Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) announced the winners of its annual Project of the Year competition. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges. Projects are recognized for their complexity, and companies are awarded the Project of the Year for overcoming challenges while maintaining safe work standards. Four steel erectors were recognized at SEAA’s 43rd Annual National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., for jobs that were topped out in 2015. Class II Erection Contract $500,000 to $1 million: Perfect Sequencing, Creative Ironworker Positioning Secret to Modern Day Pyramid Completion
“Each year, I am amazed at the increasing complexity of steel erection projects SEAA members undertake,” said Project of the Year committee chairman Alan Sears. “These projects are representative of the unique challenges steel erection contractors must overcome. Teamwork with the fabricator, engineer, and detailers is often essential to creative, cost-effective completion of structural steel construction jobs,” he said.
Class II Erection Contract $500,000 to $1 million: Perfect Sequencing, Creative Ironworker Positioning Secret to Modern Day Pyramid Completion
Erector: Gabriel Steel Erectors Inc.
Fabricator: Orange County Ironworks LLC
Detailer: KVD Detailers
GC: Hunter Roberts
Total Steel Erected: 200 tons in Top of House (500 tons total)
Sister companies Orange County Ironworks and Gabriel Steel Erectors, based in Montgomery, N.Y., were privileged to play an integral role in the fabrication and steel erection of one of Manhattan’s newest residential high rises. Appearing on the skyline like a half pyramid, the VIA Building on West 57th Street, was recently named winner of the Best Tall Building Americas by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The 34 story building houses more than 700 rental units and 45,000 sq. ft. of retail space. Lots of natural light and spectacular views are made possible by the unusual shape.
The shape presented challenges for the fabricator and erector team. “Most structures are built on a grid pattern. This building was X, Y, and Z coordinates. Each piece of steel had to be sequenced exactly, or it would negatively impact the placement of the next piece of steel,” said Matthew Messing, who is Senior VP of Operations for both Orange County Ironworks and Gabriel Steel Erectors. “We used a 3D erecting plan to pre-design every piece in order,” said Messing. The steel was lifted with a Favelle Favco M220D luffing tower crane. In addition, significant coordination was required with mechanical contractors during construction in order to interface the façade of the building with integral window washing and exterior building maintenance systems.
The biggest challenge came as the building reached its peak. Extending 10 more floors above the occupied space is the tip of the pyramid, which Messing refers to as the Top of the House. This portion of the job alone required 200 tons of steel. No floors existed in the all steel frame, so Gabriel Steel had to build temporary flooring in order to give Ironworkers access. Because space was so tight, Gabriel Steel used a unique aerial lift solution to position Ironworkers for connecting and bolting. The company rented a Teupen Leo23GT and Leo 18GT from United Rentals. The lift is ideal for setting up in as little space as possible, with variable position stabilizers, rotating basket, and articulating and telescoping boom.
“This project presented challenges on every level, from detailing to engineering to coordination, fabrication, trucking, logistics, and erecting,” said Messing. “It was the combined effort of a tremendous team of individuals working on all these aspects that led to the success of the project.”
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