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

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.

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