When completed in 1928, the Buncombe County Courthouse became North Carolina’s tallest local government building at 17 stories high. Over time, the landmark structure deteriorated and was now in need of extensive restoration. Remediation crews would have to work 195 feet above ground to mend the historic building’s exterior brickwork—reliable scaffolding would be critical to the project’s success.
The county needed experts familiar with complex scaffolding design to provide safe access for the repair. They turned to Scaffolding Solutions, an experienced local supplier with an impressive safety record and a reputation for innovation.
Erecting a rigid scaffolding against the courthouse’s delicate limestone without causing additional damage wasn’t easy—it was challenging right from the start.
In typical scaffolding design, a building’s construction plan is used for load-bearing calculations to ensure structural stability and worker safety. But this wasn’t a typical project. Neither records nor blueprints for the 93-year-old Buncombe County Courthouse were available to help with the engineering.
The courthouse building’s shape also added complexity, as an eight-story portion of the scaffolding would have to be erected on a lower section of the roof. This load could endanger the structural integrity of the building.
Inclement weather also presented a challenge for the scaffolding design as safe access had to account for slippery rain, ice, and snow. And any netting or plastic sheets to protect the workers from weather had the potential to get caught in the wind, resulting in more loading on the scaffolding.
Scaffolding Solutions resolved every challenge using their extensive knowledge and expertise while working within the project constraints.
To overcome the lack of drawings and records, they used custom engineering solutions for the load calculations. Their approach to anchoring started with a third-party engineer to conduct pull tests on the courthouse limestone. By inserting anchors into the structure and measuring the force needed to pull them out, they created a solution specific to the Buncombe County Courthouse.
Scaffolding Solutions used Octo® scaffolding—recognized as a versatile and reliable system, adaptable to various industries and applications. Octo® is designed for ease of handling and superior strength.
On the courthouse’s lower roof, special cribbing ensured safety. The innovative design dispersed the scaffolding’s weight evenly onto the roof and walls, protecting workers above and below.
Scaffolding Solutions supported the restoration in nine phases, installing scaffolding one step ahead of the work and taking it down one stage behind. They consistently delivered project deliverables on-schedule and on-budget, demonstrating their commitment to excellence and professionalism.
Repair crews could safely access the structure to complete their restoration tasks, including window repairs, fixing mortar joints, and waterproofing. The Buncombe County Courthouse restoration will continue into 2021.
Thanks to a strong commitment to relationships and the trust they’ve earned, the general contractor awarded Scaffolding Solutions another extensive project.
No matter the size of your scaffolding project, at Scaffolding Solutions, we treat every job with professionalism and integrity. From design to takedown, we deliver safe and reliable scaffolding that fits your needs.
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