America Tower in Houston, Texas has been a vital part of the city’s business infrastructure for many years since its completion in 1983. Over the decades, its offices have been home to a number of tenants who are key players in the local, national and international economy including Continental Airlines, Texas Air Corporation, Andersen Consulting (also known as Accenture) and real estate company Cushman & Wakefield. The tower is currently occupied by the multinational finance and insurance group American International Group or AIG. The maintenance, cleaning and upkeep of this 180 metre (590 foot) tall, 42 storey tower is no small task. As is often the case with buildings of this age, the original building maintenance system was approaching the end of its natural life cycle after over 35 years of service. A new Building Maintenance Unit was therefore required to keep this important building in pristine condition for many decades to come.
The building design by architects Lloyd Jones Brewer and Associates presents a facade with a number of angled surfaces and curving sections which called for careful consideration of the facade access solution to ensure full coverage with safety and ease in operation. Developing building maintenance systems for long-established structures also presents a number of specific challenges which require the expertise of our experienced designers and engineers to work intelligently and creatively within the tight parameters inherent in this type of project. Specifically, America Tower required a Building Maintenance Unit which delivers comprehensive coverage while also meeting the existing load requirements of the building, in addition to a solution which would avoid any disruptive or invasive works.
In response to the client’s brief, Manntech were able to develop a cost effective solution encompassing a single BMU with a fixed length jib providing an outreach of 8.5 metres. The Building Maintenance Unit travels on freely laid tracks which were an attractive option as an efficient method of completing BMU replacement work. Manntech were also able to overcome the challenges of transporting a new building access system to the roof of a busy working office tower by providing installation by helicopter crane. This is the second installation of this type by Manntech’s US team after the replacement of the ageing building maintenance system at Fulbright Tower also utilised a helicopter crane.
Whether the specific project calls for a building maintenance system for a new building or the replacement of an old, damaged or poorly performing system, Manntech are the leading provider in bespoke facade access solutions with a customised approach to meet your specific building access needs.