De-Coupling Cladding Installation From Other High-Rise Building Trades: A Case Study

Iris D. Tommelein1 & Greg Beeche2

1Professor, Constr. Engrg. and Mgmt. Program, Dept. of Civil and Envir. Engrg., 215-A McLaughlin Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, 510/643-8678, FAX: 510/643-8919, [email protected],
2Director of Market Development, Beeche Systems Corp., Scotia-Glenville Industrial Park Building 202, Scotia, NY 12302, 518/381-6000, FAX: 518/381-4613, [email protected],


This paper presents a system to handle and install exterior cladding on high-rise buildings. The system is innovative in that the cladding panels are installed from the building’s exterior without the use of a tower crane or man lift, and without on-floor staging. Accordingly, all work pertaining to the panels effectively is de-coupled from most other construction work going on concurrently on site. This results in flexibility and work that can progress at a fast, continuous pace, thereby also allowing for project schedule acceleration. The paper includes illustrations of the use of this innovative cladding installation system in the process of constructing the 70-story Trump World Tower in New York City. The system was developed recognizing that tight handoffs between trades may lead to detrimental performance. De-coupling of interacting trades is one step towards implementing a lean construction system.


Parade of trades, interacting sub-cycles, de-coupling, exterior cladding installation, curtain wall construction, high-rise building construction, Trump World Tower, lean construction.



Tommelein, I. D. & Beeche, G. 2001. De-Coupling Cladding Installation From Other High-Rise Building Trades: A Case Study, 9th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , -.

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