Colorado State Capitol Building

Colorado State Capitol Building Exterior Renovation Scaffolding

Constructed during the early 1890s and opened in 1894, the Colorado State Capitol in Denver features a distinctive gold dome that commemorates the state’s gold rush. Constructed of cast iron and copper cladding, the dome was gilded with 200 ounces of 24-karat gold donated by miners in 1908.
Weather – chiefly the state’s intense freeze-thaw cycle – damaged the iron columns, railings and facades of the dome. The observation deck had been closed to all visitors due to the danger of falling cast iron. The structural metal fasteners holding the enclosure together were cited by experts as a significant hazard to the building and its occupants.

Challenge
Provide work access to the dome’s exterior surfaces as part of an estimated $17 million renovation that
includes lead abatement, structural repairs, gilding, window replacement, and repainting.

Solution
Brock erected a scaffold system that rests directly on the capitol’s roof. An intricate web of aluminum beams, some cantilevered from the inner core, transferred the load of nearly 783,500 pounds of scaffold material to specific rooftop locations, as mandated by third-party engineers. By enclosing the scaffold structure with shrink wrap, we provided an all-seasons worksite.
Because there are no dimensional drawings of the capitol building, we relied on a linen cloth building layout from the late 1800s to design the scaffold system, which was field engineered as it was erected.

Results
Despite roof loading, weather and elevation challenges, the scaffold was safely erected to full
height – 146 feet from the roof to the top of the dome – without a safety incident or damage to the dome structure.