Torre Latinoamericana Case Study (Infrastructure)

Case Study: Torre Latinoamericana


Installation Snapshot:

  • Torre Latinoamericana – safest building in Mexico City
  • Mounting height: 44 stories (181.33 meters)
  • Vigilant Dual Strobe red/white medium intensity beacon with 4 RTO side markers
  • Replaced xenon tube beacon and incandescent indicators
  • Eliminated $35,000(MXN) bulb changes 3x annually, saving over $X(MXN) a year
  • 5-year lifespan backed by full-performance warranty

Dialight LED Obstruction Lighting Protects Mexico City’s Safest Skyscraper

One of Mexico City’s most notable landmarks, the Torre Latinoamericana has been a fixture in the downtown skyline since 1956, where it held the record as the tallest building in the city until 1984. The world’s first major skyscraper built in a highly active seismic area, the 44-story building is also known worldwide as an engineering and architectural marvel.

Over its 60+ year history, the structure has safely withstood numerous earthquakes and tremors, including a magnitude 7.9 quake in 1957 that rattled the city just months after Torre Latinoamericana’s opening. In 1985, the tower withstood the massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake with no damage, while many other buildings nearby and across downtown Mexico City crumbled, earning Torre Latinoamericana a reputation as the city’s safest sky scraper.

Safety is #1 Priority from the Ground Up

Undeniably sound in its foundation, aerial safety is also a major consideration for the 600-foot tower. Both U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC) Mexican standards require obstruction lighting systems to indicate the tower’s presence to aircraft to ensure safety for those in the air and on the ground.

However, the tower’s old xenon tube beacon system with incandescent obstruction markers was starting to show its age. The tubes and bulbs required frequent replacement, as many as three times each year. Not only is maintenance work at this height a considerable safety issue for the work crews involved, it’s also extremely expensive, requiring specialized tower climbers to scale the structure and perform the task, at a cost of $35,000 (MXN) each time in parts and labor. Failure to keep the beacons in working order could subject Administradora Torre Latinoamericana SA de CV (ATL), the tower’s management company, to penalties from the DGAC Mexico.

Dialight LED Obstruction Delivers Safety, Cost Savings

Looking to extend the life of the obstruction system and eliminate the costly tower climbs, ATL began searching for a more modern and reliable alternative. In addition to reducing maintenance costs, the company also wanted a system that would be highly visible to aircraft without disturbing the tower’s neighbors with light trespass. 

After considerable research, ATL chose Dialight, the world leader in high-efficiency, long-life LED obstruction systems, based on the company’s experience and professionalism. With more than 15 years in the obstruction lighting business, Dialight’s innovation and expertise runs deep.

After conducting a study of the tower and surrounding areas, Dialight’s engineers ultimately recommended and supplied the Vigilant® Dual Strobe red/white medium intensity beacon system with 4 RTO side markers. Providing up to 5 years of continuous, maintenance-free operation, backed by Dialight’s full-performance warranty, the Vigilant system ensures dependable visibility for Torre Latinoamericana at a much lower cost for ATL, eliminating bulb changes, tower climbs and the risk of noncompliance penalties. In addition to it’s high-efficiency LEDs, which reduce energy consumption and cost, the Dialight system is also compact and lightweight, which makes for easier installation and reduced wind resistance.

Dialight’s patented precision optics design minimizes downlight and ground scatter, to eliminate light trespass and disturbance to the surrounding neighborhood, while ensuring adequate visibility to aircraft in the vicinity. Some models also feature Infrared (IR) integration, making them visible to pilots using night vision technology.

ATL Enjoys Priceless Peace of Mind

ATL has been very pleased with the system and the added safety that it’s brought to the Torre Latinoamericana, in addition to the substantial maintenance savings. By eliminating the costly bulb changes and tower climbs, ATL will save on the large fees from reduced annual maintenance expenses alone.

“The Dialight system has greatly reduced our maintenance expenses, and ensured the reliable protection for our tower and pilots in the vicinity,” said ATL’s VĂ­ctor Hugo AricĂ©aga Paredes. “Torre Latinoamericana is known as the safest building in Mexico City, and the Dialight LED system enhances that reputation while also helping us to meet our efficiency goals.”

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