Dow Brewery Renovation: MakeABridge Fire Escape Installation

June 02, 2015

The historic renovation of the Dow Brewery in Montreal, Canada, is the site of the first installation of the patented MakeABridge system as the primary fire escape walkway exiting the building’s fourth floor penthouse level.


The architect firm of Lemay Associates, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, sought to preserve the building’s historic period detail and old-world character while adding new modern elements in the renovation that blend period and modern aesthetics together.

The MakeABridgeTM modular walkway system is designed using eco-friendly extruded aluminum for structural strength and durability. The three-module MakeABridge walkway fire escape is graded at a nine-degree angle, and measures 18 feet (5.49 meters) long. The main load-bearing structure of the MAB weighs 480 pounds (7 pounds per square foot). Colorful integrated RGB Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lighting is built into the walkway’s top chords and ramp, providing users with a safely lit path at night.

The MakeABridge fire escape is located on the Dow Brewery’s roof, forming a bridge between the brewery’s penthouse and the adjacent building’s roof. Its lightweight, modular configuration was assembled in place, with no heavy lifting or specialized equipment required for assembly and installation. With the MAB installation, the Dow Brewery’s penthouse level conforms to the Canadian national building code requiring two exits in case of fire.

The Dow Brewery’s contractor, Les Enterprises QMD Inc., considers MakeABridge to be the most economical way to transport, assemble and install the fire escape walkway, and the best sustainable material option of aluminum. The safe and secure walkway brings practical functionality to the historic renovation project, while creating a pleasing aesthetic using recyclable, high-strength aluminum alloy. Penthouse tenants are able to cross to the neighboring building roof terrace, and MakeABridge also provides maintenance access for the brewery’s rooftop air conditioning system.

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