Superior Scaffold’s suspended solution for Huntsman Hall

Superior Scaffold recently provided its suspended scaffold expertise for a project at the University of Pennsylvania. The company was contacted by Masonry Preservation Group, Inc. (MPG) after MPG hit a roadblock during restoration of the University’s Huntsman Hall.

superior scaffold, scaffold, suspended scaffold A suspended scaffold rig hung from 6-foot outrigger beams, weighted and anchored to the opposing side of the building, was Superior Scaffold’s solution. (Photo: Superior Scaffold)

The company’s initial approach for the work was going to be scaffolding, which it thought could be erected on the building’s second-floor outdoor courtyard and around windows that were narrowly framed by architectural columns.

But, according to Superior Scaffold, “there was not enough structural support on the lower level of the building, nor enough space between the columns to use traditional scaffolding or a high reach.”

MPG had floated a bevy of options and solutions, but none of them worked. That’s when Superior’s suspended scaffold expert, Bob Sarkisian, was contacted.

“Not only was the building’s roof short, but the suspended scaffold units had to fit in between decorative brick design elements on the building,” Superior Scaffold said.

superior scaffold, suspended scaffold, scaffolding, work at height, access work Huntsman Hall’s roof is short, and Superior Scaffold’s suspended scaffold units had to fit in between decorative brick design elements on the building. (Photo: Superior Scaffold)

Sarkisian came up with a solution: A suspended scaffold rig that hung from 6-foot outrigger beams, weighted and anchored to the opposing side of the building.

“Traditional outrigger beams, however, are supposed to be two or three times longer than the space would allow and have giant rolling caster dollies that hold the beams and weight,” Superior noted. “Without the necessary space, Bob integrated the scaffolds’ weights with existing tie-off points, rather than try to build around them.”

Sarkisian also shortened the lengths of the swing stages themselves so they would fit in between the decorative brick elements around the courtyard. The crews moved the scaffold units several times to do the work all around the quadrangle.

“Looking back now, the solution seems so simple, but it really took some ingenuity,” Superior said.

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