The restoration and renovation of a heritage structure requires a certain degree of care that isn’t normally found in the construction of more recent buildings. As such, when looking for scaffolding rental services to be deployed to these sites, engineers and contractors have to consider the track record of potential scaffolding service providers. This difference may be attributed to factors such as the building material used in its construction, architectural or artistic details peculiar to the heritage structure, and, for tourist attractions or structures that otherwise see heavy vehicular or foot traffic, the safety of visitors and passers-by.
One thing to watch out for is the equipment used by these scaffolding rental services. Many heritage buildings have unusual structural layouts that might require more complex or specialized scaffolds, usually designed by an engineer or a certified scaffold designer. While modular scaffolds are capable of doing the job most of the time, they might have limitations in terms of shape, handrail positions, and available headroom.
Whenever possible, owners or caretakers of historic structures ask for referrals from owners and caretakers of other buildings that have gone through renovation. While no two heritage buildings are the same, the importance of prior experience cannot be emphasized enough. Did the previous provider of scaffolding rental services exercise utmost care in dealing with delicate structural embellishments like stone carvings or bas-reliefs? How many man-hours were lost due to accident or delays, if at all? What kinds of safety measures were implemented during the project? These types of questions must be asked.
Because long-time providers of scaffolding rental services have successfully completed similar projects before, one is more inclined to trust them when it comes to getting the job done safely and successfully. Aside from ensuring the safety of stoneworkers, painters, and carpenters, scaffolding rental services also have to take care of the public and those who continue to use the structure. While many buildings close during renovation, there are others that have to stay open as they serve a large segment of the public. The Mid-Hudson Bridge, for example, required a substantial amount of work, including the replacement of lead-based paint and the installation of new lighting fixtures, among others. However, it also serves as a vital link in one of New York State’s major thoroughfares, serving as the only walkable bridge that crosses the Hudson River in its area.
The location of the bridge itself presented a unique issue. Because the Hudson Valley was prone to gale-force winds, engineers estimated that the scaffold should withstand winds with speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, with the wind only getting stronger as the scaffold got higher. In addition, it had to endure the shaking of the bridge brought about by constant vehicular traffic. The project managers and the provider of scaffolding rental services agreed upon a heavy-duty design that combined strength and access to vital parts of the suspension tower and cables. By the time installation was complete, the finished scaffold was more than 260 feet high and had a span of 40 feet, or three lanes of cars going one way.
Thanks in no small part to advanced scaffolding rental services, the Mid-Hudson Bridge and similar heritage structures have been restored to their original condition.