1271 Avenue of the Americas, previously known as the Time & Life Building, is an important historic part of the American built environment. In 1959 it became the first of four new towers which expanded the iconic Rockefeller Center. Reaching 587 feet (179 metres) and 48 floors, the green glass facade remains a vibrant part of New York City life to this day.

When it became clear a modern new facade access system was required to protect this jewel in the Manhattan cityscape, CoxGomyl were entrusted with developing and executing a carefully considered building access solution appropriate to the special requirements of installation on an existing structure, and all within a tight time frame. This type of BMU replacement project brings with it specific challenges which together the CoxGomyl and Alimak Service team (the installers) are well experienced in navigating.

Drawing on a range of installation methods and pre-planned strategies, Alimak Service were able to deliver an improved facade access solution with prompt and smooth delivery. The comprehensive facade access system for 1271 Avenue of the Americas encompasses two CoxGomyl Building Maintenance Units which were selected and adapted for the parameters of the building throughout design, manufacture and installation.

The first BMU is located at the eighth-floor terrace. A compact design was a critical requirement due to an existing garage structure which the BMU would be housed within when in parked position. Throughout the process, the garage dimensions were considered to ensure the BMU could be practically stored. The compact design also allowed for smooth installation with the use of an 80-ton street crane.

The second Building Maintenance Unit is situated at roof level. In order to achieve the required functionality, precise planning was required to transport the BMU to its permanent position. All components were calculated in size and weight to be transported through the building using the existing elevators, bringing them as far as a loading dock one level below the roof itself. From there, most components were lifted through a roof hatch utilising an aluminium gantry and an electric hoist.

The expertise in pre-planning, logistics and practical know-how allowed for this challenging project to be completed in just three weeks. Alimak Service together with CoxGomyl coordinated transport of the equipment to the site, unloading and lifting into position, all the way through to installation. Every inch of the route was meticulously planned, taking into account the dimensions of every door and roof hatch opening, elevator sizes and weight capacities, all working in conjunction with a qualified and experienced rigger to ensure there was no damage to the building or the BMU components.

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