Crane & Rigging Companies join Forces for Lifting Project

crane-seattle

Omega Morgan crane superintendent Eldon Ash and senior engineer Kai Farrar, as well as Apex Steel owner Kevin Koester and engineer Ron Roberts, were tasked with an intriguing and complicated lifting challenge. More than a year of planning, engineering, testing and simulations went into the design of the project known as 2+U, named for its location on 2nd Avenue and University Street in Seattle, WA. The high-rise project is being developed by Skanska USA.

The engineering of structural columns supporting the proposed 38-story office complex provided an intricate challenge in ensuring the Y-shaped columns could distribute the weight of every floor above evenly on the foundation while maintaining a 72-degree angle of installation.

Faced with several issues that could have stalled the project before it even began, Omega Morgan and Apex Steel engineers went over several options to determine the best way to perform the required lifts when available space and increased weights of the columns caused the original lift plan to be scrapped.

“Initially, we were going to use two cranes, and then we were going to use a crane and a tri-lifter, but as the load got heavier and heavier, and as the jobsite got tighter and tighter for access, we had to come up with some more innovative ways to pick and stand these things up, and that’s when I came up with this idea,” said Farrar.

Rigging gear

  • 37.5-ton JDN 37TI
  • Air Chain Hoist with 35-foot HOLCrane Seattle 2
  • 50-ton JDN 50TS
  • Air Chain Hoist with 35-foot HOL
  • 60-ton WLL
  • Single Sheave Blocks, 24-inch diameter and 2-inch wire rope

Skip-around schedule

Charged with leveraging their skill and experience to come up with a way to utilize a limited amount space and a strict schedule of road closures to set the foundation for the office tower project, Omega Morgan and Apex had to adapt a skip-around schedule based on which roads would be closed to complete the project while avoiding falling behind schedule.

The engineering of the supports that would be installed at a 72-degree angle – and which start on the second floor and run up through the next five stories – left no room for error in the construction and placement. Further, engineering the lifts of each section of the columns posed its own problem. With the columns being assembled in a sort of “Y” shape, the assembled height and weight made it essential to install them in sections. Fully assembled, each column came in with the base, installed separately, weighing in around 50,000 pounds with two arms run at a 72-degree angle that span around 60 to 70 feet tall with a final weight of 165,400 pounds for the heaviest columns. The rigging itself weighed 5,528 pounds. Ensuring all pieces lined up properly to evenly distribute the weight with only enough space for one crane, calculations had to be precise.

Once on-site, further challenges crept up that called for on-the-fly adjustments. The position of the crane had to be modified to avoid swinging the counterweight too close to a tree trunk, which would break branches. The crane was moved five feet away to be able to tie the branches back and assure no contact. This move required the crane be set on a wooden ramp to level it out given the slope of University Avenue.

Once the columns were fabricated and weighed, the numbers came in significantly heavier than planned. The tight nature of the jobsite inside the building did not allow space for two cranes with the capacity required. It became clear that a rigging scenario in which a single crane could pick and upright the columns would be necessary.

Creative rigging

Crane-Seattle-3

Because of the tight space on-site, it was not possible to use a boom suspension system to stabilize a longer boom to get enough capacity to make the picks, limiting the boom length to 118 feet with no boom suspension. The short boom and head room required that the single crane rigging setup be as short as possible.

The two cranes on the job were a 485-ton capacity Liebherr LTM 1400 all-terrain crane rigged with a main boom of 118 feet and a maximum radius of 45 feet and a 550-ton Grove GMK 7550 rigged with a main boom of 148 feet and a maximum radius of 70 feet.

Equipping the cranes with a 37.5-ton air chain hoist and a pair of 60-ton sheave blocks, the crew was able to perform the work typically done with the aid of a tailing device while utilizing only one crane and saving on the head room required to perform the lift.

“One thing that was unique about this rigging scenario was that using the rolling blocks and the chain lift in this way, as the load goes through its rotation, the head height at the final rotation is minimized compared to other systems that are similar like a tri-block that runs the secondary line down, but the rigging height that you end up with was too much for our project,” said Farrar. “This rolling block/hoist system really minimizes the head room once the columns are upright. Because the site was so tight, we couldn’t use any kind of boom suspension like a mega-wing or guy wires since they stuck out too far and would have interfered with the building core and a lot of the structural elements, so we had to stick to short-length, main boom only and couldn’t have any tall rigging.”

Farrar engineered the rolling block setup to create the safest, most efficient pick possible that allowed them to run the lift with one crane and save on the space required compared with other options. Limited on viable options, the use of a tri-block system would no longer work in this application, so the creative use of an air chain hoist paired with rolling blocks saved time and money. Keeping a spare 50-ton air chain hoist on site, which never left its shipping container, ensured there would be minimal risk of unplanned downtime in the event of a mechanical breakdown.

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.

Rope & Sling (RSS) Donates Rigging Gear for Boat Lift

RSS-boatlift

Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd. (RSS) UK donated lifting and rigging gear to the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre in East London as the charity had a requirement to lift a 2.5t rescue support boat out of the River Thames onto land for maintenance and repair.

The activity centre is located next to the King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore (Wapping) site of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, a major new sewer. RSS is a frequent visitor to the area, providing lifting equipment and periodic Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) inspections for the site, made up of the foreshore of the tidal Thames River next to King Edward Memorial Park and an area to the south.

The activity centre provides watersports and adventurous activities, including training courses, events, and sessions for groups, schools, and individuals throughout the year. It approached Tideway officials to ask for their help to lift a boat out of the water and back again once repairs were completed. To experienced lifting professionals the project was routine, but the charity wouldn’t have been able to execute it alone.

Graham Dawson, depot manager at RSS’s Aylesford facility, said: “When I heard about the centre’s requirement I had no hesitation in offering them our equipment free of charge. We spend a lot of time at the site and were able to time delivery with a three-week-long LOLER inspection, led by Steve Conroy, that we complete every three months. It was a great opportunity to combine important safety-related work with supporting a good community cause.”

RSS supplied two MOD 6 spreader beams at 2.5m and two 10t capacity, 12m-long duplex webbing boat slings. The boat was 7m long and 2.5m wide; a canoeist and slinger combined to pass the slings underneath the vessel whilst in the water before a three-axle Liebherr mobile crane, kindly donated by Emerson Crane Hire, already rigged with the top slings, raised it from the water.

Simon Steane, lifting operations manager for Tideway East, the section of the super sewer that runs from Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey to Abbey Mills, near Stratford, said: “Everyone involved was very happy to help the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre with their boat lift. We use RSS for their fast response time, professionalism, and flexibility.”

Mike Wardle, centre director at the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre, said: “Our assets like our safety boat enable us to have larger numbers of people accessing the river safely. We particularly target young people from low economic backgrounds and young people with disabilities. We also give young people a pathway to employment in sports coaching through our youth project. We raise funding to deliver the activities from grant giving bodies, organisations, business, and donations.”

He added: “Any company that assists us with their technical and professional skills is worth their weight in gold and for the staff and volunteers that impart their time at the charity a source of relief. The safety boat is now in dry dock and is undergoing repairs to the pro shaft as well as a deserved major service. A massive thank you to all who have helped our community!”

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLR, Hercules Machining & Millwright Services, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.

Crane Work Wraps Up at New Winnipeg Towers

Crane Winnipeg
Huge Liebherr mobile crane may have been tallest ever seen in city
In May, the skyline of downtown Winnipeg was changed significantly with the removal of the last tower crane on site at True North Square. Phase 1 of the project, involving Tower 1 at 242 Hargrave and Tower 2 at 225 Carlton, began in January 2016. The substantial construction effort required significant crane work, with construction handled by PCL Constructors Canada Inc. and the dismantling subcontracted to Sterling Crane.

“Tower 1 topped off its structural building form in December 2017, reaching its final height of 17 storeys, and subsequently its tower crane was removed in January 2018,” says True North Real Estate Development president Jim Ludlow. “Tower 2 topped off in March 2018 at 25 storeys and its tower crane was removed in May 2018. These milestones have had a visible impact on the skyline of downtown Winnipeg, so they have been very exciting and rewarding to observe as we progress towards a new cityscape.”PCL project manager David Enns says his company was responsible for the cast-in-place concrete structure on both towers. This involved supplying the concrete, the placing of concrete and rebar, form work, concrete pumping, and the installation of precast stairs and landings, and other material handling. For much of the heavy lifting, PCL utilized two cranes – a Liebherr 316 ECB12 and a Liebherr 316 ECH12.

“They were the best choices mostly because of the overlapping coverage,” Enns explains. “When we sized them, we made sure that it could accommodate the form work systems that we wanted to use. It was based on them working in conjunction with each other with the overlap in height and the jacking sequences, including how they would tie into the structure in order to be efficient.”

The way the cranes were staged required them to be tied into the structure, once the structure progressed past a certain height. When PCL began work on Tower 1, the timing of the construction of Tower 2 was not yet known for certain. In order to ensure that there was sufficient coverage for the full site, both tower cranes were tied to Tower 1.

“Both were top climbing tower cranes,” Enns says. “The biggest reason for that is because of the limited real estate that we had. We couldn’t afford to bring in big mobile cranes every time we needed to jack the cranes up as the structures progressed. They were able to climb themselves up, and then when we were done, they had the ability to climb themselves down prior to full dismantle.”

Preparation for the selection of tower cranes involved a detailed review to ensure the cranes had the right capacities to accommodate the required lifts and the size of the flyer cables, core forms and gang forms. They also had to reinforce the foundation walls around the tower cranes to prepare for the mobile crane load imposed on the structure during the dismantling of the tower cranes.

Crane-Winnipeg“It’s pretty common to see tower cranes with a couple of precast piles under the foundation, but for our tower cranes, our foundations were cast-in-place concrete raft slabs, with four caissons a piece to support them because they were freestanding fairly high right off the bat,” says Enns.

The key challenge for this job was limited space – city roads and the St. Mary’s Church bound PCL on three sides. With limited room to maneuver or stage materials, there was a constant focus on scheduling and sequencing to make sure that they had material delivered as needed.

“Otherwise, not only would the site get overrun, but the tower cranes would be so booked up that we couldn’t keep them focused on the high-priority activities,” Enns says. “They’d just be stuck moving non-critical material around all day and night.”

On both towers, Sterling Crane was subcontracted to dismantle PCL’s tower cranes following the construction.

Scott Baraschuk, branch manager for Sterling Crane in Winnipeg says that the dismantling was a very straight forward operation, however it did require the use of a very large mobile crane.

“Whatever they need, we’ll handle for them,” Baraschuk says. “In this scenario, it was the dismantling – to provide a mobile crane to dismantle their tower crane; just to provide a means of hoisting everything down. This particular one was the Liebherr LTM 1500 8.1. When we erected these towers a few years ago, the intent was to down climb the tower back to roughly 150 feet for dismantling. We now have the LTM 1500 available so I suggested we look at taking the tower at full height. This reduced the dismantle time by several days and eliminated the need to climb the tower crane down.”

The Liebherr LTM 1500 8.1 was utilized for the dismantling operations on both towers, however, it was used in two different configurations for each tower. During the dismantling for Tower 2, the crane was configured in a way that made it one of the tallest cranes ever seen in the Winnipeg skyline. Media coverage of the project claimed it was the single tallest crane ever used in the city, but Baraschuk can’t confirm that.

“I can’t say for certain, but it is certainly a contender,” he says. “It had roughly 380 feet of tip height in this configuration.”

It was an easy choice to use the Liebherr LTM 1500 for Tower 1, since it was locally available and easily capable of performing the job. Tower 2 had the same demands, but the flexibility of the 276-ft. telescopic boom was an added benefit given the site restrictions and their setup.

“We were able to maintain our setup into one city block, avoiding the closure of an intersection to build a long luffing jib. This resulted in significant time and cost savings to the customer.” Baraschuk says. “The biggest challenge is site congestion with a crane this large. When working in a downtown setting, you have got a lot of obstacles – you have public safety to be concerned about and numerous underground utilities as well.”

“We pride ourselves on having a fleet with industry leading technology and we have purchased a number of these units to capture new markets and niche jobs where you need a certain type and size of crane to perform,” adds Jeff Chernish, director of business development for Sterling Crane. “We provide efficient customer solutions similar in nature throughout Canada and we appreciate the visibility that this has brought us in Winnipeg.”

Tower 1 at 242 Hargrave Street is quickly approaching substantial completion, scheduled for the end of June 2018. It is comprised of retail and office space, and construction crews are currently focused on lobby finishes, amenity floor finishes, and mechanical, electrical, and elevator commissioning.

Tower 2 at 225 Carlton Street is scheduled to be completed a year from now. It contains some retail and office space but is predominantly comprised of residential rental suites. Construction teams are currently installing a high-performance glass curtain wall, after which internal finishes in the lobby and suites will become the focus, with an aim to welcome residents next spring.

Phase 2 of the project is a hotel and condominium complex being developed by Sutton Place Hotel & Residences. They aim to break ground this summer and be complete in 2020 or 2021.

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLR, Hercules Machining & Millwright Services, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.