Scaffold Secures Success Of Capitol Dome Repairs
Best Specialty Contracting Project
Critical to the success of the $3.5-million Texas State Capitol Dome & Roof Repairs & Repainting project, Betco Scaffolds, Austin, Texas, provided an intricate scaffold system under a $544,755 contract with Flintco, the Austin-based general contractor.
"The system had to be designed as a free-standing, self-supporting scaffold and provide access to all crafts to perform their scope of work," says Ben Cantu, vice president-operations for Betco. "The schedule for this size project was very aggressive, with all work requiring completion within a six-month time frame."
Betco employed a ring system for the scaffolding, beginning at the copper-topped roof below the circular dome. The team wrapped the perimeter from the seventh level to the top of the 308-ft-high building, which is crowned by a goddess statue, for a total of 750,000 sq ft. The scaffold was topped off in August 2010 at 192 ft from first to top frame. It was dismantled in December 2010.
The company transported materials to the sixth-story level, using a 6,000-lb-capacity transport platform hoist and manually staged the project from there to the eighth-story level just below the dome. After staging, a raised scaffold walkway was constructed to provide a safe walking surface and to protect the fragile copper roof.
Material was then lifted by a ground-level crane to the 12th-level ring above the dome. This included the heavy 28-ft-long trusses that sat at that elevation and connected to the building below the cupola supporting the goddess.
Providing access to the dome walls challenged engineers at Betco as the scaffold base could not penetrate or be supported by any part of the dome walls. To accomplish this, trusses spanned from the outside legs to just below the cupola. To access sloped surfaces around the dome, a suspended scaffold hung from the trusses.
Finally, when it was time to sandblast the goddess and paint, a tarp had to be suspended from the scaffold that could withstand all wind resistance. Betco employed an interlocked system, creating a push/pull solution.
Safety was a critical focus for Betco, and no accidents or injuries occurred during the scaffolding project.
Owner: State Preservation Board Caretakers of the Texas Capitol, Austin, Texas
General Contractor: Flintco, Austin, Texas
Construction Manager: HS&A, Austin, Texas
Lead Design: Ford, Powell & Carson Architects and Planners, San Antonio
Scaffold: BETCO Scaffolds, San Antonio