Van's Industrial

Posted on Monday March 22, 2021

The Association

We were tasked to replace decorative landscape metal fencing at 669 Michigan Ave during the month of December. The fencing surrounded 5 large concrete planters that had old deteriorated and rusted wrought iron fences. The owner wanted the new fences to look identical to the old style so as not the change architectural beauty of the original design.

Our challenges:
1. Come up with a plan to minimize site work and to keep pedestrians safe as they passed us on the sidewalk.
2. Design a new style fence that could be installed to match existing but, was economical to fabricate to keep the costs of the project low.
3. Engineer a way to remove the existing embedded support posts from the concrete planters with a consideration on how to embed the new fencing in the same original support post locations.
4. Come up with a metal finish that would stand up to the harsh elements of Chicago weather.

The Solution

  1. To keep pedestrians safe from flying debris (sparks and metal shavings) we designed our own barricade system including a solid wall between the pedestrians and the Van’s crew. We were able to relocate the barricade system from planter to planter as the demolition work progressed.

  2. To keep the costs of fabrication low and maintain the original design and beauty of the original fences we laser cut the new fencing from solid 1“thick steel plate. Because we laser cut the material, we saved time in fitting and welding individual tube together to create the fences. An added benefit of laser cutting also meant we could cut he decorative medallions into the fences without purchasing expensing add-ons. Also, an added benefit to laser cutting from solid plate meant we could personalize the new fences to include the location address laser cut directly into the steel.

  3. To maintain the original post support locations of the new fence and to able to remove the existing posts from the concrete we cut away the existing fences and core drilled over the original post locations (200 places) in the concrete planter. The new laser cut fence was cut with the posts cut in the exact post center locations as the original fence.

  4. To protect the new steel for decades to come we applied a baked-on powder coat paint finish in our shop.

The Results

The result of our finished work was a new beautiful landscape fence with new addresses cut directly into the steel and a fence structure that was 4 times the strength of the old because it had been cut from solid plate instead of welded together from hallow tube.