With the spire now installed on Tower One of the World Trade Center (WTC), construction progress is nearing completion. The spire brings the tower to its full height, 1,776 feet, and makes the structure the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Portland, Ore.-based Benson Industries currently is installing the glazing on the upper portion of the tower. According to Jeff Heymann of Benson’s New York offices, the company’s scope began at level 200 and goes all the way to the top. The curtainwall was custom fabricated by Benson and incorporates glazing supplied by Viracon.


Due to the sensitive nature of the project, Heymann says there are few specifics he can provide in regards to the glazing, but says the job incorporates a variety of designs for various wind load/blast requirements, etc.

He says like all of the projects in which Benson is involved, WTC tower 1 incorporates unique, custom fabrication.

“Rarely do we ever re-use dies,” he says of the curtainwall. “They are bespoke for every project we do.”

As part of the installation, Benson is working with a hoist from Beta Max Hoist based in Palm Bay, Fla. According to Ken Barrett, national sales manager with Beta Max Hoist, the team is currently working on the last ten floors of the tower.

“There is a hoist on each side of building and they all run on an ibeam. Installers are lifting the panels, bringing them up and then attaching them to another hoist for the install,” he says, explaining the hoists can lift the panels from one end and bring them up 40-80 feet per minute. “It has a very slow start and stop so it can place large, delicate materials, such as glass,” says Barrett.

He says his company has worked closely with Benson throughout the process.

“[The hoists] allow you to move product efficiently and it’s less expense because you don’t need to hire certified [installers] to operate the hoist/machine, which can get costly. With ours you can run it yourself as it’s easy to operate,” he says.

Barrett adds, “It’s exciting that [our hoist] is on the Freedom Tower, the most historical building going on right now.”

As for the glazing installation, Heymann expects this portion of the project to be completed later this summer.

Stay tuned to USGNN/USGlass magazine for more updates on WTC construction.