Providing a beacon of light in Charlotte's city skyline, Legacy Union's building is topped with a single layer ETFE system designed in a 'Pyramid' shape.
The Pyramid that tops out Legacy Union, now the 4th tallest building in the City of Charlotte, was originally designed as a glass structure. The JV approached Birdair about value engineering solutions that involved ETFE, and ultimately contracted Birdair for the design build scope of ETFE, clamping, reinforcement cables, and structural steel. For the steel fabrication and erection scope, Birdair subcontracted Steelfab. Steelfab is one of the largest steel fabricators in the country, and is headquartered in Charlotte, just a few miles from the job site.
The job was extremely challenging for several reasons. First, being located in a city center, there was very little lay down space. We ultimately found lay down space on the top of the south parking garage to pre-assemble and hoist steel. Second, being on top of a high rise, we needed to utilize the JV’s two tower cranes for steel erection. Third, the Pyramid sits above the mechanical penthouse, which makes access even more difficult (see attached image). Birdair developed a 3-tier scaffolding system for access at the penthouse level. Fourth, the schedule became aggressive and Birdair was asked to accelerate to finish sooner than originally anticipated. We beat our initial schedule by 8 weeks, and the requested accelerated schedule by 4 weeks. Lastly, installation of the ETFE took place in January and February, the coldest months of the year.
Thanks to good fortune, a mild winter, and excellent work by our subs, which includes the fabrication by Taiyo, we were able to overcome these challenges and provide the client with a piece of architecture that dots the Charlotte skyline.