Construction Goes Undercover
Going undercover is typically saved for FBI investigations or spy movies. But whether for protection and safety or the art of deception, sometimes construction projects have to go undercover as well.
Invisible isn’t a word normally associated with construction projects, but when BrandSafway worked on the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, the work had to be as inconspicuous as possible. If the expensive resort was to continue hosting guests, weddings and celebrity events, the serene and luxurious atmosphere couldn’t be disrupted by scaffolding or the noise of construction.
To refurbish the building’s stucco façade, 15 semi loads of BrandSafway’s Systems™ Scaffold were installed to provide access for as many as 100 workers at a time to all parts of the building. BrandSafway’s engineering team also reduced the need to drill into the building by clamping scaffolding to balconies and parapets and spanning over entrances and the pool area, thereby reducing noise, damage to the building and impediments to guests.
The true ingenuity came in when beige screening was added to cover the extensive metal grid. The fabric was selected to almost exactly match the color of the actual buildings, so the visual impact of the refurbishment was diminished, and workers—who were also trained to keep a low profile—were hidden from view. The screening also helped contain dust and debris, making the whole site safer.
At Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, an old brick building was slated for removal, but it was attached to a newer building that would remain in place, which also housed the neonatal intensive care unit and some of the hospital’s most delicate patients. With the demolition taking place during the worst part of a recent winter, it was even more critical that the remaining building and patients be fully protected from any effects of the project.
BrandSafway was called in to provide innovative solutions for protecting the neonatal building (and its patients) from the elements while the adjoining structure was torn down. Using HAKI® enclosure systems, engineered by BrandSafway’s expert crew and industry-leading project management, the entire demolition site was enclosed, all seven stories of it, quickly and safely.
The key is HAKI’s long, strong aluminum spans. In this case, the spans extended 110 feet along the side of the remaining building, and the covering went all the way down to the ground, 140 feet below. The HAKI structures were enclosed with a flexible, yet heavy-duty white plastic that could keep out almost any weather nature could dish out, including one winter storm that damaged permanent structures nearby while the HAKI enclosure suffered only minor damage, which was quickly repaired.
“The key to the HAKI system is the strength of these long trusses,” said Eric Thacker, BrandSafway project manager. “We were able to cover this large demolition area with no additional internal bracing, meaning the demolition crew could bring down this large masonry structure, and the HAKI enclosure would be entirely untouched.”