Submitted by Jeff Buster on Mon, 01/21/2008 - 20:26.

The 15 story Dulski Federal Building in Buffalo, New York is undergoing a down to the steel skeleton re-hab.   This building was constructed in the early 1970’s, and besides the time of its construction, shares other similarities with the Breuer designed Ameritrust Tower built in 1971 in Cleveland, Ohio. 


What caught my eye about this job was Empire Wrecking’s novel rigging system for the removal of the single pane glazing /pre-cast concrete window mullions.    As you can see in the photos above and below, the pre-cast concrete window structures are being lowered to the ground with a rubber tired mobile hydraulic crane which is operating from the top floor of the building.  


“How did that little crane get in there”, I asked the foreman in the photo.


“With a big crane” he answered with a laugh. 


But the big brother crane demands a high daily rental cost.   So that’s the ingenuity in Empire’s novel rigging solution.  Minimize the rental days for the big boy.

Each of the pre-cast concrete window casements weights 5,800lbs.  The top floor window units - as you can see from the higher floor to ceiling spacing - were heavier.  And the corner solid concrete panels which span 2 floors weigh 11,000lbs.


The corner panels are right at the comfortable outside range of the rubber tired rig, so the Empire staff are considering whether to cut them in two with a concrete saw. 


How else could these 11,000 lb corners be rigged down safely and effectively.  I thought about using 2 8000lb Griphoists, traveling through double reduction snatch blocks and attached one at either corner of the panel.  I have used German manufactured Griphoist winches and can attest to their unique “unlimited cable length” design as being very useful.  


The window frames were being removed by dumpster for conrete recycling - can you think of a re-cycled use for these concrete window frames?  If you can, comment here quickly, or contact Empire, because the job has 13 floors to go.


Just like the Breuer Tower, the Dulski Federal Building had asbestos fireproofing and insulation which had to be removed before other demolition.


It would be interesting to compare the bid prices (per square foot of building floor space) between the asbestos removal costs for this Buffalo job and for the (DiGeronimo owned) Precision Environmental bid for the Breuer Tower in Cleveland, Ohio.


Another interesting comparison I made - between Buffalo and Cleveland - was the friendly and thorough answers which I got to my questions from the workers on this Buffalo job site.  When I asked a question - I got straigh answers without hesitation in the responses.  No one asked me - "who are you?"   or "why are you asking?"


In Cleveland when I ask questions of construction workers on public contracts (story here, here, and here) - I got silence, obfuscation, and deferral.  Workers in Cleveland seem scared to answer my construction related and cost related questions.


Why do you think I get straight answers in Buffalo, while in Cleveland workers won’t look me in the eye, and turn their faces away from my camera?




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Here is a link to Buffalo Rising, an on-line NY news reporter perhaps similar to Realneo.  

Don't think the Blogs can change the rust belt? 

I do.

RSS Feeds

Buffalo's  site is more on top of providing RSS feeds for the different features.

RealNEO should look into feeds for the various features: art, environment, economy, events...

The pitiful state of communication in Cleveland becomes apparent when you think about where to go for information.  Actually, it would be great if a library's website provided these types of local feeds.  It would make the site a real information portal.