110 North Wacker

A bespoke facade access solution for the unique design of Chicago’s 110 North Wacker complex.

At 110 North Wacker, in one of the most desirable riverside locations in Chicago, architects Goettsch Partners have developed a stunning new office tower on an otherwise prime site which had previously laid dormant due to an unusual trapezoidal shape. The building design therefore responded to these challenges with an ingenious stepped central core to provide significant space on both sides of the structure. The knowledge and expertise of Manntech was required to deliver a custom facade access solution and protect this important new building for many years to come.

In terms of the building envelope, the design features a series of staggered edges along the entire edge of the west facade with 30-foot-wide, five-foot setbacks incorporated to avoid an angled perimeter. In addition, the access solution was further complicated by a large terrace area on the north-facing elevation at level 25 and a series of vertical glass fins throughout the facade. A track-mounted Building Maintenance Unit (BMU) located at roof level provides an outreach of 31 metres. In combination with a guide rope system to assist in the transfer over the terraces, this satisfies the access requirements of all necessary staggered facade surfaces while also providing a rated working load of 500 lbs and a Glass Replacement Unit with a capacity of 2000 lbs.

The buildings thin vertical glass fins presented another challenge while navigating the facade as the amount of weight load they are able to bear is severely limited. The BMU platform is therefore designed to incorporate telescopic rollers sitting between the fins and a large continuous roller at the lower edge of the platform. This allows the platform to travel along the edge of several consecutive fins simultaneously and distribute the load evenly.

Having worked with the construction company on several other projects in the Chicago area, Manntech was the obvious trusted choice to deliver an advanced and custom facade access solution capable of meeting the challenges presented.

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