The development of 3D modelling and the technical capabilities of lightweight glass structures, are allowing architects to achieve their futuristic dreams in relation to the design of contemporary glass structures.
The changes to the geometry of these buildings has, in many cases, rendered the traditional building maintenance units unsuitable for accessing all areas. This has led to the development of lighter weight and less obtrusive monorail systems that can be used, not only in conjunction with removable suspended access equipment, but also for rope access methods, giving full access to all of the buildings facades, no matter what shape and size.
Full height glazed light wells now appear in the centre of many buildings to allow natural light to permeate the inner part of the building, creating access requirements to areas where there is no option of using mechanical elevated platforms. Again, no single type of system is available that can address all of these issues, but by using a combination of lightweight platforms, abseil systems, travelling gantries and ladders, all areas can be safely maintained.
On top of these developments, the changes made to the CDM regulations in 2007 have broadened the maintenance requirements to cover far more than cleaning. Access strategies for facades have to look at all aspects from initial construction, general cleaning and maintenance, through to more major works such as replacement of glazing or cladding panels.
Eurosafe Solutions takes all of these requirements on board and designs systems to suit the building. From simple abseil access anchor points, horizontal and vertical monorail system for window cleaning, and travelling ladders and gantries for glazed atria; to complex bespoke engineered systems capable of mechanically removing and replacing large glass and cladding panels, weighing in excess of 500kg, to areas of buildings where it is not possible to lift these items with traditional craneage.