be anything with sides and a roof and then said that it could have come from NYC – back when they used to use corrugated metal on the sides so they looked like a shed.  I don’t know.  Googling around really didn’t produce much – other than: A sidewalk shed must be erected whenever materials will be hoisted over the sidewalk, regardless of building height or horizontal distance between building and sidewalk.

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This is a very well designed and constructed canopy at the corner of 20th and JFK, in Center City, Philly.  It’s what we call an extra-tall canopy to clear the giant storefront windows.  Superior Scaffold can accommodate any scenario – large, small, medium, wide, short, we customize them to every job.  We can add different colors that accent the building (see our Amtrak canopy blog) put debris netting around the top for added protection, and even completely enclose the sides to protect against the elements.

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So, the next time you are walking through Philadelphia or any city, for that matter, take a moment to thank your scaffolding company (Superior Scaffold on the East Coast) for their work helping to keep your city moving and open for business.

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And if you find yourself in need of a Canopy, Sidewalk Shed, Overhead Protection, or sidewalk bridge – pick up the phone and call Superior Scaffold today at (215) 743-2200 or visite www.superiorscaffold.com.

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Stop and smell the construction site – Philadelphia, PA

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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I am reminded of this quote:  “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m schizophrenic, and so am I.”
Oscar Levant

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:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-dorchester-condominiums-philadelphia

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


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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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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.

scaffold, scaffolding rental, emergency services, superior scaffold

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.

scaffold, scaffolding rental, emergency services, superior scaffold

“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.

scaffold, scaffolding rental, emergency services, superior scaffold  scaffold, scaffolding rental, emergency services, superior scaffold

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/


Okay – now I know you are probably asking yourself why on earth are we blogging about this?  And you have a point – but when you see the scope of the renovation that Ray Starzman and Chase Building Group undertook for this exterior re-invention, you will understand.  Just look at the pictures.

    

Not only did Superior Scaffold provide the many system scaffolds all around the residence, but they also did an entire enclosure on the house while the work was going on!  This kept the debris trapped and the workers very happy during the cold winter months.  It also provided a nice barrier for the owners, who inhabited the house the entire time.

Superior used a custom designed system scaffold to give the workers maximum stability and protection while working on the renovation.  They were required to access the three stories from the ground level all the way to the roof.  This section here is the 3 stories above the garage.

    

Even though it’s not your typical industrial scaffolding job it’s still a challenge to build the best system possible.  Here is a picture (from the back) of what the rest of the house will look like once the renovations are complete.  This section already underwent a re-facing.  When all of the landscaping is finished, this house will be a real stunner.

It should be an incredible looking house, once completed.  We will follow up with some pictures of the completed project.  So now you can say, “hey, I saw the famous movie director, M. Night Shymalan’s old house!”  It just goes to show, now matter how large or small, industrial or residential, Superior Scaffold can deliver the goods.


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.