Keystruct Projects

Overcoming Challenges for a Renovation, Keystruct Delivers a Modern Office

Kelly Tetkoskie May 19, 2020
New Lobby Greets Visitors at Bradley Lifting’s York PA Location

Bradley Lifting Corp, a subsidiary of Xtex Inc, is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of hook lifting equipment. Their engineering staff was located in an outdated building in York City that was in desperate need of an update. Bradley Lifting’s vision was to create a floor plan to encourage collaboration among the staff. Keystruct was contracted to make this office into a functional and efficient space with modern finishes and a fresh appearance.

The plan for the project involved relocation of the Bradley Lifting staff, so the complete demolition of the interior spaces would not disrupt their work. As demolition began, it was quickly discovered that the inside of the building was created in four separate stages, each built with different materials and standards. Adding to this challenge the demolition exposed that some of the construction work had been completed by inexperienced workers, creating substandard conditions. Essentially, there were four “additions” located inside the building’s shell.

The initial sections of the building were constructed with steel beams, which then changed to wooden beams in the next section and then back to steel in the final sections. Keystruct replaced the wooden beams with steel throughout the space to create uniformity. Additionally, the demolition revealed that some of the supporting posts were not structurally sound to carry the load of the second floor spaces and the roof-mounted equipment. Working closely with the structural engineer, Keystruct replaced several 2” x 4” supports with posts that ensured the structural integrity of the building.

Original plans for the building were to construct a completely open floor plan throughout the main portion of the space. An unforeseen condition uncovered during the demolition created the biggest challenge on the project when it was revealed that the wall in the center of the building was actually a load bearing wall and could not be removed. Keeping that wall in place impacted the design team’s original floor plan for an open space concept.  

Keystruct Pre-Construction, Project Management and Field staff worked with the design team to formulate a new floor plan for the space that encompasses as much open space as possible while leaving the necessary wall in place. An ADA compliant hallway was established first, using the load bearing wall on one side, with workspaces laid out around the hallway to maximize the amount of open collaborative areas while incorporating additional private offices into the plan. An extra common area at the rear of the space was added to the design to provide more collaborative areas in lieu of the extra open workspaces.

Included in the scope for the project was replacement of all the exterior windows. When the first windows were removed it was determined that most of the windows had been installed incorrectly. Of eight (8) new windows, only two (2) of them were placed properly with framing systems that could be utilized for the new windows. The remaining windows were simply attached to the siding, with nothing inside to hold the new windows in place. Keystruct built solid attachment points and reframed all of the substandard locations, allowing the new aluminum storefront windows to be placed properly and securely.

Initial plans for an updated HVAC system placed three (3) outside condensers in a new central location. The existing condenser locations were between two buildings, and raised above ground level, requiring a ladder to access the units for periodic maintenance and repairs. Because of the narrow space between the buildings, servicing the units was very difficult, so the owner requested that the units be placed next to each other at one end of the building. Because the building is over 150 FT long, the new location for the condensers would not work as the freon would not be able to travel that distance and effectively cool the areas furthest from the new condensers. To remedy this issue, Keystruct relocated the condensers to the opposite side of the building, adjacent to an alley. This allowed the units to remain in positions to effectively cool each area of the building, while giving free access to the units for servicing and repairs using a lift.

Keystruct kept this project on schedule by utilizing one subcontractor for all of the interior work. This prevented coordination issues from arising as the finishes moved from one trade to the next. The project finished on schedule and under budget. The completed office features an updated executive office, reception/lobby area, and conference room.

The key to a successful project for Bradley Lifting was the ability to create the space they needed while dealing with the unforeseen condition of a load bearing wall that impacted their original floor plan. By working closely with the owner and the design team, Keystruct was able to create the new space that Bradley Lifting needed without sacrificing the structural integrity of the existing building. The fresh and updated office gives Bradley Lifting the open concept they need for efficiency and collaboration, satisfying their vision for the space.