Case Studies

Tribune Publishing Company: Multi-floor Demolition

At the pinnacle of the Prudential Plaza building is Tribune’s 41st floor Executive Suite, converted from what was once Chicago’s tallest observation deck that sat vacant for 15 years.

 

Challenge

The demolition of the 40th and 41st floors of the Prudential Plaza was particularly complex, necessitating the removal of two escalators; a +1’ precast concrete floor deck; and a +2’ structural floor deck, requiring significant collaboration with the architect and structural engineer. Additional challenges included bringing the multi-height floor slab back to zero; and the safe and effective removal of the enormous amount of waste and debris without the use of a freight elevator.

 

Executive Action

All mechanical systems originally located on the mezzanine floor (40B) were temporarily supported through a “catch deck” that was constructed to support demolition and the new structural infill on the 41st floor. Significant structural and MEP coordination was required for these upgrades. All work was performed in two shifts, five days a week—mass demolition at night, with new and reworked MEP install performed during the day shifts. The large demolition component culminated with over 200 tons of concrete removed by use of a small passenger elevator dedicated for waste transfer to street level.

 

Results

Through the evaluation of existing conditions and site logistic constraints, and the effective management of increased manpower needs to meet schedule milestones, Executive Construction expertly collaborated with the design, MEP, and structural teams to meet the goals of the Tribune Publishing Company for their corporate workspace. Among the impressive architectural features, the Executive Suite boasts a raised floor that is pressurized for optimal heating and cooling; and an exposed ceiling in the boardroom over large, round conference table the highlights the original structure of this historic building.