Unbeknown to all those involved in logistics at ground level preparing for the Labor Day, 2011, inaugural Gran Prix race around the streets of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, there has been a RACE TO THE TOP of the Renaissance Hotel going on 28 stories above street level. BB&T Bank wanted to herald its move to the 27th floor by displaying it’s marquee in 10’ high lighted letters hanging over the parapet with the reflective green curtain wall of the Renaissance as a background, and it had to be complete before the Labor Day race.
The call to complete this mission went to Jesse Keen, owner of J. Keen Construction, LLC, who assembled his team of Walkley Engineering and B&B Welding Company, Inc. In a word, the team had to attach a 9’-7” x 34’-4”, galvanized tubular structure, with no piece larger that the freight elevator would accommodate, to a honeycomb, concrete roof with various slopes and thickness. Right after Walkley provided a preliminary design, B&B began to model the structure with the dimensions taken from field surveying and the “x-rays” locating rebar in the slab. The Keen part of the team provided any and all support to keep the project progressing while keeping the entire structure water tight. Baltimore Galvanizing turned the 3 ton job around in record time of one day and the projected completion date of Friday, August 19, 2011 slipped by one day due to two down pours on Tuesday, August 16 when the Hilti HAS rods were to be epoxied. On Friday after Hilti technicians came on site and tested the ¾” rods for 10,000 lb of pull out, steel erection began and the sign was slid over the parapet by 2pm Saturday.
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