Bringing a 110 year-old building into compliance

The Sale Lake Hardware building is a historic structure that was built in 1909 as a response to the development of the great transcontinental railroads. At the time, it was the largest warehouse building west of Chicago and possibly the largest in America. Rooftop Anchor was asked for their expertise to help bring this significant piece of architecture into compliance for window cleaners and façade access workers. While the circumstances surrounding such an old building were challenging, Rooftop Anchor was able to complete the project in a timely and economical manner, and now all workers at-height can enjoy the security and safety of a compliant fall protection system while protecting the decorative historic features of such a special piece of Salt Lake architecture.
rooftop fall protection

The Problem

The structural members of the roof are composed entirely of wood with no anchor points from which window cleaners or façade access workers could tie off. The building also features a 48” cornice over the side of the building that made it very difficult for workers to get close enough to the windows to clean or work on the building. Window cleaners in particular were forced to swing in toward the building to latch on to the windows with suction cups, and this would often cause the windows to break because they are only single pane and not strong enough.

The Solution

The building engineers wanted the anchors to be installed below the roof deck instead of above it. Since the roof was fairly new they also wanted to minimize roof penetrations as much as possible. In order to meet these requests as well as create a safe solution, Rooftop Anchor designed special anchors that were designed to be installed into the wood joists beneath the roof. Because the anchors were installed below the deck they also had to be taller than a standard anchor, meaning that they had to be made stronger to compensate for the additional height. Rooftop Anchor's professional installation team put together a special block and tackle system to hoist the anchors up into their installation locations from on top of the roof deck. The anchors were then screwed into place from inside the building.

In order to give window washers closer access to the windows, rigging sleeves were used in conjunction with an outrigger beam, which allows them to run their equipment through the sleeve in the cornice of the building and therefore bring themselves close enough to the windows to effectively and safely wash them.

Despite the scope and complexity of the project, Rooftop Anchor's team was able to complete the entire installation of the safety system in 5 nights. Both the building owners and the contractors working on the roof are very satisfied with the result, and we are proud to have been able to work on such a unique project.

Rooftop Safety

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