Wood frame contractor, Kevin O’Rourke, owner of Peaks USA, is using a Potain Igo 50 self-erecting crane on a space-constrained job in Cambridge, MA. Richdale Place is a 38,000 sq. ft. (3,530 sq m) multi-unit residential building with a parking structure as its foundation.
The building is made of panelized wooden walls, which are fabricated off site, and then transported to the site for final assembly on the foundation. Once the walls reach the site, they are removed from the trucks, staged, lifted into place, and attached to the structure.
Richdale Place’s urban residential setting has presented some challenges to this process.
A working railroad track borders the entire backside of the rectangular corner lot, eliminating the option of placing equipment on that side of the structure. Another side of the site is a busy street, which the city preferred to keep open.
O’Rourke said that the constraints of this site forced Peaks USA to think beyond typical equipment choices.
“We were limited in the equipment we could use to lift and set panels,” he said. “So we had to think creatively. That’s why we decided to rent the Potain Igo 50 from our local Potain dealer, Shawmut Equipment.”
The Igo 50’s 76-ft. (23.2 m) height under hook and 131 ft. (40 m) operating hook radius, gave Peaks access to the far corners of the structure without having to use rough-terrain forklifts on an already crowded site.
The radio remote control feature of the Igo 50 allowed the operator to stay with the panels while picking from the staging area and setting them for the carpenters, which was an increased benefit, O’Rourke said.
“This makes for a much safer job site, because the crane operator can always be talking with the workers on the structure,” he said.
Kevin O’Connell, self-erecting crane product manager of Shawmut Equipment, said that the Igo 50’s very small footprint was a big asset on the job.
“Because the Igo 50 only requires a 20-foot diameter area to set up, the Peaks crew was actually able to erect the crane between the foundation of the building and the sidewalk — blocking neither the street nor sidewalk,” O’Connell said.
O’Rourke also owns a Peaks division in Canada, and had previous experience with self-erecting cranes, which gave him the confidence to specify the Igo 50, because he knew it would be well suited for this job.