SES designed complex scaffolding for the prestigious ‘Platform 21’ building, a grade A office block refurbishment project that included a complete re-cladding of the external facade to create a striking contemporary exterior.
‘Platform 21’ is located opposite Birmingham’s New Street Station and the iconic Grand Central shopping centre. Managed by principal contractor Wates Construction, it was a complex refurbishment project that required a highly engineered scaffolding solution. The shape of the new facade has been described as teeth on a saw blade, which called for a bespoke and intricate scaffolding design.
Safety first in a busy city environment
Because of its busy city-centre location, the scaffolding system was designed to allow the shops and restaurants below to remain open during erection. There is also a nightclub nearby and the entry queue tended to run alongside the scaffolding. Safety is always the number one priority for everyone in the vicinity, including site operatives, tenants in adjacent buildings and pedestrians below.
Above ground, the adjacent building has a glazed atrium roof. With scaffolders working with tubes and fittings, spanners and other tethered tools, SES erected a specially designed gallows bracket, complete with a cantilevered protection fan, to eliminate the risk of any falling tools smashing into the glass roof below. At ground level, a new operational tram line created additional installation hurdles, as the Midlands Metro live cables ran close to the scaffolding structure.
While this was never a standard scaffolding job, SES demonstrated its responsiveness when the pavement on which the scaffolding was erected collapsed due to flooding from a burst high pressure water pipe. This was an emergency situation that SES dealt with urgently, arriving on-site within an hour of being contacted. Six scaffolding operatives worked during the day and another six operatives worked through the night, running beams across the full 45m length of the scaffolding. Thanks to the quick response from the SES team, the scaffolding was considered safe the following day.