The EPIC Phase II

By Dominic Lucido | December 2, 2022

Scaffold Design

DHC had worked with MDM on a 20’ cantilever design through Covid. There was a little back and forth, but we came up with a clean design that worked structurally and was feasible for that particular job. Fast forward a few weeks and we get a call that went something like this: “Hey do you remember that 20’ cantilever we did a few months back. We’re trying to do the same thing but this time out to 50’.” We had him repeat it on the phone a few times to make sure he was saying 50 instead of 15. Knowing this would be a large undertaking, we hung up the phone and got to work.

 

DHC partnered with MDM Scaffolding on the EPIC Office Tower project in Dallas, TX in 2021. The architectural design of the building was stunning which always makes for some unique engineering challenges. The 22nd floor of the building cantilevered out 40’ from the level below. The contractor needed access to install steel, soffits, and finishes on the underside of this cantilever. Given the height and structures below, building from the ground was not an option so we decided to approach the design by coming out of the 19th floor and working our way over.

 

During the initial concept, DHC determined that we needed to construct a full 3D model of the scaffold and check components piece by piece as we were well outside of the intended use and data for the scaffold. Initial concepts had some major flaws, but the primary concern we discovered was the edge of the deck was going to deflect over a foot due to the flexibility of the scaffold components as well as the large uplift loads on the structure. The solution: add a rigid cable to the top deck to help “pull” the scaffold back into the building. This helped stiffen up the scaffold and alleviate the loads to the structure. At this point we realized we could make this work. Steel plank was swapped out for aluminum, and soldier beams were used to help squeeze some additional cantilever length.  We got back on the phone with MDM to let them know we could make this happen.

Once the scaffold was designed, we went through a series of conference calls with both the Contractor and the EOR for the building to get everyone on the same page. Additional reshore levels were added to help distribute the load down to the levels below, and MDM was given the official green light to begin installation. MDM executed the installation to perfection. The client stated that very little “bounce” was noticed in the scaffold which was the primary concern. It also gave us some firsthand feedback that the tie-back cables were working as expected. This was one of those jobs where you lose a couple nights of sleep, but when it’s all said and done, it felt amazing and was eye opening for what you can do with standard scaffold components.

 

Huge hats off to MDM and their team for doing the installation and thank you for trusting DHC on a high-risk project such as this.

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