Restoring Yesterday's Masonry - For Tomorrow



The renovation of Austin Community High School in downtown Chicago presented a major challenge for the contractor Restore Masonry LLC, as it was faced with finding out what access equipment could provide sufficient productivity to make the job profitable while being installed in the school’s courtyard, accessible only through a narrow entrance.

Contracted to remove and replace bricks piers and shelf angles on this four-story building, Restore Masonry LLC decided to use the M-Series from Hydro Mobile for the school’s outside facade, as they knew -having used this product for over nine years- how effective this high-load capacity mast climber could be on restoration projects.

They also turned to Bracing Systems, their Hydro Mobile dealer, to find out if they could use mast climbers in the school’s courtyard as well. Eric Ziemann, Supervisor at Restore Masonry LLC, explains: “Hydro Mobile’s P-Series turned out to be perfect for the job, as the machine’s core unit and bridges can fit through a 36″ opening and provide sufficient capacity for both demolition and bricklaying.”

Motor units and bridges were brought into the courtyard and assembled by hand, in single- and twin-mast configurations, in less than 4 hours. “This equipment is very versatile”, comments Eric Ziemann. “During the demolition process, the wide work area allows us to have our complete workshop with all necessary tools at hand and always positioned at the working height. During the brick replacement process, the P-Series have enough capacity (up to 11,450 lb. in twin-mast configuration) to host working materials for a whole day’s production. What’s more, Hydro Mobile’s mast climbers can turn corners, thus adapting to the contours of most facades.”

A portable hoist was also installed on the school’s roof, so that bricks and other heavy materials could be lifted above the classrooms and directly set on the mast climbers.

With a total of 14 mast climbers on the site, this renovation project will be completed by December 2008, less than a year and a half after it begun.

Contractor: Restore Masonry LLC
Hydro Mobile Distributor: Hydro West Scaffolding