Proposals had already been made by an alternative company which were comprehensive but economically unviable. Highwire Ltd were contracted by Laing O’Rourke to produce alternate design proposals to allow for safe access whilst carrying out general maintenance at Manchester Town Hall and Central Library such as the window cleaning.
As Manchester Town Hall and the Central Library are both listed buildings and two of the most prestigious buildings in the city centre, Highwire Ltd had to produce a solution that was discrete, all encompassing and cost effective.
The task was difficult as we had to design a comprehensive safe access method within a much tighter budget. Our starting point was to investigate the use of cable and track systems as originally proposed. Cable systems for safe access and track systems for abseiling, however track systems have to be placed on the external face of the building, so this ruled them out. Cable systems could be installed discretely so Highwire Ltd decided to investigate the idea of a combinational system; abseiling and mansafe combined.
The combination had its problems, abseiling fixings have to withstand a greater loading capability than a mansafe system (you can’t abseil off the wire of a mansafe system but you can off the D rings, if fixed correctly). We needed to carry out a thorough structural investigation that could provide us with an insight into the original construction and allow us to find materials that could withstand these loads.
From the test fixings we were able to find the perfect material to withstand the forces. Our proposal of a combinational system could be utilised, allowing for a mansafe system to be installed for the carrying out of the gutter maintenance, window cleaning and general repairs.
We provided Laing O’Rourke with detailed drawings, fix details and proof all test loadings to ensure the customer had adequate information to allow them to make an informed decision.
Laing O’Rourke and Manchester City Council were completely satisfied with the provided proposals and we look forward to completing the project.
Laing O’Rourke was provided with a comprehensive and cost effective solution to their work at height problem. They meet with the Construction, Design and Management Regulations and their client fully complies with the Work at Height Regulations.
Highwire Ltd working in partnership to raise industry standards.