Lerch Bates Inc. Building Insight

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Duke Energy Center Building Maintenance Unit

Earlier this year I was involved with the commissioning of the new building maintenance unit (BMU) at the Duke Energy Building in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Duke Energy Building is the newest building to grace the Charlotte skyline. The building is 50 stories tall, with a blue glass curtain wall, with a negative slopping façade at the top of the building and what appears to be a chin up bar above the main roof level of the building.

With the height of the building and its unique design, coming up with a solution for maintaining the building’s exterior was not easy. The final solution includes a 140,000lb building maintenance unit with a 5 section telescoping boom that extends approximately 130’, making this the second largest BMU in the world.  The BMU is hidden from site on the mechanical level below the main roof level. It is lifted into place by a large hydraulic cylinder and moves about the roof top on a large I-beam track.

In order to reach all areas of the façade the buff is capable of a 60 degree luffing (up and down movement) angle. During testing we were raised the full distance of the boom above the chin up bar which is located directly above the roof top. While in the platform, directly beneath you is the Carolina Panthers stadium and the majority of the Charlotte skyline. All points of the building exterior can easily be reached with this unique piece of equipment.

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