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Synchronous Lifting System and Low-Height Skidding System Enable Relocation of Historic Beachfront Building in Florida

Synchronous Lifting System and Low-Height Skidding System Enable Relocation of Historic Beachfront Building in Florida

When the Seaway Villas was constructed in 1936 at 9149 Collins Avenue in Surfside, Fla., it was the city’s first apartment building. In 2014 the building was deemed historically significant. Three years later, the two-story building gained a prominent neighbor, the Four Seasons Hotel.

The two-story historic structure that once hosted 28 apartments will be transformed into two exclusive beachfront residences that are expected to list for $20 million. Each home will feature five bedrooms, six bathrooms and oceanfront views. However, before the massive renovation can begin, several actions were needed.

First, the roof and interior walls had to be removed, preserving the façade and exterior walls. This phase of the project began in the spring of 2022. Next, the structure had to be moved to the east to enable the construction of a below-grade parking garage and new foundation. Once completed, the building will be carefully moved to its final resting place.

Structural Builders and Restorations (S-BR) called upon Engineered Rigging to identify the best way to lift the building measuring approximately 90’ x 30’ off its foundation, move it 100 feet south and 9 feet east to the staging area, and then return it north to its final address. Having moved a 900-ton, 209-foot-long bridge spanan 873,500 pound generator, and a 150-ton locomotive, the Engineered Rigging team was well equipped to manage the building relocation.

The project proved to be the ideal situation to put Engineered Rigging’s newly acquired Enerpac Synchronous Lifting System (SLS) to work. Featuring a computer control system and powerful split flow pumps, the SLS’s uses sensors to precisely control the balancing and lifting of a heavy load to an accuracy of one millimeter. Ten lifting points, each powered by a 100-ton Enerpac HCL-lock nut hydraulic cylinder, were implemented to carefully lift the one-million-pound structure.

Once the building was lifted to a height of six inches, Engineered Rigging’s technician, Scotty Havard, directed the S-BR team on insertion of LH400 Low-Height Skidding Systems under the building. Ten skid shoe beams and 98 pieces of skid track were arranged to form a 150-foot runway on the east and west sides of the structure. The extended length of the runways saved a significant amount of time and labor costs by reducing the need to leapfrog the track to reach the destination. Using four push-pull units, the Seaway Villas was moved 100 feet over the course of three days in July 2022.

In addition to contributing technical support on the lift plan, Engineered Rigging provided a variety of equipment rentals for the project including three LH400 Low-Height Skidding Systems consisting of 3 split-flow pumps, eleven 100-ton lock nut hydraulic cylinders, six skid shoe beams, 98 pieces of skid track, six push pull units, and one on-site equipment technician. The quantities were a bit higher than needed to ensure spares were on hand.

Engineered Rigging looks forward to returning to the oceanfront job site to return the Seaside Villas building to its original location.

About Engineered Rigging

Engineered Rigging (ER) is a global innovator in heavy lifting. By leveraging decades of experience and a wealth of technical expertise, ER overcomes the most complex logistical challenges for a variety of industries. The company provides engineering services, design-build solutions and heavy lifting and specialized transport equipment rentals, sales, service and support. For more information, visit