One of the oldest names in the UK scaffolding industry has demonstrated its expertise in working on historic buildings with a new project for the National Trust.
SGB, (which is part of Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services) has provided a full scaffold and temporary roofing solution for a £3.8m project to repair the roof of Dyrham Park house, a 17th- Century mansion house in South Gloucestershire. Located in 270-acres of parkland, Dyrham Park house was in need of significant repair work to its roof structure.
“As well as providing access to the roof for the repair teams, we were also asked to install a full temporary roof covering to protect the Main House and Orangery during the refurbishment,” says Chris Rogers, Northern Design Manager for SGB.
Colette Cuddihy, the National Trust’s project manager said: “This is a major project for us – the roof is 150-years-old and we’d expect the new one to last at least as long. So it really is a once in a lifetime chance for visitors to be allowed up onto scaffolding and to see the extent of the work needed to take apart such a large and complex roof and make it weather tight and secure for the future. We have used 500 tonnes of scaffolding to clad the house – it was specially designed to include the new walkway which circles the whole roof with two viewing platforms, giving a view both inwards over the roof and out from the scaffolding across the park and gardens of Dyrham Park. It is fully accessible with a lift as well as stairs.”
“Given the age of the building and its historic importance, we were able to design and construct a suitable solution which is completely independent of the Main House and Orangery. The whole structure is completely free-standing which removes the risk of any damage that might have been caused if we’d had to tie it into the building,” adds Chris.
The scaffold reaches 27m at the ridge and is constructed from Cuplok®, which is SGB’s multi-purpose steel scaffold system designed for general access, shoring and vertical load support applications. Being a modular system, and featuring a unique node point which allows up to four components to be connected in one fastening action, Cuplok® made it both quick and easy to assemble on this project. The scaffold is fixed to the ground using Mini Screw Piles which are anchored at depths of 2 – 10 metres to accommodate differences in the subsoil around the building.
The temporary roof covers an area of 47.5m long x 38.2m wide, and is constructed from nine roof modules. “This is also a modular system which again made it easy to assemble the sections on the ground and crane them into place,” adds Chris. “They combine to give a clear internal span of 33.4m, so there is plenty of room for the restoration crews to do their work while still being protected from the elements.”
“Unusually for a project to of this nature, the scaffold incorporates a public viewing walkway on each of its four sides.” The walkway is 15 meters high and gives the public the chance to see the conservation team at work on the roof,” Chris adds. “This is something which the National Trust has advertised as an extra ‘visitor experience’. Fortunately, Cuplok® is such a strong system that we were able to accommodate this request without any problem. We’ve also installed a passenger hoist so that wheelchair users will also have full access to the walkway. “This is quite a different project for us. Erecting the scaffold and roof structure while the park remained completely open to visitors was certainly a challenge, and we are not usually asked to make a scaffolding structure accessible to the general public. Fortunately we have undertaken many other similarly complex projects in the past, so we were happy to accept the challenge!”
SGB is part of Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services, was established through the merger of Harsco Infrastructure and Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services. The group currently has a turnover of $3bn (US), 22,000 employees, and branches in 30 different countries.