News & Insights

Summer Slammer – SUNY Albany: Eastman Towers

College campuses are in full swing, and Kirchhoff-Consigli Construction Management’s Summer Slammers have officially wrapped up.Summer Slammer projects execute all aspects of a traditional undertaking, but are expedited over a 10-12 week span. The accelerated pace and condensed timeline requires project teams to think expeditiously and creatively to ensure critical milestones are completed on time while maintaining Kirchhoff-Consigli’s standard of quality.
Here is a look at the Eastman Tower project that took place at the SUNY Albany Campus.

Communication is one of the most critical aspects of a successful Summer Slammer. Understanding expectations — from what equipment looks like to how a project will be tackled — may differ from site to site, and from owner to contractor.

“You don’t just bring in windows for a replacement project, you need an entire staging and storage area,” says Chris Gonyo, assistant project manager at Kirchoff-Consigli. “Equipment must move around from where it’s housed, to where the work is actually being done.”

Logistical needs were drawn up months in advance and signed off by the university, including on-campus storage areas, office space locations, and owner’s needs and expectations.

“We obtained documents early enough for the window replacement, that most were on site before we started the window removal work,” says Chris. “We knew going into the project that it was going to be an extended or multiple shift job, so we had the same crews working on the building between five and six days a week.”

One of the biggest challenges was setting up the Mast Climber, a hydro-mobile scaffolding system that ensconced all four sides of the building. The intricate preparation took one month, as the four climbers that were used (one on each side of the building) were inter-connected through the scaffolding structure. Since very few companies in the northeast supply the Mast Climber, all of the segments had to be ordered months in advance.

While staging was taking place, students were studying for exams, and quiet hours limited work time. Students left campus for summer break soon after, and the teams went into full throttle. While no one was living in the building while work was taking place, the surrounding areas were inhabited not only by students and faculty, but also by people touring the campus.

To stay on schedule, and plan for inclement weather, the team set an initial goal of removing 50 windows a day. Six floors of windows were removed at a time, and temporary protections from outside elements were put into place until the new windows were installed.

“Coordinating with the university where we would be, at what time, at what elevation, and for how long was challenging,” says Chris. “Managing the needs of the students, our needs, and everyone’s safety on an active campus was a top priority.”

By the Numbers:

  • 2,200 – Windows replaced
  • 22 – Number of floors
  • 205 – Building height in feet
  • 44,500 – Field man hours
  • 85 – Working days
  • 5 – Total SUNY Albany projects

In addition, to Eastman Towers, Kirchhoff-Consigli has completed the construction of the new business school at the (SUNY) Albany Campus, and work is progressing on Mohawk Towers, one of four towers on campus. Work will begin on the remaining two towers, Livingston and Stuyvesant in 2014-15.