Access & Industrial Services

Project Management


Building Congress honors Safway for work on National Cathedral


Complex access solution keeps capital landmark open during quake repairs

WAUKESHA, Wis. May 6, 2015 — Safway Services has been awarded a 2015 Craftsmanship Award by the Washington Building Congress (WBC) for creative solutions to access challenges associated with repairs on the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Nominating Safway, Brent Burger, project manager for DAVIS Construction, said, “While the work Safway is doing is impressive (in light of the complex structure), even more remarkable is their ability to perform scaffold erection and dismantling activities, constantly surrounded by the sensitive, significant and sometimes brittle historic ‘fabric’ of the Washington National Cathedral, as well as continuously working in a manner that keeps the Cathedral open to its daily … activities.”

He added, “With these important elements in mind, Safway’s careful use of protection materials they put in place every night and remove every morning, has mitigated the potential for damage,” and noted that Safway was able to keep pace even when work went faster than planned.

Safway is the access provider for the multi-year project, aimed at repairing 2011 earthquake damage to the treasured national landmark. Safway received the Craftsmanship Award based on its use of creative solutions that allowed the cathedral to remain open for worship, tours and other daily activities throughout the two-year interior phase of the project. Safway provided access to all of the masonry on the interior phase of the soaring church, as well as to the exterior’s flying buttresses and other structures, where work continues.

Steve Quaerna, a sales representative at Safway’s Laurel, Md. branch, explained that his crew used a HAKI® Truss product, which allows hand assembly of long, strong trusses, to span as much as 45 feet across traditional scaffolding erected on the clerestory balconies, which are two-foot-wide ledges above the main areas of the cathedral – the nave, great choir, apse and north and south transepts. The trusses were used to create platforms for masonry repairs more than 80 feet above the floor, while pews and other public areas below remained in use. Rolling scaffolds were erected on the elevated platforms to provide access to all areas of the curved ceiling and stained glass windows.

About Safway Group
With more than 95 locations in the U.S. and Canada and a growing system of distributors worldwide, Safway Group companies deliver efficient, high-performance multiservice solutions – THE SMART WAY® – by collaborating, communicating and sharing resources. Offering experience and expertise in access, scaffolding, insulation, fireproofing, surface preparation and coatings, Safway Group companies include CL Coatings; Industrial Coatings & Fireproofing (ICF); Redi Solutions; Safway Atlantic; Safway Services; Safway Services Canada; S&E Bridge & Scaffold; and Swing Staging. With the largest engineering staff, an exclusive project management system, award-winning safety excellence and a full line of products and services, Safway Group companies design and implement innovative, quality solutions at the lowest installed cost for projects of any size and scope. Safway has been an industry leader since 1936. Safway Group companies serve the petrochemical, oil and gas, power, refining, marine, manufacturing, transportation and commercial construction industries worldwide. For more information about Safway Group’s services and capabilities, visit:

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