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Complicated assembly on 320 South Canal Street tower in Chicago

Pane element is lifted behind column with modified
glass mounting system
Image rights: Heavydrive.com

 

Chicago is about to welcome a new, modern 200m-high office tower. Heavydrive developed a customised solution for the complicated assembly of panes on the lower floors of the 320 South Canal Street tower.

 

Centred behind V-shaped pillars, the panes (weighing up to 3,175kg) also had to be fitted under a deep overhang. This was a challenge too hard for devices available on the international market. With years of experience manoeuvring heavy objects under overhangs, Heavydrive modified an existing glass assembly device to create the VSGB 3500 K MH. This newly developed device with a lifting capacity of 3,500kg allowed all of the glass elements to be fitted behind the pillars without a hitch. Special suction pads were used to ensure no marks were left on the coated panes.

 

The window design featured additional glass fins behind the main façade as an extra layer of protection against the strong Chicago winds. The VSG 1200 KL 9 MH was used to assemble these 1,200kg glass elements measuring 12m tall by 56cm wide. This Heavydrive system has a suction length of 9.2m and a lifting capacity of 1,200kg.

 

Both suction systems were operated by remote control, so the assembly team could control the panes from a distance, rotating them by 360 degrees and setting them down at an angle of up to 90 degrees. Remote control also makes it very easy to detach the device from the panes once they have been fitted, so there was no need for additional aids such as scaffolding or lifting platforms. The proven 4-circuit system gives the operators total stability, meaning loads do not have to be secured with additional tension belts.

The tower on 320 South Canal Street was designed by architects Goettsch Partners. In future, the 47-storey tower will offer around 140,000sqm of office space, 400 parking spaces and a 1.5-hectare park designed by Wolff Landscape Architecture. Heavydrive was contracted by New York real estate company Related Companies. “We are delighted that after working on the billion-dollar New York Hudson Yard Tower project in Manhattan in 2019, we have been rehired for such a prestigious project”, says Heavydrive managing director Günter Übelacker. “We always try to find a workable solution for our customers, completing their glass assembly as quickly and as simply as possible.” In New York, the company also assembled extremely heavy panes with a special coated finish.

Pane element is lifted behind the column with modified glass mounting system
Image rights: Heavydrive.com

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