The Dizzying Heights of R&R Scaffolding

R&R Scaffolding
Written by Paul Hutchings

The fear of heights is something psychologists see from their patients quite often. A good scaffolding system shouldn’t add to the stress of being off the ground; rather, it should comfort workers, helping them realize that they aren’t going anywhere as they continue their work safely, high off the ground. R&R Scaffolding has been helping workers feel safe while working hundreds, or even thousands of feet off the ground since 1984 with its ultra-safe, ultra-modern scaffolding systems.

The construction industry is booming. In some North American cities, residents and tourists alike are finding cranes and scaffolding systems a part of the local cityscape as cities realize their skyline dreams, and R&R Scaffolding takes pride in helping all those architectural dreams become reality.

Based in New York, R&R Scaffolding has grown into one of the leading companies in the design, manufacture, marketing, sale, installation and maintenance of Building Maintenance Units (BMU) and suspended access equipment. The company has executed prestigious projects in the United States, designing davits, sockets, powered davit carriages, self-powered platforms, monorails and safety tie-off anchors.

The projects R&R has executed are just as impressive as the heights its team can reach.

8 Spruce Street
Originally known as Beekman Tower, the building completed in the 1920s at 8 Spruce Street in New York at the northern edge of the financial district stretches 76 stories high. The redesign sees the building clad in a rumpled, stainless-steel skin. The wavy exterior makes performing window washing and other maintenance duties a challenge, so R&R designed a telescopic boom system with a segmented telescopic platform to allow access to the exterior insets.

50 Hudson Yards
Spanning an entire city block, 50 Hudson Yards at 33rd and 10th Avenue’s northwest corner will become the fourth largest office tower in Manhattan when it is completed in 2022. In the building’s design stage, architects reinvented workplaces with natural light-flooded offices, multiple entrances, private sky lobbies, outdoor terraces and incredible views of its namesake Hudson River.

A white-stone, glass-clad façade will accentuate the building’s stature of 985 feet, and at that size, 50 Hudson Yards provided R&R with unique design challenges. With three levels being serviced, each sporting the large glass windows that will bathe the interior in natural sunlight, R&R needed to design a BMU to service every inch of window and cladding.

The innovative solution R&R staff came up with was to design a special cross-boom with integrated trolleys. The traversing trolleys on the cross-boom, or “Head,” will allow for easy adjustment of the platform, which in itself has been designed to an incredible 60 feet total possible length. The trolleys will allow the telescopic platform to service areas as small as a single man basket, a “modest” 38 feet of façade, or the full span of 60 feet. Because the trolleys can traverse the length of the head, workers will also be able to access the glass located below generator exhaust fumes.

One Vanderbilt Place
Slated for completion later this year, One Vanderbilt Place occupies an entire square block in the heart of Manhattan, at the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue. It will reach a height of 1,401 feet and is one of the most ambitious aspects of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Midtown East rezoning plan.

Staff at R&R were thrilled to have been entrusted with the design, installation and maintenance of the window washing scaffolding for One Vanderbilt Place’s glass façade. One Vanderbilt was designed with a soffit (overhanging eave), upward tapering towers, mezzanines and large setbacks as it ascends. That means it’s a building that will be challenging to maintain.

But that was a challenge that R&R was eager to face, with 58 floors of the project enjoying a glass façade described as having terra-cotta incorporated within the design. Each story has been given 14.6-20 feet floor to ceiling height, reducing the total number of stories compared to what has been typical in towers of its scale. That means 1,301 feet of unique glass, ground to roof, will rely on the reliability and safety of R&R Scaffolding equipment.

What R&R designers did was design a rigging system with drop-through sleeves, necessary to assist the lifting of the platform to the power sloped monorail – two monorail tracks provide the means for the maintenance of both the interior and exterior glass wall.

VIA 57 West
A residential building designed by a Danish architecture firm, called VIA 57 West in Hell’s Kitchen, gave R&R a challenge because of its design. At 35 stories tall, the pyramid-shaped tower block rises 467 feet at its location at West 57th Street, New York. R&R easily met that challenge, designing a track-mounted climbing roof carriage with a specialized platform to address the complicated building’s angles.

But it’s not just the on-the-ground (or in the air) servicing. R&R’s repertoire also contains an impressive amount of technology and the team uses the latest software in AutoCAD, SolidWorks and 3D modeling. The company’s technology utilizes the latest advances in design drawing to provide the highest level of performance and quality in manufacturing, support and safety. Its products are also certified under all relevant governing standards, such as ISO EN1808/EN60204/EN9001, CSA, UL, ASME, AWS and the NYS Department of Labor.

The company also supplies temporary access equipment such as counter-weighted portable outriggers, parapet clamps, extended outreach systems up to 14 feet, modular platforms, fixed length platforms, and a variety of items designed to do every job right. In fact, R&R has an inventory stock that includes over 1,000 different components, and the company’s fully trained mechanics perform timely servicing.

Profit-wise, R&R Scaffolding seems to be in a good industry. The New York Building Congress and the New York Building Foundation both say that the development boom experienced in New York in 2019 is expected to continue into 2020. According to the construction industry media outlet MetropolisNY, forecasts show that total construction spending across the five boroughs of America’s largest city were expected to reach $189.5 billion between last year and 2021. They describe the current boom as the “most robust of this young century.”

Combine that with the fact that the global scaffolding market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of five percent by 2023 according to MarketWatch, and it’s plain to see that the sky’s the limit for R&R Scaffolding.



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