Buildings usually require external refurbishment at one point or another and, in order to allow this to happen, expert scaffolding contractors are often called in at the start of the project to provide the access needed.
The Costume Store, in North Acton, West London, provides living accommodation for University of the Arts London (UAL) students, especially those studying at the College of Fashion. It is located on an iconic site which once housed the BBC’s very own costume collection.
In 2022, Alltask erected scaffolding access for our client EQUANS which would allow for work to complete a phased brick and clad façade demolition and replacement.
Henry Challis, Alltask’s Scaffolding Designer, had various challenges to overcome during the project. These included bridging lower level lightweight roof and entrance canopies and the provision of widened and extended return bays. Full perimeter independent access scaffolding was required to carry out the significant external maintenance works needed to replace the facade.
Due to the restrictive and logistical challenges of the site, which had limited goods hoist locations, transportation of the majority of the materials required proved challenging and extremely labour intensive, particularly with regard to the fire board and cladding materials, which came in lengths of in excess of 2.40m.
To mitigate this and reduce excessive onsite manual handling operations, the team found a way to transport the materials via trolleys which could navigate corners of the building structure. (As a result, it was important that the scaffolding provided adequate platform turning width).
The provision of additional width platforms to enable material distribution was a challenge, in addition to the complications of working with live accommodation blocks where students remained in residency for the full duration of work.
The introduction and use of Vertemax Mini Catch Net Fans was paramount to ensure we could demonstrate and deliver a safe system of work. And, despite it causing a few delays, our team was able to comply with the noise restrictions which were in place for the comfort of the students, that only allowed us to work between the hours of 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday.
There was also limited set down and material storage, which resulted in scaffold erection works having to be delivered out of two very small compounds situated at the East & West elevations.
In what was an extremely challenging project, the eventual completion of our phase 1 works, was extremely satisfying to see, as was the positive interaction between our Scaffolders, who stuck to the task in hand to complete the works to a very high standard, despite all of the complexities they faced.
Justin Moore, Alltask’s Operations Manager at our Luton depot, said: “Considering this project, which was originally secured by EA, commenced in what can be considered a significant period of transition for us, following the Alltask acquisition, it soon became apparent and reassuringly clear that we had the necessary support, material and labour resources available enabling us to confidently achieve our objectives.
“The team was extremely proud of Alltask’s ability to design solutions which overcame the various issues we encountered and our ability to safely complete our works to a very high standard in what was an extremely logistically challenging environment.”