Is This the Scaffolding of the Future? Hopefully!

Yesterday the city announced that it had selected that very cool looking scaffolding rendered above—which is called “Urban Umbrella”—as the winner of a competition for new sidewalk shed designs. So is this what we’re going to be seeing at construction sites around town going forward? According to NY1, the new design won’t be mandated but the costs for installing it are similar to those for the current scaffolding that’s used. A prototype is going to be installed at a site in Lower Manhattan. The city was looking for a design that would improve scaffolding aesthetics and let more light onto the sidewalk.
Winning Scaffold Design Provides Lift Above, Movement Below [NY1]

11 Comment

  • What an excellent idea. Scaffolding is a part of the urban landscape and while it protects pedestrians, it is dark, ugly, presents challenges for retail outlets…. This is beautiful. I hope that it is reasonably priced.

  • More light is great but my bigger issue with these sheds is with their semi-permanency. For example there’s been a shed outside Forte for at least a year with no visible sign of ongoing work that I can see.

  • “Installation” costs might be comparable but what incentive is there for the scaffold company to buy new materials?

    The sheds are semi-permanent because the biggest expense is set-up/tear-down…it’s a lot cheaper for the owner to keep it up as long as they might conceivably need it, compared to guessing wrong, taking it down early and then having to pay for it to go back up.

  • Nice pick. Hopefully we’ll see it here in Brooklyn.

  • more light-and more rain.

    RE: Forte- call 311 to complain. Every week if you need to. I did that with a scaffold on Dekalb whose permit had been expired. Of course, the builder then just renewed it for another year. But, I’ll be watching for when it expires again.

  • I guess it’s better than what we have now.

  • Nothing ever looks as good as the rendering, but considering these things often stay up for years, this is a welcome improvement.

  • This design was selected a year and a half ago. I guess they’re finally going ahead with building a prototype, thats the real story here.

  • Sheds are semi permanent because under LL11 you have to inspect your building with an engineer every 7 years; and the cost to repair facades is enormous. So every time an engineer finds an issue (which they do every time they look – hey why not) you have to go an install sheds (to protect the public) then you have to find the $, contractor and time to actually do the work (even more shed time).

    If I knew then what I know know – I would have immediately bought a shed co in 1998 when LL11 passed (I wonder if some of the pols did just that)

  • I think it is the opposite direction that I would have gone in. To make the sheds look better, they should be more minimal and less obtrusive. These strange parasols are very attention-grabbing and look more like an art installation. Not so sure I want to see these everywhere.

  • i think that the traggers will weep.