Beautiful construction scaffolding: Will you pay 58 percent more?

urban envelope nyc

Will beautiful construction scaffolding become a feature of major New York City construction projects? If Urban Envelope has its way, the concept to change the utilitarian (and generally ugly) construction resource into works of art will catch on. The only (and important) catch: It costs more.

The company, which won a 2010 NYC design competition, will introduce its first application in the city at 20 West 22nd St., a 16-story office building in the Flatiron District owned by ABS Partners.

Google street view of 20 W 22 St. before renovation begins: With ground floor retail for lease, this is the ideal environment for an owner to pay the Urban Envelope scaffolding premium cost.

The system, first implemented in Toronto, Canada, is made of recycled steel and translucent plastic and is designed to make walkways more clear and facades less unsightly while work is done.

The scaffold can be fitted with LED lights that change color, to make the structure even more aesthetically pleasing.

The catch: Bisnow reports “the setup is 58% more expensive than the standard scaffold,” a pricy detail not published on the company’s website.

Urban Umbrella is a premium luxury you’ll consider a must have. Now you’ve seen what it can do, you’re one step closer to experiencing it at your building.

Pricing for the Urban Umbrella is dependent on how long, how high, how wide, and for how long you wish to have the Umbrella installed at your building. We also work closely with installers looking to use the Umbrella at one of their projects.

Urban Umbrella suggests that conventional scaffolding reduces business — and rent — for ground floor retailers, and the additional tenant satisfaction and rent will more than offset its cost; suggesting that the concept would have relevance and value in high-cost districts (such as midtown Manhattan.)

“Scaffolding has been a blight on NYC streets, and this product is ideal to solve the complications inherent with the need to maintain safe areas adjacent to construction sites, particularly those where construction will endure for an extended period of time, and simultaneously take into account the consideration of the people using the areas in and around these sites,” ABS president and co-managing partner Gregg Schenker said in a release.


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