Scaffold access project at the Museum of Nature and Science

Submitted by zenno on Tue, 10/08/2013 - 5:57am

DH Glabe & Associates (DHG) recently completed a scaffold and access project at the Museum of Nature and Science in Denver, Colorado. The General Contractor on the project, GH Phipps Construction (GHP), contracted with DHG to provide them with consulting engineering services regarding the installation of a cantilevered loading platform. DHG engineers visited the construction site with GHP to observe the unique situation where the platform would eventually be installed, and to develop conceptual ideas with the project team members. Once safely installed, the pre-manufactured platform would ensure efficient loading and transportation of materials onto and around the massive structure.

The primary advantage of the platform is that it can handle loads up to 9,000 LBS while cantilevered up to 16 feet outside of an upper level of the building. Unfortunately, this was also the primary engineering challenge as the equipment supplier did not specify how the platform would be attached to the structure itself to resist both vertical and horizontal forces. DHG engineers first designed new anchor points that would be fastened at the floor above the platform with wire cables attaching the edge of the platform to the new anchor points. This, combined with shoring posts installed on the back interior edge of the platform, resisted vertical movement while materials were being landed on the platform. DHG then performed a structural analysis to develop a concept that utilized the buildings’ already installed structural rebar to wedge the bottom of the platform steel in between the rebar that protruded through the concrete floor. This provided resistance of horizontal forces to guarantee stability while the platform was in use.

The loading platform is being utilized as part of an ongoing construction project at the Museum of Nature and Science. This project consists of adding five stories plus a new underground level totaling 126,000 square feet to the existing building. These newly constructed areas will house the new Education and Collections Facility in the upper portions, and the state-of-the-art Rocky Mountain Science Collection Center in the underground portion. The project is scheduled to be open to the public in 2014.

If you would like to read more about this ongoing project, you may do so by going to

1-855-OSHA-TRN (1-855-674-2876) [email protected]
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