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Amazing uses for scaffolding. Calpine energy turbine repair.

Every now and then, a really cool use for scaffolding comes across my desk, and this is one of those times.  Maybe I’m just genuinely curious as to how stuff works but I thought I’d pass this along.

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This is the top of giant electric turbine at the Calpine Energy, Delta, PA power plant.   The plant is a state-of-the-art, combined cycle, power generating plant powered mainly by natural gas.  The plant consists of 8 electric generators – and these photos are of one of those turbines!  Basically, these gigantic turbines spin around at amazing speed to produce electricity for cities and towns.

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Calpine called Superior Scaffold out to construct support scaffolding around one of the giant Siemens V84.2 turbines so the top could be removed and stored while work was done inside.  As you can see from the photos, just the top of the turbine is enormous.  Once inside the turbine, crews had to pull the entire thing apart to find the problem.  Once that was addressed workers had to reassemble the entire unit – but this time they welded counter weights on the turbine to keep it spinning up to a tolerance factor of 1000th of and inch.

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It always amazes me at the different uses for scaffold – and this is just another in a long list of cool applications.

For a more technical description of how their plant converts energy read this blurb from their website.

The plant works like this:  Steam for the steam turbines is generated in heat recovery steam generators – unfired boilers that get their heat from hot gas exhaust leaving the gas turbines. The combustion turbines, which primarily burn natural gas, can also run on low-sulfur diesel fuel oil. When combined, these two power cycles (the gas turbine and the boiler/steam turbine) create a highly fuel-efficient plant, consuming significantly less fuel than needed by a traditional fossil-fired boiler/steam turbine generator plant.  This conversion spins the turbines which in turn convert steam into electricity for Delta, PA customers.

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A unique before and after look at Boathouse Row repair, Philadelphia, PA

courtesy of LGpano, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, sales, service, installation

Superior Scaffold at Bachelors Barge Club (Est 1853), Philadelphia, PA.

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Bachelors boathouse #6, (built in 1893) is repairing part of the exterior of their house on Philadelphia’s historic Boathouse row.   Superior provided canopy protection for the side of the building while erecting system scaffold above – so crews could get access to the spots that needed repairing without hindering daily operations.

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This is a unique opportunity to see a before and after view of the repair process.  As you can see in the first series of photos taken by Superior estimator, Pat McAndrew, there are large cracks in the facade of the structure.  And you can see just where they are located on the building and where crews will have to get access to affect repairs.

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It’s Pat’s job to estimate the amount of man and materials it will take to finish the repairs.  And in many instances, it’s also his job to configure the best scaffolding approach to access the job.

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Here, he chose 767 Philly frames to construct a canopy (sidewalk shed) over the entryway so Bachelors members could use the building on a daily basis while work continued overhead.  This is a great way to keep business as usual for the buildings being worked on while creating a very stable platform for the work crews to complete their tasks above.

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Pat also chose a series of system scaffold on top of the canopy to create different levels, in essence, for better access.  He also added a hoist and access ladders on the ends giving the scaffolding two separate levels.  It’s all very stable and easy to get equipment up and down.

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We will provide you with the finished photographs once the work is complete.

If you need an estimate for anything scaffold related (scaffolding, scaffold services, shoring, facade work, inspection) just give Pat a call.  He’s one of the best in the business.  (215) 743-2200.

A brief history of Bachelors Barge Club.

The club originally housed its boats in a wooded shack on the north side of the Schuylkill River constructed for the imposing sum of $67.85.  Today its over 150 members row out of a stately brick boathouse constructed in 1893 on the original site, now known as #6 Boathouse Row.  The boathouse is also home to four high school rowing programs and the Wharton Graduate Crew.

Bachelors Barge has hosted high school rowing on a continuous basis since 1948 when Lower Merion initiated a rowing program.  Lower Merion was subsequently followed by Harriton High School, The Baldwin School, and Conestoga High School in that order.  Wharton Graduate is the most recent tenant to join Bachelors Barge however they have historical ties to the club going back to 1864 when George W. Wharton was an active member.

Home of Drexel crew.

Boathouse Row is a historic site located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the east bank of the Schuylkill River, just north of the Fairmount Water Works and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It consists of a row of 15 boathouses housing social and rowing clubs and their racing shells. Each of the boathouses has its own history, and all have addresses on both Boathouse Row and Kelly Drive (named after famous Philadelphia oarsman John B. Kelly, Jr.).

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


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Scaffolding Sculpture

Artist Ben Long’s ‘Scaffolding Sculptures’ are series of three-dimensional constructions made from conventional scaffolding components.  By using these builder’s materials out of their everyday context, Long creates meanings and symbols an audience would not normally expect.  In this exhibit he creates the words Art and Work.

The word ‘ART’ embodies the creative thought-process inherent in the conception of a piece as well as the practical skill required to physically make it.
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Likewise, the word ‘WORK’ describes not only the intellectual endeavor in pursuit of a final idea, but also the effort involved in an artwork’s construction.
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By separating the word ‘artwork’ into its two component words, Long leads us to contemplate the key ingredients required in the making of any work of art; the initial spark and development of an idea, and the productive course of activity that makes an idea into an artifact. (from the Man&Eve exhibit blog)

He does amazing things with scaffold materials that we, at Superior Scaffold, use everyday.  Here are videos of him assembling his gallery pieces.


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Superior Scaffold at Frick Laboratory, Princeton University, NJ

Superior Scaffold was called out to the Frick Laboratory at Princeton University to build scaffolding for crews to get access to the 3 floors of the structure.  Crews will then install trash chutes so they can demo the entire interior of the building.
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Princeton University officials say that the former Frick lab will remain vacant until renovation funds become available.

The Frick Lab is named after industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919).  The lab, built in 1929, housed the academic chemistry facilities for over 83 years making it one of the oldest functioning labs in the United States.

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It has been moved into the gleaming new Frick Chemistry Lab.   It is part of the University’s commitment to green building.  You can read about the New Frick Laboratory here.

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And you can watch video here.

http://youtu.be/bEtD9u1Meb8

You can really see the new building’s design here.


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Superior Scaffold at the University of Pennsylvania, Market & 34th

University of Pennsylvania (U of P) is caulking and waterproofing the façade of their building at 3400 Walnut, (Market & 34th) Pennsylvania, PA  19104.
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Superior Scaffold provided an intricate sidewalk canopy (sidewalk shed), with overhead protection,
2 blocks long that would allow construction work to go on above while keeping the businesses open underneath.

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Superior also provided two suspended scaffolds (swings, swing-stage) to allow crews greater access to all areas of the façade.

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U of P turned to Superior because of the confidence they have for them to handle the safety requirements and guidelines set up by the city, state, and the university.  Superior is proud to continue their long relationship with U of P.

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“When work finishes along Market Street, the canopy will be relocated around the corner on 15th,” said Superior estimator, Anthony Pini.

For information call Superior Scaffold (215) 743-2200.


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Renovation at Princeton University Firestone Library

Superior Scaffold was selected to help in the renovation of Princeton’s Prestigious Firestone library because of its long history working with historic buildings on the campus.

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In light of the library’s importance in teaching and research at Princeton, the University has committed to a comprehensive renovation of Firestone Library. 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.

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Superior erected system scaffold allowing crews to get access to all areas of this monumental restoration and parapet wall replacement project.  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.

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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:


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New addition at Chester County Hospital calls for Superior scaffolding

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.

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As part of the plan, the Chester County Hospital and Health System called in Superior Scaffold to help work on the 93,000 sq. ft. Tower Project at 701 East Marshall Street.

The scaffolding, constructed on top of the first floor’s roof, allows crews to get to the floors above it to remove the skin (facade) and expose the steel to tie into.  The new addition will be 5 stories tall and as wide as the old section beneath it.

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Those black squares you see on the lower roof are temporary coverings for the new steel columns that are underneath them.   “Once the facade is removed, horizontal steel will come out of building and connect to columns coming up and out of those holes,” said Superior estimator, Pat McAndrew.  Superior also provided a 70′ trash chute with a hopper on every level.

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The Chester County Hospital is the only non-profit, independent community hospital in Chester County, and it has been serving the county and its surrounding communities for 120 years.


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Superior Scaffold helps install innovative solar array over Camden County Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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In a first of a kind move, the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA) of New Jersey embraced the growing need for renewable energy by installing a giant array of solar panels over the Camden, NJ water treatment plant.  The panels will provide enough power to run the day-to-day operations of the plant (producing more than 2.2 million kilowatt hours each year in energy offsetting production costs.)

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These arrays will enable the company to become more cost efficient and reduce the carbon footprint needed to treat wastewater.

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The Challenge

Superior scaffold’s challenge was to devise a way for the crews to install the 7,000 solar panels over the large aeration and sediment tanks WHILE the plant remained operational.  Superior’s crew (headed by Kenny Foreman) and groSolar decided to incorporate a series of aluminum beams and plywood decking that would provide platforms over each series of tanks to erect their solar arrays.

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“Once the panels and their supports are permanently installed, the decking system can be easily moved over the next tank in a leapfrog type endeavor,” said Superior’s estimator, Anthony Pini.

Here is what the final product looks like.

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Many wastewater treatment plants are in a unique position to be able to take advantage of solar power because of their large physical size that often includes many unused acres.  Superior is thrilled to help the Camden County MUA realize this potential.  The County Regional Wastewater Treatment System treats the sewage discharged every day from properties in Camden County. The Camden County MUA treats 58 million gallons (220 million liters) of sewage per day at their two plants.

Camden County is located in the southwestern portion of New Jersey, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Burlington, Atlantic, and Gloucester Counties border Camden County on the north, east, and south. The County is 226 square miles in area, with a population of about 500,000. There are thirty-seven municipalities in Camden County.


Superior Scaffold was called in to assist with the renovations of the historic Strawbridge & Clothier building in downtown Philadelphia.  The 100 year-old building was once the worlds largest dry goods building.  Over the years it has sat in disrepair until they decided to bring it back to it’s former glory.  They new center will be home for 100 businesses as 1000 residential units.  They are doing a superb job of keeping the old style while giving the new structure nice upgrades.

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The bank of 20 elevators, yes, I said 20 elevators, wow, are a glorious site to see, however, only 10 will remain in service.  The other shafts will be used for vents, electrical, plumbing and other things.  It’s really a smart use of space.

Superior was called in to help assist crews working in the elevator shafts.  Aluminum beams were placed across the open shafts on specific floors and then planked so crews could work inside the actual shaft.  The units were moved up each floor as needed.

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Shoring, scaffolding

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I just find it fascinating the ways crews can use scaffolding to access different parts of jobs, all kinds of jobs, large and small.


Incredible photos of Our Lady of Lourdes Statue going back up!

Superior Scaffold has been there from the beginning, after the earthquake, through the dismantlement, and now the reassembly.

This story from the people of Philly.com really shows the delicate work involved with putting the statue back up on top of the Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, in Camden, NJ one piece at time.  And of course, that’s our scaffolding all around her.

Click on this Link or the photo below to see the entire story.

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