Smokestack Construction

Case Study:

How a construction crew saved time and money by installing a 260-ft smokestack without a crane

What was the challenge?

The New York City Housing Authority operates many high-rise buildings in the city. They were tasked with installing a smokestack on the roof of a small service building climbing up to the roof of an adjacent 26-story apartment building. The smokestack needed to be placed on the side of the building with a complex façade profile where suspended scaffolds did not provide proper access – from any side – to complete the job efficiently.

The building was squeezed between one of the busiest roads in the nation, Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive (FDR Drive), and a bustling school construction site surrounded by other tall apartment buildings with little space for sprawling equipment like cranes.

None of the self-propelled lifts could reach the necessary spots because of building height and required side reach.

Bolting pipe scaffolding onto the side of a 254-ft building would take weeks and would be cost-prohibitive. Another challenge was that the smokestack had to be built on the attached building’s roof, blocking direct access to the wall and requiring up-and-over access to the construction site.

The budget-sensitive customer sought a safe and cost-effective solution.

What was the solution?

The construction project manager engaged Alpha Platforms’ aerial boom lift for its extreme height and side reach. Also, Alpha’s full-time lift operator freed the construction team from having to manage the boom lift. All-inclusive lift rental service allowed the client to focus solely on smokestack construction and not worry about the risks of operating a 300-ft boom lift right next to FDR drive.
Alpha Platforms deployed its A-300, the largest aerial lift on the market, a 300-ft engineering marvel capable of reaching 300 ft high, 100 ft side reach, and up-and-over obstacles of up to 200 ft.
The specs of our state-of-the-art A-300 lift:

What was the outcome?

Over a single week, the construction crew assembled the smokestack section by section. Workers also attached it to the wall, comfortably operating from the large 12-ft-wide man basket, allowing them to lift every section of the smokestack inside the basket without needing a crane.

The work moved quickly with a team of two workers in the basket and several supporting personnel on the ground and roof.

The project was completed on time and on the budget without incident.

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 300 Foot Boom Lift Capabilities
  • 12-foot extra large cage
  • 1,168 lbs lifting capacity for crew, equipment, and materials
  • Cage rotation 2 x 84°
  • Side reach up to 106 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 31’6’’
  • Parking in tight spaces 8’6’’ wide

Alpha Platforms has helped hundreds of teams like yours

Customer Testimonials
from Case Studies

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.

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.

Elizabeth Radlbeck

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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