Buggyworks Building

The Project: Buggy Works

Working for: Nationwide Realty Investors


Project Requirements:

Consult, strategize, solve.

Built in 1902, the Buggy Works building is a recently renovated, 4-story, timber-framed structure.  In this historic warehouse, 100 buggies a day were built and sold in every state in the U.S.

Keeping the integrity of this structure meant dealing with over 100 years of dirt and debris lodged in every corner, particularly the beautiful old ceiling beams.

The Problem:

As new tenants began to occupy this 108,000 square foot space, they were met by dust and debris on their desks every morning.  We were called in because of our ability to come up with creative solutions for an out of the box problem.

One of the NRI project managers familiar with our work introduced us to the property manager at Buggy Works.  We were given the green light to research the unoccupied 3rd floor and perform various tests in order to solve the problem. The team found the newly exposed wood beams were expanding and contracting due to changes in humidity and increased foot traffic from the floor above.  This caused the continual release of debris on high-end furniture and workspaces throughout the building.

The Strategy:

Field testing information along with photos and video were brought to the table for NRI to review.  The problem was identified.

See the story

The strategy involved a few different components.


  1. Drawings were necessary to label every area of the building. A planned approach with bench marks was created along with a budget to complete the work.

  2. Communication was critical.  Everyone from NRI to the individual tenants in each space needed to be made aware of what we were doing and the timing to alleviate interference with their day to day operations.  

  3. Because the building was occupied, there were many restrictions.  Consultation with vendors was necessary to get the right equipment for the job.  

Simply stated, we had to find a way to remove decades of dirt from the ceiling beams throughout the entire building.  All this needed to be done without disruption of the businesses occupying the space.

The Solution: There was no prior roadmap to follow for this project. Several methods were tested individually with mixed results.

  1. Impact hammers

  2. Suction with vacuums

  3. Compressed air

Our research discovered that in combination, the three proved to be the winning formula.  The impact hammer and vacuum in combination with compressed air to blow out the seams proved to be an effective solution.  

Skill set:

This project required problem solving, critical, outside the box thinking, planning, and forward communication. A successful outcome was dependent on partnering with NRI, the tenants and our vendors.   



The testing was conducted in an unoccupied space. The results of the testing were extremely effective, but the removed particulates got all over everything. The challenge was to come into a building nightly, contain the debris within confined parameters, so there was no impact on the tenant in the morning.