Michael C. Radigan leads the new Western Façades team formed by Western Construction Group, a national building restoration and preservation company founded in 1915.
The newly formed team is dedicated to large-scale, complex façade restoration and re-cladding projects and rain-screen installations.
Previously, Mike was responsible for managing the company’s North East Operations, including the New York, Boston, Washington, D.C and Philadelphia branches.
He worked his way from field mechanic through the ranks of foreman, superintendent and branch manager prior to his appointment as senior operations manager of this elite new unit.
He has been involved in the façade restoration and repairs for such high profile projects as George Washington University’s Thurston Hall in Washington, DC; the MIT Building 18 restoration in Cambridge, MA; and Worldwide Plaza, 11 Waverly Place and the Guardian Life Building in Manhattan.
Mike’s diverse knowledge and experience offer him the ability to collaborate effectively with all parties in construction projects of this size, managing budgets, manpower, materials, and equipment necessary to complete construction projects on time and within budget.
The Western Façades team was established in response to the growing number of large scale projects the firm has been retained for over the past several years, including The GM Building and 215 East 68th Street in New York.
Western Façades is the first restoration group dedicated exclusively to these complex assignments.
In New York City, façade restoration and repair projects can be particularly challenging, with confined work sites and the co-ordination of hundreds of workers coupled with creating the least possible disruption to building occupants.
“Large and complex projects like these require unique skill sets. Through the entire process, the goal is to raise the professional bar to make the project painless for building occupants and extremely successful for ownership,” said Radigan.
“These large and complex projects are precisely the type of jobs for which the Western Façades team was created.”
Building facades provide structures with their architectural character, while protecting the interiors and users from the elements.
Today, the facades of hundreds of New York City’s aging commercial and residential buildings have outlived their useful life, presenting owners with important decisions to make on the repair, restoration or replacement of their properties’ exteriors.
Depending on construction, exterior wall components have varying expected longevity. Due to potential material product failures, installation defects and flawed design practices of the time of construction, many building façades require renovations sooner than expected.
And when exterior wall components are not properly maintained, the repair cost can increase exponentially.
Routine maintenance can significantly help extend the life of a façade. But, if executed incorrectly, the very same routine maintenance work may create the unintended consequence of concealing conditions that are prone to spread or, in many cases, actually exacerbate the problem.
The need for façade restoration is not just an aesthetic issue — it is also a matter of safety.
The loss of support or weakening of anchoring systems can result in falling debris, a hazard to property and pedestrians.
Although it’s easy to blame “old age” for façade instability, the reality is that age alone is rarely the cause of façade problems.
“Many of the projects we work on involve buildings that were built of a certain construction in the early 1960s and are approaching the end of their lifecycle,” said Radigan.
“Building owners need to consider the value of enhancing the entire property from both an aesthetic as well as a functionality standpoint.
“For example, many older buildings did not take into consideration critical energy-saving designs, such as air barriers or waterproofing. An entire façade renovation will help address these issues.”
Today’s building owners can sometimes find themselves spending just as much, if not more to maintain many of these older building façades.
A façade renovation will actually help with cost savings in both the short and long term. Now is a good time for qualified building owners to take advantage of the favorable rates banks are offering to finance these renovation projects.
“Before starting any façade restoration project, it first comes down to choosing the right partners,” said Radigan. “It’s important for building owners to work with a contractor that has strong expertise in the area of façade restoration and replacement work on occupied buildings.
“Similarly, building owners must select the right manufacturer for providing the materials used — you want a vendor who stands behind what they say, delivers quality materials and sticks to their promised delivery schedule.”