February 2009

Mast Climbers

Side Story:
Fraco Provides Stability

The Guggenheim Building in Rochester, Minn., is one of the outstanding features of a city center steeped in the highest traditions of architecture and design. Part of the Mayo Clinic’s portfolio, it was recently found to be in need of a facelift.

Tom Fee, project manager for Minnesota-based Building Restoration Corp., one of the foremost restoration specialists in the Twin Cities area, explained the process.

“The support steel that holds the stone cladding in place required replacement,” Fee says. “To achieve this, we had to remove around 200 stone panels weighing between 1,200 and 2,440 pounds each. Our personnel needed a stable working platform that could access 100 percent of the profile of the fa?ade so we could achieve high productivity. Working with Mastclimbers LLC, we developed a U-shaped, twin-mast platform that enveloped the full fa?ade.”

The platform, a Fraco ACT8 Electric, was designed in conjunction with the manufacturer, according to Kevin O’Shea, safety and training manager with Atlanta-based specialist Mastclimbers LLC.

“Fraco worked closely with us to design a tailormade solution which, since its introduction to the project, has revolutionised the task,” says O’Shea. “The productivity benefits are huge. Operationally, the task is infinitely easier with mast climbers than any other form of access.”

The training requirement consisted of taking experienced construction tradespeople and introducing them to new technology.

“You won’t get them on any other type of access now,” says Fee.