A project to refurbish a highly distinctive office building in Woking has underlined the versatility of the scaffolding services supplied by Harsco Infrastructure, who provided access to the entire building using its Cuplok scaffold system. This provided safe, effective access for the various trades who needed to work on the building’s exterior facades, giving wide, clear work decks free from obstructions and trip-hazards.
The building presented a number of challenges including a long, curved elevation adjacent to water and lightweight exterior walls that required the scaffolding to be self-supporting. “The Cuplok system was ideal for this project,” comments Harsco’s Site Services Manager, Sean Byles. “Despite the fact that the building has a sweeping curve to its main elevation, Cuplok allowed us to build a structure that followed the profile of the building precisely and provided excellent access.” The systemfeatures aunique node point which allows up to four horizontal components to be connected at any angle in one simple fastening action. This allowed the scaffolding to accommodate the curve and still be erected considerably faster than traditional scaffolding.
The building’s two end elevations also presented their own challenges, as Sean explains. “These facades have steel louvered screens which stand beyond the glazed wall. Although these are actually fixed in position, they were not robust enough to tie the scaffolding into. We therefore erected the scaffolding on both sides of the louvers and linked the structures together to create the required degree of stability and safety.”
In other areas where the scaffolding could not be tied to the building, the CUPLOK structures were braced by tower assemblies incorporating counter-weight kentledge to provide stability. The perimeter scaffold also incorporated a large access staircase, a mechanical hoist and rubbish removal towers.
The 6-storey building sits on the bank of a large lake – a factor which influenced the system design that Harsco created. “Fortunately the lakeside timber decking and its steelwork support structure had been recently replaced,” adds Sean. “This meant that we had a firm base on which to build, but space was still at a premium, and the presence of the water meant that safety was, as ever, a vital consideration.”
Safety is a key characteristic of Harsco’s Cuplok system, which features advanced guardrails and steel boards that provide maximum protection on site. This helps create fully integrated, systemised access solutions, and Harsco continues to add new components to the system to expand the versatility it offers.