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Weather poses challenges for highrise construction

Farah Dhalla, reporter
March 28, 2012 — Whether it's frigid conditions in the winter or stifling heat in the summer, construction workers are always monitoring the weather to complete the job.

Working 300 feet up can bring about concerns with weather conditions
Working 300 feet up can bring about concerns with weather conditions

Some people find the weather an inconvenience when planning outdoor activities, but think of the challenges construction workers have to deal with in terms of adapting to certain conditions.

"People will see us with our heavy winter coats and our hats and mitts on and downstairs itíll be beautiful," says Sean McCaffrey, a senior site superintendent. "But once you're upstairs in the cold, itís quite a different climate up there. Itís cold and windy and quite a harsh environment to be working in."

McCaffery adds that winds are always a major concern for highrise construction, especially when you're elevated about 300 feet above ground.

"We have things like construction cranes that can only work up to 70 km/h in winds. We also have construction elevators that can work up to 60 km/h and in those cases, due to safety, weíll have to shut down the operations of those cranes."

The crew is still able to work within the building as long as everything is safe.

"We donít try and stop for any weather. We try and forecast and organize ourselves accordingly," says McCaffrey.

He†admits however, that there are some weather conditions that will force workers to put a temporary hold on construction plans.

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