Westin Peachtree Plaza to Replace All 6,350 Windows

August 28,2009

Westin Peachtree Plaza to Replace All 6,350 Windows, Renewing Entire Building Exterior

Atlanta’s skyline will no longer be a gap-toothed grin. Westin Peachtree Plaza leadership announced that the long-awaited replacement of windows in the tornado-damaged hotel is now underway. All 6,350 windows in the 73-story hotel will be replaced in approximately 15 months, with the goal of restoring the hotel as a focal point of Atlanta’s skyline. Hotel operations will continue normally throughout the replacement.

Damage to the Westin Peachtree Plaza occurred Friday, March 14, 2008 when a 130 mile-per-hour tornado ripped through part of downtown Atlanta and snaked across a six-mile long, 200-yard wide stretch of the city with the Westin in its path. Upon impact, the hotel swayed two feet in either direction, as it was designed to do. The storm initially disabled 320 of the hotel’s 1,068 rooms. Since that time, hotel operations have continued as normal.  Eighty-one rooms remain out of service.

Skanska USA Building will lead the replacement and will work with architect Arnold & Associates and Harmon Glass, both of Atlanta, to complete the project.

Over the past year and a half, the hotel leadership has worked with consultants, designers, the insurance provider and the City of Atlanta to find a solution that would address three main goals: restore the landmark design of the hotel; follow a construction process that is safe and ensures minimal inconvenience to hotel guests; and bring the building exterior up to today’s standards, returning the hotel to the icon status it has enjoyed for more than 30 years.

“The resulting window replacement plan is outstanding, not just for the Westin, but for Atlanta and its skyline,” said Ed Walls, General Manager of the Westin Peachtree Plaza. “We are looking forward to beginning the construction process and restoring this beautiful icon for the city.”

Sun Dial to Close Sept. 29, Reopens Late December

To expedite the window replacement, the Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View will close on September 29, 2009 and will re-open in late December, weather permitting. Westin guests can dine in The Café for breakfast, lunch and dinner while the Sun Dial is closed.

“Replacing all the glass in the Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View is like re-skinning a 3-story restaurant that is 70-stories up in the air,” said Skanska USA Building’s John Reyhan, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Georgia Division. “We will take every precaution over the next 15 months as our main focus throughout the process will be the safety of our team.” Skanska will install a weather station on the roof of the hotel to monitor the wind and weather constantly throughout the project.

Every window in the hotel is being replaced, making this the largest exterior renovation of any hotel in the Western hemisphere. More than 600 tons of glass from the existing windows will be recycled as part of the window replacement. Skanska will suspend 12 platforms around the entire perimeter of the 73-story hotel to conduct the top-to-bottom window replacement project.

Designed by John Portman in 1976, the Westin Peachtree Plaza is a 73-story tower, topped by the tri-level, revolving Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View. At 723 feet, The Westin Peachtree Plaza was Atlanta's tallest building until 1987, when it was surpassed by One Atlantic Center. Today, The Westin Peachtree Plaza is the fifth tallest building in Atlanta and remains the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere.

Skanska USA Building Inc. is a leading national and local provider of construction, pre-construction consulting, general contracting and design-build services to a broad range of U.S. industries including science and technology, healthcare, education, high-tech, aviation, transportation and sports and entertainment. Skanska USA Building also provides pharmaceutical validation services to clients. The company, part of the Skanska AB global group of companies, is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, and has approximately 4,700 employees.
Skanska is one of the world’s leading construction groups with expertise in construction, development of commercial and residential projects and public-private partnerships. The Group currently has 56,000 employees in selected home markets in Europe, in the U.S. and Latin America.

Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, Skanska’s sales in 2008 totaled $21.8 billion.