Cleaning one of the most complex facades in the world poses a special challenge at the Beekman Tower, which Gin D works with Nord Drive Systems successfully mastered: The development of a gondola for the cleaning and maintenance of this impressive structure proved to be extremely complicated due to the architectural characteristics. With the right drive technology for the positioning and mobility of the nacelle, it was possible to make every corner of this winding façade accessible.
Picture: With north drives, the GinD cleaning gondola manages the complex building facade of the Beekman Tower in Manhattan designed by Frank Gehry.
The Spanish company Gin D specializes in the design, manufacture and installation of bespoke systems for the maintenance and cleaning of building facades and puts on it Geared motors and frequency converters from NORD. The Beekmann Tower was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, who also designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. With its 265 m, the tower is the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere. But what sets him apart is his façade design with stainless steel convolutions that transform the appearance of the building throughout the day, reflecting the ever changing daylight. The façade is undoubtedly one of the most complex ever realized, as it is completely asymmetrical and does not resemble one another. This, however, the designed Access to the windows with a gondola extremely complicated.
Gin D (Góndolas in Design), a Spanish company based in Madrid, designed the gondola with a very specific goal - it was supposed to reach every corner of the building's facade. For this purpose, the gondola required highly efficient drive technology, with the delivery of which the main supplier for gearmotors and frequency inverters Nord was commissioned. "We cooperate with Nord in all our projects because they have the highest level of technical confidence, the quality is excellent, they provide international customer service and the price is competitive in the market" here Hugo Donoso, Managing Director of Gin D.
Construction and operation of the cleaning nacelle
The challenge was enormous, considering that the entire project was fully designed and calculated. The Gin D system consists of a telescopic arm, a special guideway system on the facade and a multi-telescope socket to reach the building's gullies. The machines delivered perform different functions: they lift and turn the base and balance its weight. They also drive the winch and the telescope unit.
The hub is realized Bevel with brake motor that rotates the drum for the nacelle cable. An SK 500E frequency converter damps the start-up and stopping of the nacelle and also ensures the correct positioning of the nacelle to the facade when the telescopic arm is operated.
The counterweight mechanism (the box at the back of the mast) is of fundamental importance, since the structure would have to be much stronger without it and would be heavier and more expensive. The counterweight is on the extension and retraction of the telescopic arm on a bevel geared moved back and forth. The geared motor also keeps the center of gravity of the machine at the pivot point of the whole device. An SK 500E frequency converter controls the movement of the counterweight with acceleration and deceleration ramps.
For rotation, two spur gears engage a gear ring to rotate the entire machine so that the nacelle can be deployed on either side of the building. Again, an SK 500E drive damps the nacelle start-up and stop, and also provides different rotational speeds depending on whether the telescopic arm is extended or not. This compensates for the linear speed of rotation of the nacelle. When the telescopic arm is retracted, the geared motors run at a higher speed than when it is extended.
The Beekman Tower project also required the inclusion of a winch. A bevel gear motor provides the lift of loads such as new glass panes for repairing the building facade or air conditioning on the flat roof of the building. The gondola can not be used for these purposes, as it is designed only for the transport of cleaning personnel and their relatively light cleaning equipment.
Drive technology not only around the clock
When selecting the drive specialists, Gin D's criteria were "quality, service and worldwide technical support as we export everything we produce," says Donoso. In his opinion, the degree of cooperation between the two companies is optimal: "Nord has selected and installed with us the equipment to be delivered. The services are available around the clock and all the challenges that have arisen during the project have been met. "
The high requirements and the high performance of the drive technology were also of crucial importance. The gearmotors have an allowable radial load that is 24% higher than competing gearmotors, and the drives can tolerate 25% more overload than other manufacturers.
This level of service and performance is appreciated by the end user, who is very satisfied, according to Gin D. "From the moment of its installation, the system worked perfectly. Cleaning the building is a complex process and the machine is in action every day, weather permitting, "says Donoso.