Anyone managing multifamily properties in an urban environment understands one basic truth: the taller the building, the more complicated the exterior maintenance. Access from city streets and through tight entrances, combined with the need to reach multistory heights, requires smart solutions to get the job done while minimizing any inconvenience to the daily lives of hundreds of residents.
For a property as uniquely designed as Fifth and Poplar Condominiums, the maintenance issues are amplified. This mixed-use, eight-story building is located in the rapidly growing Center City of Charlotte, North Carolina. Constructed with stone, brick and stucco, Fifth and Poplar features European architectural influences and a landscaped one-acre residential courtyard. The property takes up an entire city block in a historic neighborhood with sloped side streets on the outside and very tight, limited access to the interior courtyard.
This all posed a brand-new challenge for Midwest Maintenance, Inc. The company specializes in building restoration and maintenance and had already partnered with the Fifth and Poplar management team for façade improvements on the lower levels of the building, which was originally constructed in 2003. For the next phase of maintenance, Midwest Maintenance was contracted to remove and replace all exterior caulked joints as well as repaint the façade and trim above the building's fourth floor.
"We looked at the entranceway; we looked at the courtyard; and we asked ourselves, how are we going to access this space?" recalls John Shellenberg, project manager for Midwest Maintenance, who works out of the company's regional office in Augusta, Georgia. "This is the kind of project that takes months to complete, so we needed a solution that worked best for the long term and was the least disruptive for residents while still being cost-effective for our client."
Shellenberg says he and his team ruled out a traditional boom lift because it would be too difficult to access many of the work spots or set up on the slope of the side street. They considered scaffolding, but determined that it would be overly obstructive to daily condominium living and more expensive in the long run due to the total man hours required.
Instead, Shellenberg took a recommendation from his contact at the Charlotte area CAT dealer and brought in two compact lifts from Teupen the TL63A-LI and TL92SJ models. He says it was the first time he had used a Teupen compact lift, but it won't be the last.
"We've really made the most of these machines," he explains. "They're very solid and versatile, able to access all the work points and navigate the tight-walled turns and large concrete planters in the courtyard. We can set them up in places where a boom lift just wouldn't work and can really get a lot of reach out of them to do our work on the upper floors. The Teupen lifts help us maintain our production level with minimal impact on the day-to-day activities of the Fifth and Poplar residents."
Shellenberg adds that he wondered about ease of use until the Teupen team showed up to provide comprehensive training. "Everyone at Teupen has been great to work with at every stage of our process," he says. "My workers and I were fully trained on operating the units, and when we have issues or questions, Teupen is very responsive. They've made a long and complex project move along very smoothly, without a hitch."
At Teupen, we appreciate hearing the positive comments from great customers like Midwest Maintenance. We make it our mission to solve problems by providing compact track lifts designed to take on the most unusual height access challenges. To discuss the particulars of your next facility maintenance project and how Teupen can help you think beyond traditional solutions to achieve outstanding results, please get in touch with us today.