Addressing Challenges of Restoration Projects in High-Rise Buildings 

High-rise buildings pose unique challenges during the construction and restoration process. Here we address the common challenges when restoring a high-rise building with tips to help overcome them.

Importance of Safety In High-Rise Building Restoration Projects

Buildings with heights reaching 20, 30, or even 40 stories place workers at greater risk during restoration. Site Managers and Safety Coordinators must consider all safety hazards before and during restoration. The higher the building, the higher the risks as complex equipment such as swing stages, climbers, and hoists are introduced. Also, materials falling from higher heights cause far more damage and injury than something dropped from the main floor.

Tip: Risk assessment is critical to predicting the impact damage and injury can have at the site, such as:

  • Reduced worker productivity
  • Project delays
  • Additional administrative costs to manage related paperwork
  • Downtime related to damaged equipment
  • Restoring unsafe conditions  

Logistics Challenges In High-Rise Building Restoration Projects

What takes one hour on the second floor can take hours on the 30th floor due to logistical challenges. For example, although some windows can be installed from the interior of the building, they still require exterior finishing. In this case, access equipment such as swing stages/climbers are required to complete seals for each window replacement compared to using a ladder for a window on the main floor. Let’s not forget that the window combinations can be massive, with some spanning an entire floor. These windows carry enormous weight while also presenting challenges in high winds.

Tip: Develop a restoration plan and include all steps involved. Determine what working-at-height solutions, equipment, and services are required to access all floors safely and efficiently.

Budget Challenges In High-Rise Building Restoration Projects

Proper precautions take more time and cost more money. Using our window example above, the risks related to hefting a pane of glass to the 30th floor present a significant risk that impacts costs in many ways, including insurance. Additional equipment and time consumption to replace higher floor windows also affect the budget.

Further, there are also considerations related to the type of window. For example, what works on the lower floors doesn’t work on the higher floors, where factors such as wind come into play. Therefore, different window and glass types may be required on higher floors, which may lead to potential price increases.

Tip: Invite qualified contractors to assess the project and submit bids so you understand the costs and can hire the right team for the job.

Weather Challenges In High-Rise Building Restoration Projects

Although weather is always a factor in construction, the type of weather impacts what work needs to stop and what work can continue. For example, heavy rain is a common project disruptor; however, heavy wind is only sometimes a factor. Although work can often continue on lower floors, high winds are always hazardous for high-rises. As a result, there are more weather scenarios where work will come to a halt.

Tip: Include weather delays in the budget and ensure you define delay clauses with restoration service providers. Also, never take risks with workers or equipment that can lead to injury or property damage. This will only lead to further delays.

At WellDone Inc., a building restoration company specializing in restorations for commercial and multi-unit residential buildings throughout the GTA, we are COR® certified. As a result, we ensure the highest standards for workplace health and safety management systems are met. In addition, we have a Safety Coordinator committed to maintaining the highest safety standards, which helps control safety-related costs. For more information, speak to our team today.