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.
“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.”
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.”