‘Cocoon’ allows a 24-hour work day on ESB antenna installation

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Empire State Realty Trust has announced another innovation at the Empire State Building (ESB) where a new project is underway to install a new auxiliary Master FM Radio antenna on its famed tower. An innovative, protective construction cocoon at the base of ESB’s antenna tower has avoided impact on day-to-day operations of the building.
The cocoon extends the once limited work window from 5 hours per day (due to Observatory hours) to 24 hours per day, even during inclement weather, and also allows a greatly reduced sidewalk scaffolding.

The project itself will result in an end to disruption to broadcast operations.  Previously, work on the tower could require a shutdown of certain broadcast operations. The new antenna installation includes a radio-frequency-shielded climbing aperture which allows television antenna work on ESB’s tower to be performed without impacting existing radio signals.

As the largest known construction enclosure ever assembled atop an occupied skyscraper, this success of this innovative cocoon strategy has the potential to change the construction processes of other existing and functioning skyscrapers around the world.

The tower restoration project, led by JLL and Skanska, is slated to be completed in 2017. In addition to the installation of the antenna, a new FM auxiliary combiner – the largest known FM combiner in the world – will be installed on the tower, which will enable the radio frequencies of all 19 stations to be transmitted from the newly installed Master FM Radio antenna.

“As the World’s Most Famous Building, the Empire State Building constantly innovates, and this new construction protection process in our tower restoration project is just another example,” says Thomas P. Durels, Executive Vice President and Director of Leasing and Operations, Empire State Realty Trust. “The Empire State Building, fortunately, attracts the best and the brightest to our work, and the world benefits.”

Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan (from base to antenna), the Empire State Building, owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., is the “World’s Most Famous Building.” With new investments in energy efficiency, infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market.