One-Day Facade Inspection of historical landmark building

Case Study:

How to Inspect All Four Sides of a Historical Landmark Building with Just Two Lift Moves

What was the challenge?

A national structural engineering and consulting firm was hired to inspect the historical John Wanamaker building, an abandoned railroad station turned by the retail pioneer into one of the first department stores in the United States in 1861. The 12-story, 223-foot-tall Wanamaker building with almost 1,600 feet of street frontage is located in downtown Philadelphia across from City Hall.

Inspection of this building was challenging because areas on all four sides of the building could not be accessed with the inspector’s 150-foot JLG lift. And renting a taller lift would force the city to close four streets, disrupting downtown traffic. Also, the cost of closing four roads would run up to $10,000 per day.

Another option was to use hanging baskets or ropes. But given the building’s protruding roof fascia, dropping swings or rappelling would not get adequately close enough to the walls. Plus, this option would cost over $60,000 and would take several days to set up and take down. In addition, S. Juniper Street’s narrow 18-foot passageway required a low-risk access method that would not endanger the precariously close walls.

What was the solution?

So, the client turned to Alpha Platforms for several reasons. Our boom lifts are famous for their extreme heights and side reach capabilities. The client would also save money on street closure and a swing basket, and were curious about trying the next generation height access lifts with our all-inclusive service.
Alpha Platforms dispatched an A-250, its 250-foot-tall boom lift, capable of 125 feet of side reach. To reach all four sides of the building, our boom lift needed only two parking spots at each corner of the building.
The client also appreciated time and cost savings as their rental included a full-time IPAF-certified lift operator, the permits, street closures, and traffic management around the worksite.
The specs of our state-of-the-art A-250 lift:

What was the outcome?

With permits in place and a 10-minute setup, Alpha's IPAF-certified operator lifted the building inspector and reached all areas of interest on all four sides of the building from just three parking spots. In addition to being the safest, quickest, most convenient, and most comfortable façade inspection option, Alpha Platforms' contactless height access was also the cheapest, eliminating the cost of hanging swings, ropes, and insurance.

As a result, the job was completed in one day.

The engineering team discovered a new safer, more convenient, and cost-effective height access method to perform façade inspections.

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.
Notable 250 Foot Boom Lift Capabilities
  • 12-foot extra large cage
  • 1,322 lbs lifting capacity for crew, equipment, and materials
  • Cage rotation 2 x 200°
  • Side reach up to 130 feet
  • Unique "under and up" or "up and over and back" access
  • Smooth controlled motions to move close to and around glass and fragile structures
  • Jib length 49’2’’
  • Parking in tight spaces 8’3’’ wide

Alpha Platforms has helped hundreds of teams like yours

Customer Testimonials
from Case Studies

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.

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.

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.

Have a tough height
access project
need help with?
Thank you!
We received
your request
Our Team will be in touch
as soon as possible