The potential for El Ni¤o weather conditions has driven the polyethylene shrink-wrapping of numerous structures, including the partially constructed Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif.
``The permanent skin is not complete, and we anticipate higher-than-normal rain,'' David Edwards, assistant project manager for general contractor Ray Wilson Co. of Pasadena, Calif., said in a telephone interview.
The periodic El Ni¤o warming phenomenon may increase the number and severity of Pacific Ocean storm fronts hitting the West Coast this winter.
Hipp Plastic Wrap of San Diego began attaching 12-mil PE sheeting Sept. 30. Armin Plastics' City of Industry, Calif., plant supplied about 110,000 square feet of PE for the job.
Construction of the federal building began in August 1995 and is scheduled to continue until mid-1998. Architects specified Italian marble for the exterior, but the material has not arrived yet. The 235-foot-tall building has 10 high-ceiling stories.
For Hipp Plastic Wrap, an El Ni¤o project is just another job. The company is shrink-wrapping two 380-foot-high towers for bridge sandblasting and painting on Bear Mountain in New York's Catskill region. The firm is also wrapping two 22-story buildings in San Francisco for asbestos and lead abatement.