Art Gallery Metal Ladder HVAC Access

HVAC Access Stair Install complies with noise and fire restrictions at DC’s National Gallery of Art

SafeRack Complies with Strict Noise & Fire Restrictions While Protecting Valuable Art in PerfectaStep Safety Installation at DC’s National Gallery of Art

Darrell Garrett has been the Service Mechanical Project Superintendent at the National Gallery of Art in our nation’s capital for 16 years. As of today, he and his crew will no longer have to scale 20-foot extension ladders to access the HVAC system in the attic of the historic building. “Performing routine maintenance on the heating and cooling system was risky business for my mechanics,” explains Garrett. “The dampers and motor actuators are located in air handlers in the attic. The ceilings are incredibly high and reaching them was challenging. As soon as we found Patrick from SafeRack, we knew we were set.”

Before – Accessing the HVAC system was difficult in a confined area and required a 20′ ladder

The National Gallery of Art was privately established in 1937 by a joint resolution between Andrew W. Mellon (US Treasury Secretary from 1921-1932) and Congress. Free and open to the public, the Gallery consists of the older West Building and the more modern East Building which are connected by an underground concourse and surrounded by extensive indoor and outdoor botanical and sculpture gardens. Located on the National Mall, the Gallery is one of the largest art museums in North America. When Garrett contacted SafeRack’s Regional Area Manager Patrick Barefoot, he knew SafeRack had the answer. “Our products are the perfect fit for safety challenges in buildings such as the National Gallery of Art,” says Barefoot. “PerfectaStep components are customized to suit virtually any space. That’s the beauty of it. We modify our equipment to the specific needs of the customer.”

In order to comply with the National Gallery of Art’s strict noise and fire hazard restrictions, and to protect all of the art on display, equipment had to be loaded in by hand and installed without any hot work (welding) on-site. “This certainly wasn’t our typical client,” says Barefoot, “but the successful outcome proves that our products adapt to a diverse set of needs.”

Because commercial buildings require special customizations to improve safety without disruption to business as usual, SafeRack has created a wide variety of products that meet the demand. From engineering and design to installation, training, and implementation, SafeRack’s team of experts and turn-key solutions make it faster, easier, and cost-effective to improve safety across industries.

After – ErectaStep custom tower as installed while complying with the gallery restrictions, required no welding or fabrication and bolted together

“Working with SafeRack was wonderful. They knew the project presented huge challenges, but Patrick and his team never hesitated,” says Garrett. “They installed the platform and solved the problem. Because of their expertise and exceptional service, it relieved enormous pressure and allowed me to focus on other projects. They met the deadline and finished on time.”

At SafeRack we’ve been designing solutions that ensure worker and environmental safety since 2003. Now known as the leader in designing, building, and installing loading terminals and safety solutions to industry leaders worldwide, we can confidently add national art museums to our list of satisfied customers. For more information about how SafeRack is changing the world of truck and railcar loading platforms, as well as OSHA compliant modular platform systems for aviation, aerospace, marine, and other markets, visit