The Hepworth Wakefield
The Hepworth - Museum of the Year 2017 (Art Fund)
The Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield was opened in 2011 and designed by architect David Chipperfield. The structure is composed of ten blocks, each with a pitched roof, and clad with self-compacting pigmented concrete over insulation – a very unusual construction technique and the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. In 2012, The Hepworth was named ‘Regional Building of the Year’ by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) and won Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017.
The Hepworth Gallery required access to their low pitched roofs to facilitate safe working at height when carrying out external glazing cleaning and general maintenance. The concrete design of the building resulted in a thin roof construction, so The Gallery needed to ensure that any systems installed were fit-for-purpose, fully tested and compatible. With such a prestigious and architecturally prominent building, it was imperative that the chosen system also suited the design of the building.
A full site survey was undertaken by Eurosafe Solutions Ltd, and a bespoke system of 30 ManSafe® posts (approximately 240 m in length)—finished with traditional ManSafe components—was specified and installed. Due to the revolutionary thin roof construction, the end loads for the system needed to be severely restricted.
In order to increase the amount of energy absorbed within the system, and therefore reduce the load back to the roof (should a fall occur), Eurosafe made use of a Latchways Super12 Shock Absorber per system— reducing any load down to a maximum 15 kN.
Due to the design of the building, there were many different levels and sections of the roof to access. Eurosafe Solutions installed a range of ladders to ensure that all areas were safely and easily accessible.
The end result was an aesthetically pleasing fall protection system that could be used by 2 individuals at a time to provide a complete fall protection solution—minimising the Work at Height risk and enabling a controlled means of access to the roof.