18D — May 10 - 23, 2013 — NJAA Conference & Expo — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


NJAA C onference & E xpo

By Alan G. Steinle, Steinle Construction Engineers Steinle Construction Engineers help change the Wilmington skyline


teinle Construction Engineers (SCE) , the structural division

force winds. These signs also require additional bracing and strengthening of the roof structure to accommodate the focused loads created by the sign support system. Fortunately, the new Citi sign was replacing the recently removed DuPont sign and some of the required sup- port structure was already installed. SCE’s Structural Engineers met at the site with building and American Signcrafters’ representatives, reviewed existing conditions, and obtained original build- ing structural drawings. Our analysis confirmed the new

sign could be supported by the structural frame remain- ing from the previous sign. SCE recommended RC Fab- ricators be contracted to fabricate and erect the steel support structure. Working with American Signcraft- ers and RC Fabricators , SCE designed a vertical as- sembly of structural steel tubes to hold the new sign. This design allowed the con- struction and preassembly of the 23 feet high by 28 feet wide, LED-lighted sign at American Signcrafters’ offsite facility, while RC Fabrica- tors assembled the support

structure. While the design and coordi- nation of the installation was occurring, SCE worked with the City of Wilmington to sub- mit plans and obtain permits for the new structural sign. The next hurdle would be installing the sign 260 feet up on the top of the building. We evaluated several options for getting the structural steel assembly up to the roof. Breaking the sign into small sections and using the eleva- tor was ruled out because of the assembly time that would have been required on the roof where a family of Falcon’s nests. SCE recommended lifting the pre-assembled sign up to the roof, as one piece, using either a crane or a heli- copter. A helicopter could not be found that would be able to make the lift within our desired timeframe. In addi- tion, we were concerned that winds might further delay the lift if a helicopter was used. RC Fabricators located a crane that could make the lift, but the City of Wilming- ton required the building to be empty, and the all of the adjacent streets to be closed. The final assembly and lift was subsequently scheduled for a Saturday. American Signcrafters de- livered their pre-wired sign assembly early Saturday morning, and attached their sign to the pre-fabricated, structural steel frame deliv- ered by RC Fabricators. At noon, with the streets blocked off by City Police, and the building empty, the crane lifted the complete assembly and placed it on top of the roof, where it was bolted to the pre- pared roof frame. Finally the electrical connections were made to power the sign. The lift and installation of the sign was completed within about 2 hours. SCEmet their client’s needs and achieved the required schedule by using experienced Structural Engineers familiar with both Structural Fabrica- tion/Erection procedures and Local Permitting Require- ments, and by communicating effectively with the entire team. Alan G. Steinle, PE, vice president of Structural Engineers for Steinle Con- struction Engineers, a Division of VanDemark & Lynch, Inc. n

of VanDe- m a r k & Lynch, Inc. , was recently cont rac ted by Ameri- can Sign- c r a f t e r s , New York, to design a sign

Alan G. Steinle

quired. With SCE’s help the sign was fabricated, permit- ted, installed, and lit, within 2 months. This type of sign requires significant structural sup- port to withstand hurricane

support structure for a new sign to be erected on top of the 22 story Brandywine Build- ing in Wilmington, DE. An extremely accelerated completion schedule was re-

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