Construction in Tight Spaces

Case Study:

How to Skip the Crane and Squeeze a 230-Foot Boom Truck in a Narrow 10-Foot Glass-Walled Well of a New York City Landmark Building

What was the challenge?

The local construction contractor had to cover two glass sides of a 9-story residential dwelling with decorative grill façade panels. This building is adjacent and sits precariously close to the legendary glass IAC Building, known as "The Iceberg." The job site presented significant challenges with its narrow access alley to the building, fragile walls of glass on both sides of the alley, a busy city street, and seemingly impossible-to-reach spaces.

  • The narrow, sloped garage driveway dividing the two buildings varied between a mere 10 to 22 feet wide. Neither the crane nor the man-lift would fit. It would be impossible to fit both.
  • Each grill unit was 15 feet long and weighed about 100 lbs., making it hard to maneuver in such a tight space.
  • A man-lift's typical jerky motions would increase the risk of scratching or breaking the glass. Setting up a JGL on the street would make it impossible to access the Iceberg-facing sidewall.
  • Setting a JLG on the sloped driveway leading to the Iceberg building’s underground garage was not possible.
  • JLG did not offer a boom long and maneuverable enough with the powerlifting attachments necessary for this job.

What was the solution?

To complete this job while minimizing risks and costs, the client hired Alpha Platforms to deploy its flagship A-230 model. Their 230-feet aerial boom platform comes with unique capabilities:
up to 1,320 pounds of cage capacity;
up to 115 feet of side reach with a 31.5-foot extendable jib;
the ability to reach “up and over”;
and a German-engineered ride-and-turn cage with smooth and gentle maneuverability of 2 x 80°.
The Alpha team secured a street permit and delivered the A-230 to the site at 7 am. A 15-minute setup allowed the client to start work immediately. In the meantime, Alpha Platforms' traffic team created a worksite perimeter and directed all traffic (vehicles and pedestrians) for the project's duration.
Alpha’s boom lift truck stayed in one staging area where it lifted and moved the panel-installation team along the glass balconies on each side of the building. The A-230's 115-foot side reach enabled the boom to reach across both sides of the building from the bottom to the top floor and the roof.
Our team lifted the panels and equipment in our large 12-foot cage using the PowerLift cage attachment. Per the client's request, two of our crew members helped load the panels onto the PowerLift. They also held them in place while attaching them to the building walls. This extra assistance reduced the client’s labor costs.
The specs of our state-of-the-art A-230 lift:

What was the outcome?

An efficient setup enabled the work to start immediately and cover both sides of the building from a single parking spot. The entire job was projected to take two weeks.

Alpha Platforms finished it in just three days.

The A-230, with its unprecedented maneuverability and 115-foot side reach, with a generous cage rotation of 2 x 80 degrees, lifted the panels without needing a crane, saving tens of thousands of dollars.

Our precise German-made lifts have become the height access method of choice for those who try them, as they combine unmatched productivity, safety, and reach.
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Notable 230 Foot Boom Lift Capabilities
  • 12-foot extra large cage
  • 1,322 lbs lifting capacity for crew, equipment, and materials
  • Side reach up to 115 feet
  • Unique "under and up" or "up and over and back" access
  • Jib length 31’6’’
  • Parking in tight spaces 8’6’’ wide
  • Cage rotation 2 x 80°
  • Smooth controlled motions to move close to and around glass and fragile structures

Alpha Platforms has helped hundreds of teams like yours

Customer Testimonials
from Case Studies

Carlos Honorio Jr.
Honorio Designs

Great experience! First time on the 300 foot boom for a Local Law Facade Inspection. Vadim, the operator, was in complete control of the equipment and made the whole process smooth. Flagmen secured the area below and allowed my Client to operate their hotel without any disturbance. Honorio Designs Architecture, PLLC

Brian Rosado Hernández
The Telecom Company Foreman

Excellent service, arriving on time every day, responsible with the load limit, very attentive to the lubrication and controls of the crane.

Thomas Inciarte
Telecom Company Representative

Excellent team working with us, always willing to do anything for the best

The Signage Company Owner

It was a pleasure to work with Alpha Platforms, the crew was skilled and helpful, the equipment was top-notch. Our installers appreciated the security of the platform vs working off of a swing stage, it made their job easier and more efficient. From the first meeting thru to the end of the work day everything ran as smoothly as it could. We will definitely be partnering with Alpha Platforms on future projects. Thank you for your help!

Ryan Hughes

I had an emergency project on a 140' high voltage tower and needed Alpha Platforms next day. They were so helpful and expedient walking me through the entire process so I was comfortable with the deal. They showed up to my site next day and cut about 2 days off of the project due to the safety, speed and efficiency of their lift and operators. I'll never rent or hire another lift company. I would recommend Alpha platforms for all your high reach needs.

Liz Jones

Jon told me that it was a pleasure to work with Alpha Platforms, the crew was skilled and helpful, the equipment was top notch. Our installers appreciated the security of the platform vs working off of a swing stage, it made their job easier and more efficient. From first meeting thru to the end of the work day everything ran as smoothly as it could. City Sign Service, Inc. will definitely be partnering with Alpha Platforms on future projects.

Justin N.

That is a fine piece of equipment! And the competent, professional group that goes along with it is just the cherry on top. I really appreciate everything. I'm sure we'll be able to use Alpha again in the future as we get these opportunities. In fact, it will only help our business knowing we have a safe, reliable solution to these over 50‘ height challenges.

Byron Nivelo

We had an exceptional experience with Alpha! They are professionals, great operator team. Overall reliable, recommended will certainly return for my future needs hands down.

Nick Muhlon

My company used alpha lifts to clean a 14 floor building and they were great. Very accommodating, always on time, and will work with you to get the job done safe and sound. The lifts they provide are state of the art and can pretty much reach any low rise building under 250 feet. I’d recommend them to anyone doing window cleaning or facade cleaning, or anything king of height access work!

Mike P.
Building restoration services family business owner

We wanted to give it a try and see what this boom truck could do. We loved the idea of a wide basket that could reach up to 30 feet and get to the brick wall over the roof. The main reason we loved the truck was how it maneuvered the boom to lower the bricks inside a dumpster, which was located behind the truck. It saved us at least one extra day of work. It all went great.

Jason A.
Director of operations, family-owned regional electrical services provider

Alpha has the most efficient and leanest site setup time I’ve ever seen. My brother, who is the top climber of our group, first struggled to understand how this cage could go around the tower better than the crane - and when it did the whole 360°, he became a believer. Also, each laborer said how incredibly safe they felt - very different from the small crane basket. We were able to secure and push back the panels in place without the basket ever moving.

Joseph A.
Head stone mason, national cathedral

The project was performed successfully, and we were really glad to have contactless means of reaching the building, as we all know that pipe scaffold might damage the structure, in this case, very very sensitive.

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