The Austonian gets Bilt Rite protection

Bilt Rite Scaffold has recently undertaken a momentous task to provide pedestrian safety while an iconic building in Austin is having repairs done to it.

The 56 stories tall Austonian is undergoing emergency maintenance on many of its concrete balconies during a 16-month long renovation that should wrap up in April 2019. This work necessitates the ability to remove approximately 2 inches of concrete in order to access the rusting rebars that is causing portions of the balconies to crumble. The steel rebars will be replaced by glass fiber reinforced polymer to prevent any further rusting of support foundations in the future. In order to ensure pedestrian safety from falling debris, Bilt Rite Scaffold has erected over 750 feet of overhead protection as well as a material and personnel elevator for safe transportation during this critical overhaul.

Geda P22 material and personnel multilift provided by Bilt Rite Scaffolding installed at The Austonian

“We appreciate the opportunity to work on a building as iconic as the Austonian,” said Mr. McKinney, sales representative for Bilt Rite Scaffold. “Our engineers and crews planned and erected this structure with pedestrian safety first and foremost in our minds. We also took extra care around the popular yogurt shop Berry Austin at request from the client.”

PVC pipe was customized and fitted around the scaffolding pillars that straddled the entrance to the retail location providing an aesthetically pleasing sight and minimizing potential injury from colliding into the pillars. Additional bracing was also erected in vicinity of the shop, over-engineered, as per Bilt Rite standards, to ease customer concerns of the dangerous work taking place hundreds of feet above their heads.

Safety considerations about the stability of the concrete balconies has been a reoccurring issue since 2014 according to The Austonian Condominium Association. After a 6-foot concrete section went tumbling off the side of one of the units and narrowly missed a staff worker standing on the 10th story dog park in 2015, the association hired an independent engineering firm to assess the structural integrity of the balconies.

“There’s just standards in the concrete industry for making sure the reinforcement has adequate concrete cover,” said John Duke with Capital Project Management during a recent interview with KXAN Austin.  “So as long as you follow those standards, there really shouldn’t be any issues.”

Pedestrians easily transverse the sidewalks with the reassurance of Bilt Rite walkways.

Bilt Rite Scaffold, as the premier scaffolding provider in Central Texas, will continue to utilize their expertise and rigorous safety standards to ensure that any possible overhead debris from this project will not cause injury to bystanders in this high foot-traffic area of Austin.

“Our highest concerns here at Bilt Rite is client, pedestrian and crew safety,” said McKinney. “We want to make sure that if the worst-case scenario happens and a piece of concrete starts free-falling to the street, there will be a Bilt Rite structure there to catch it.”


Finally, ACC Mall is receiving a new tenant! KLRU-TV will now occupy the once occupied space of Dillards. The partnership with Austin Community College will enhance job training for the colleges arts, digital media, and communications.

In 2015, Bilt Rite Scaffold erected almost 1,000 linear feet of scaffold around the exterior of the mall. Renovations of the exterior facade went longer than anticipated as did finding the new home.

Austin Business Journals covered the story in a recent article. The above pictures show the buildings before and during renovations when we were on site. Bilt Rite supplied several aerial solutions for the job, including but not limited to supported system scaffold and platforms.

Trash chutes were installed for debris removal and shoring was erected in several areas to support the structure as the bricks were stripped. Bilt Rite Scaffold has since added several other aerial solution product services to their access portfolio.

Click here to view our gallery of all of our products and services.

Reaching New Heights in San Antonio

Who said erecting a 100 + foot system scaffold stair tower was hard? This type of project is a drop in the bucket for Bilt Rite Scaffold. Honored to partner with Bartlett Cocke once again, we were able to provide several forms of aerial solutions for them at The Children’s Hospital in nearby San Antonio, Texas. Bartlett Cocke needed to perform exterior remediation on the existing balconies, but the work area presented many dangers. These dangers were not limited to immediate fall hazards and offered no viable capacity to place a safe work platform or fall protection system. This project was unique because making changes to the existing structure or erecting scaffold along the entire elevation would have been too costly and time consuming, so an out-of-the-box and affordable solution was in stow.

Bilt Rite got creative for this one and pulled out several options from their expanding access portfolio. Along with our 170-foot erected system scaffold towers, we were also able to provide a stair tower for easy access to all work platforms. Looking at our extensive line of material and man hoists, we determined our Beta Max hoist was the perfect fit to increase productivity while maintaining safety.

Safety and cost efficiency is always a goal for Bilt Rite, and it is important for us to execute both on every project we are a part of. With The Children’s Hospital project, we developed a clever and custom fall protection system that allowed a series of cables to provide fall prevention to all of the work platforms and ladders. The scaffold was engineered and designed to meet all federal OSHA guidelines. Safety netting, provided by Eagle Industries, was integrated into the fall restriction system to assist with falling objects and offered an aesthetically pleasing look while work was underway.

Bilt Rite looks forward to continuing our relationship with Bartlett Cocke and our expanding client base in San Antonio, Tx.

“Any project where we can offer several types of aerial solutions while putting money back into the client’s pocket is a home run” – Chris Kelley, CEO of Bilt Rite Scaffold.

Bilt Rite Swing Stage Training: You Can Never “Bee” Too Careful

AUSTIN, TEXAS – May 2, 2018 – In pursuit of offering our clients a full-service access portfolio, Bilt Rite Scaffold recently decided to expand its product and services lines to incorporate suspended scaffolds. Following our mantra of being the best at what we do, members of Bilt Rite’s suspended scaffold division traveled to Florida to our preferred suspended scaffold supplier, Bee Access Products, for annual training on the equipment. The training afforded us intimate knowledge of all aspects of the equipment from safety standards to its diverse uses.

Bee Access Products specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of temporary and permanent suspended access equipment. Their proven track record and superior knowledge of every detail from design to manufacture and install gave Bilt Rite the confidence they needed to incorporate Bee Access products into our growing fleet. Bee Access Products offers Bisomac Hoists paired with Altrex platforms as well as several other products.

Bilt Rite flew senior superintendent Matthew McKinney and Motorized Division Manager, Dennis Lockhart, to West Palm Beach, Florida for training on the Bisomac Hoists. While there, they were able to take advantage of Bee Access’s manufacturing and training facilities to explore the inner workings of the Bisomac Hoists and many of Bee Access’s Products.

Suspended platforms are notorious being unsafe but since day one, Bilt Rite has placed safety and quality at the top of the list when providing aerial access solutions. We do our best to minimize risks and ensure the safest environment. In an industry that rewards the lowest bidder with the job it makes you want to rethink who you are allowing to provide your suspending aerial solution and what products they are providing. Bilt Rite is excited to install their brand new, expanding fleet on your job site. Click on the link to download a free suspended scaffold inspection checklist as well as some topics to think about when you call our expert motorized division.

Free Swing Stage Inspection Checklist

Bilt Rite Gets Creative in San Angelo

AUSTIN, TX – April 11, 2018 – What happens when the engineers tell you it’s impossible? You call Bilt Rite! 2 months at the drawing board and collaboration with 3 engineering firms is what it took to make this one possible. Bilt Rite Scaffold partnered with Alufase Aluminum Scaffold out of Spain to provide multiple aerial solutions on an existing roof for HOAR Construction. The new addition to Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, Texas is currently underway. But adding additional infrastructure to an operating medical center comes with a handful of challenges.

Re-shoring was not an option for several elevations as the space below was being used by hospital operations. A unique cantilevered scaffold was erected in an area so no weight would be distributed to roof below. Heavy duty Steel I-beams used in conjunction with Aluminum Scaffold were provided to direct weight to correct load paths on roof with 15 psf capacity.

Bilt Rite’s rigging expertise allowed us to hoist 1/2 ton beams up to the roof to be installed according to the engineered design. Each pick was performed in under 5 minutes and with no crane, as approval would delay the project and would cost the building owner extra expenses. Bilt Rite simply didn’t want to do that!

Where re-shoring was an option, post shores were the perfect solution due to their speed of install and strength ratings. System scaffold and Alufase Aluminum scaffold were erected up to roof level for the siding, waterproofing and masonry contractors. Stair towers and mast lifts were additional aerial solutions provided for this project.

The Shannon Medical Center project put Bilt Rite’s building and engineering skills to the test. As usual we rose to the occasion and provided our client with the best possible aerial solutions.

Bilt Rite 2017 A Year in Review Video

2017 was an amazing year for Bilt Rite! We reached new heights and surpassed huge milestones, including working 250,000 hours without an OSHA recordable. This is quite a feat considering fall protection and scaffold violations are the 1st and 3rd most cited standards by OSHA ( Our outstanding crew, from field employees to management, made this happen and we are so grateful for their loyalty, initiative and superior skills. Thank you guys and here’s to 2018!

Safety Is No Accident

Austin, Texas – Jan. 5, 2018 – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly referred to as OSHA, identifies falls as the leading cause of injuries and deaths in the construction industry. Nearly 40% of worker deaths in 2016 were fall related (Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2016, 2016). OSHA also names scaffolding infractions as the 3rd most cited violation within the industry. As a company in this notoriously dangerous and strict field, Bilt Rite Scaffold has successfully risen above all safety benchmarks. We’ve built systems 444 ft up in the air and erected and dismantled millions of pounds of scaffold over the years. Bilt Rite employees have worked together to remain vigilant and uphold the highest safety standards and because of this dedication, have proudly reached 250,000 hours worked without any recordable injuries. The company hasn’t had a work day restriction injury since 2015 and has never had an employee death or OSHA citation. These milestones have contributed to a better than average Experience Modification Rate, EMR, of 0.77.

In 2015 Bilt Rite came under new ownership with General Manager Chris Kelley taking over and began a significant overhaul of the company’s safety department. A standardized safety manual was introduced along with standardized safety procedures. Bilt Rite has also recently expanded into the world of material hoists as well. Through the use of Geda and Beta Max hoists, we reduce our workers risks of injury by reducing man lines up and down the scaffold along with decreasing the number of workers present on a jobsite. With fewer men and hands touching the scaffold, the probability of injuries goes down. A proactive safety incentive program was also implemented that encouraged employees to report any potential hazards. All field employees, upon being hired, begin 30 hours of classroom and field safety training before they are eligible to start working with a crew on jobsites. Their training includes, but is not limited to, Fall Protection, Confined Space, Motorized Vehicle Training, Scaffold Safety, Forklift Training, Crane Rigger Training and Hazard Communication and OSHA 10. All upper level employees to include foreman, supervisors, and project managers are OSHA 30 certified. Training is continually practiced and reviewed by all employees to guarantee the safest jobsite environment. Our safety practices continue past orientation to every jobsite in the form of Job Box Talks. Every crew member gathers before their shift begins and discusses any foreseeable risks associate with the job that day. These discussions are site specific, job specific and hazard specific. Local weather, possible hazardous chemical contaminations and power line locations are all common items of discussion. Along with each shift having daily Job Box Talks, employees meet for scheduled company-wide safety meetings. For the past 2 years, Bilt Rite has utilized its sister company ATTAG Training to help reach its safety goals. ATTAG has trained 100+ individuals in Competent Scaffold User Training.

“There has been a huge shift in the last decade across the construction industry with an emphasis on safety. Most jobs now require employee safety paperwork before work has begun along with jobsite orientation and pre-shift paperwork”, says general manager and CEO Chris Kelley. “We caught on early to this and not only acknowledged the trend but wanted to be an industry safety leader in a notoriously dangerous area of work. We’ve gone the extra mile by not only practicing the most updated of standards but by partnering with companies to train their employees through ATTAG on how to work off our systems.” The partnerships with different companies have allowed us exposure to multiple safety programs and ensured that we are continually reviewing and implementing the newest safety procedures.

Through our dedication and continued innovation, we’ve built a safety program that adapts to the changing construction environment and keeps Bilt Rite employees safe and out of harm’s way. The results speak for themselves and Bilt Rite will continue to remain the benchmark of safety within the scaffold industry.

Galassi, Thomas. (2016, Oct). Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2016; A Starting Place for Workplace Safety. Retrieved from    starting-point- for-workplace-safety.

Bilt Rite Featured in the Waco Tribune-Herald

The Waco Tribune-Herald highlighted Bilt Rite’s efforts in helping replace the statue of Themis perched atop the McLennan County Courthouse earlier this month.

Bilt Rite constructed the metal cage that enclosed the statue, safely removed, and then transported her to a facility in Alabama. There she will be replicated and then brought back to be reattached atop the Courthouse. Bilt Rite partnered with Montgomery Construction to make this possible.

Linked below is the full article in the Tribune-Herald detailing the removal and Bilt Rite’s involvement.

UT Bellmont Hall Project

AUSTIN, TX — July 21, 2017 Bilt Rite Scaffold recently began erection of over 500,000 cubic feet of system scaffold that plans to completely wrap Bellmont Hall, the West Façade of the Darrell K. Royal Stadium at The University of Texas in Austin. The University has partnered with Mid-Continental Restoration and KBL Restoration to complete a total building rejuvenation of Bellmont Hall that began May 6th, 2017 and will continue until August 26th of this year.

Once completed, “The UT Bellmont project may be one of the largest system scaffold ever erected in Central Texas.” says Chris Kelley, CEO and General Manager of Bilt Rite Scaffold. “Traditionally a project this large would be contracted out to a nationwide company but with our growing inventory and skilled team we knew we were the most suitable applicant for this project”.

The project is set to span over 4 months and will be erected over several phases. Each phase consists of scaffolding measuring 5’ in width, sections 30’ to 300’ in length and heights ranging anywhere from 130’ to 170’. Currently over 600 linear feet have been erected. In addition to the scaffold, multiple Beta Max Hoists, I-Beam bridges, pedestrian protection, and debris netting were incorporated into the scaffolding and multiple stair towers were added for access. The project will total over 10,000 man hours for the scaffold erection and dismantle alone. Twenty 18 wheelers of material will be brought in over the span of the job. Scaffold Today, a distributor based in Houston, has coordinated with Bilt Rite to make their entire scaffolding inventory available for this massive build.

Bilt Rite’s project leadership team has said their largest obstacles when approaching this venture have been the sheer size and design of the plan coupled with the logistics of working on an active campus. This build dwarfs the average scaffold plans ranging from 30’ to 50’ in height that contractors usually request. Typically, large projects like these are done in much smaller phases over larger periods of time. Due to the time constraints, this scaffold had to be erected all at once. The Bellmont Hall scaffolding incorporates over 500 tons of scaffold material and if stretched end to end would span 50 miles in length. The engineering plans for the project had to incorporate the curvature of the stadium while also accounting for the imposing vertical columns spaced all along the wall.

ABOUT BILT RITE SCAFFOLD- Founded in 2006 by Charles Kelley and under the direction and leadership of his son Chris Kelley since 2014, Bilt Rite Scaffold has risen to become the premier scaffold company in Central Texas. In addition to their large project at the University of Texas, Bilt Rite has many other long term projects that incorporate thousands of linear feet across multiple commercial and industrial sites, including several other universities. With an eye on the future, Bilt Rite plans to expand along the I-35 corridor to become the most prestigious scaffold company in Texas.

Safety efforts recognized

Bilt Rite Scaffold was recently recognized with the Silver Step Award for safety on a current University of Texas campus project.  The award is presented to those who promote a safety culture by practicing Safety Through Exemplary Performance. Click on the picture to read the full letter.