The man is climbing up the side of the Koppers Building with ropes.

Koppers Building Rope Access Façade Assessment

Elevated analysis uncovers issues

Project Facts

Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Rope climbing techniques were utilized to conduct a comprehensive façade assessment of the historic Koppers Building in Pittsburgh. During the evaluation, the team identified various issues and subsequently generated a prioritized report outlining recommended repairs.

Looking down at the Koppers Building, you can see their big green sign.

From the top of the Koppers Building, you can see a view of the city and the damage to the limestone.

Cracks had formed in the terra cotta of the Koppers Building.

One can see a person on the side of the Koppers Building using ropes to repel down.

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About the project

We performed a façade assessment for the Koppers Building (known as Koppers Tower), a historic landmark and one of the city’s most recognizable buildings. Constructed in the late 1920s, the building is the best example of Art Deco construction and ornamentation in Pittsburgh. The exterior is mainly limestone and terra cotta ornamentation, with the exception of the first four floors, which are primarily granite cladding. Our assessment, performed via rope access, identified exterior façade items needing repair.

Signs of distress were noted at different façade system components, on multiple levels, and at all elevations of the Koppers Building. The façade distress included deterioration of the limestone and granite façades, mortar joints, terra cotta ornamentation, through-wall flashing membrane, and window seal components. A section of limestone coping was also observed to be displaced by several inches on the 29th-floor parapet wall at the northeast corner.

We recommended a comprehensive façade assessment to address areas not directly observed during this limited assessment and the development and implementation of a phased repair program. The displaced limestone coping on the 29th floor was recommended to be reset and resecured immediately.