Construction Today - March 2011 - (Page 38)

This system was developed by UBS to restore Perry’s Memorial on Lake Erie. « Commercial | UNIVERSAL BUILDERS SUPPLY INC. Despite sidewalk bridges, construction debris sometimes can blow past and pose a danger to those on the ground. It was to avoid those incidents that the next evolution of construction safety products was developed by UBS during the 1980s – horizontal nets that would travel up with the construction of a building. “You’d have these horizontal nets that in practice and hope we would catch anything that got loose within three to four floors of the construction floor,” O’Callaghan explains. “So if a piece of wood or a person – God forbid – fell or got loose, you’d have these catch platforms of netting that would ideally catch them.” UBS developed a solution to the nets being blown by the wind up against the building so they were ineffectual when they were needed most. “We had this hard rubber cam, so when they needed to be out, they stayed out. We had a patent on that system,” O’Callaghan says. Cocooning Safety The next evolution of safety system that UBS developed was a cocoon for the top floors of a project under construction. “The cocoon began around 2008, and we’re about on our eighth or ninth generation of it,” O’Callaghan recalls. “Our customers made us aware of the demand for a solution. We now have our cocoon safety system that encapsulates the top of construction projects as they’re being built and virtually eliminates the risk of fall or debris getting loose from the uppermost floors.” The cocoon system is comprised of vertical panels, solid horizontal flaps and a secondary safety net. It connects to the top two floors of a project that were most recently constructed and extends approximately twoand–a-half additional floors. It provides perimeter protection of the top floor and the next one that will be built. The system can be raised as construction rises because of a series of interlocking panels and slider rails that are custom-designed, extruded and fabricated to a building’s specifications. The lower two floors have solid decks to contain debris. A net with a fine debris liner is installed below the system to catch any small debris. Handrails are at each floor elevation. “It’s cutting-edge technology that we’ve developed in concert with the demands of the industry,” O’Callaghan notes. “We developed and patented it. You still have sidewalk bridging, because other things are going on in the building where you’d want to protect pedestrians. The cocoon has taken safety precautions to a heretofore unprecedented level.” Ensuring Safety M UNIVERSAL BUILDERS SUPPLY HAS PATENTED SYSTEMS THAT ENHANCE SAFETY IN HIGH-RISE CONSTRUCTION. BY RUSS GAGER ore than just supplying construction materials, Universal Builders Supply Inc. (UBS) invents systems that become industry standards. The now ubiquitous sidewalk bridges used in all big cities to protect pedestrians from falling debris during high-rise construction originally were developed by UBS. ‘My grandfather started the company in MILESTONE 1931,” relates Kevin O’Callaghan, president and CEO who is the third-generation and sole owner of the 80year-old company. “My grandfather supplied material to the Empire State Building. We’ve tried to always remain cutting-edge and ahead of the time, and over the 80 years, we’ve been thankfully lucky to be able to do that.” The level of safety required of high-rise con- Universal Builders Supply Inc. • 2010 revenue: $70 million • Headquarters: New Rochelle, N.Y. • Employees: 100 • Specialty: Construction access products YEARS 80 “We’ve tried to always remain cutting-edge and ahead of the time, and we’ve been lucky to be able to do that.” –Kevin O’Callaghan, president and CEO struction in urban areas like New York has evolved over the decades. “Twenty-five years ago, we were probably the largest sidewalk bridge contractor in the city,” O’Callaghan remembers. “That was very good technology, but it became somewhat commoditized, which is why we tend to do a lot less of it.” 38 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM MARCH 2011 http://www.CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - March 2011

Construction Today - March 2011
Table of Contents
Social Media
Exploring BIM
Best Practices
Urban Construction
Building Growth
Bermúdez, Longo, Díaz-Massó (BLDM), S.E.
Wadman Corp.
Universal Builders Supply Inc.
Harold O’Shea Builders
Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. LLC
Hudspeth & Associates Inc.
Dana B. Kenyon Co. – Florida State College at Jacksonville
Kaback Enterprises
Hyder Construction
On Site Management Inc.
Retail Developers in Ontario
Morguard Investments Ltd. – Bramalea City Centre and Expansion
Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc.
Bayfield Realty Advisors Inc.
Rudolph and Sletten
Collavino Construction Co. Inc. – One World Trade Center
MW Builders – Fort Leonard Wood AIT Barracks, Phase 1
Thor Construction
Weir Welding Co.
JE Dunn Construction Co. – Woman’s Hospital
Manhattan Kraft Construction Co. – Sarasota Police Department Headquarters
P.J. Hoerr Inc. – Advocate BroMenn Medical Center
Poettker Construction – Watterson Towers Renovations
Merit Kitchens
BBL Builders – Columbia Parc at the Bayou District
Reliable Builders Inc.
Joe Hall Roofing
ECM International Inc.
Branch Highways Inc.
GCC America Inc.
HOK: NOAA Pacific Regional Center
Last Look

Construction Today - March 2011