In the heart of London’s Isle of Dogs, an imposing residential block named Galleon House stands tall. Behind its unimpressive dated facade lies a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in the construction industry.

Mercer Scaffolding, a trusted family-run business hailing from Kent, partnered with principal contractor Amber Construction to undertake an ambitious project—to provide workers with easy yet safe access for replacing its old cladding and ageing windows. At the core of this endeavour was utilising the renowned Layher Allround system, bringing enhanced safety, efficiency, and creative solutions to the forefront.

A Solid Foundation: Project Overview

Commencing on the 20th of March 2023, Mercer Scaffolding embarked on erecting a vast scaffolding structure encompassing the entirety of the 1960s Galleon House. The objective was to provide safe and efficient access for workers during the cladding and window replacement phase.

The project posed unique challenges as it involved a live building with extensive public interfaces. However, with their experience and expertise, Mercer Scaffolding rose to the occasion.

Overcoming Challenges with Ingenious Solutions

One of the notable challenges Mercer Scaffolding encountered was maintaining clear lifts while only being able to tie the scaffolding structure every 5.5 meters vertically. However, thanks to the versatility of the Layher Allround system, Mercer Scaffolding swiftly overcame this challenge.

Adam Reeve, Commercial Director at Mercer, said: “By meticulously utilising a multitude of Layher components, clear lifts were ensured throughout the scaffolding structure, ensuring unhindered access for all workers on site.”

The project also entailed the creation of large bridged areas over an access ramp and the estate’s office. Mercer Scaffolding employed the strength and reliability of 1.3m deep HD Beams that worked perfectly with the Layher system, bridging the gaps with unwavering stability.

In areas where traditional tie positions were not available, Mercer Scaffolding employed twin cross bracing on the scaffold ends. This innovative solution, made possible by the adaptability of the Layher system, ensured the structural integrity and stability of the scaffolding, surpassing the challenges posed by the project’s constraints.

A Cohesive Team: The Scaffolders Behind the Project

A project of this magnitude requires a dedicated and skilled team, and Mercer Scaffolding delivered just that. Throughout the scaffolding erection process, a team of 5 to 7 highly trained scaffolders worked diligently.

Their expertise and coordination were instrumental in the seamless execution of the project, ensuring quality and adherence to safety standards at every step. “We utilised our Hiab to lift straight onto the gantry to supply the job materials until a more permanent Hoist was installed,” Reeve added.

Layher Allround System: Unleashing the Benefits

The decision to employ the Layher Allround system proved to be a game-changer for Mercer Scaffolding and its Galleon House project. Here are some of the key benefits realised:

  1. Enhanced Safety: Safety is paramount in any construction project, and Layher’s renowned system prioritises it. The robustness and stability of the Layher components ensured a secure environment for workers and the public throughout the project, minimising the risk of accidents.
  1. Versatility and Efficiency: The wide range of Layher components afforded Mercer Scaffolding the flexibility to tailor the scaffolding structure precisely to the project’s unique requirements. This versatility translated into enhanced efficiency, saving valuable time and resources during installation and dismantling.
  1. Innovative Problem Solving: The Layher system’s ingenious design provided creative solutions to overcome project-specific challenges. Mercer Scaffolding harnessed the system’s adaptability, from maintaining clear lifts to creating bridged areas, showcasing its commitment to delivering innovative results.

Securing Success: Additional Measures

Mercer Scaffolding went the extra mile to ensure security and peace of mind for all involved in the Galleon House project. External security fencing was installed on level 1, while internal fencing adorned every balcony and walkway.

These measures effectively deterred unauthorised entry, safeguarding the residents and workers alike.


The Galleon House project stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit and unwavering dedication of Mercer Scaffolding and the project’s main contractor Amber Construction. Through their partnership and the strategic utilisation of Layher’s Allround system, the project achieved remarkable success.

The Layher system’s ability to enhance safety, provide versatility, and foster innovative problem-solving showcased its undeniable value in the scaffolding industry.

As Galleon House begins to shine brighter than ever with its revitalised exterior, the legacy of this project will continue to inspire future endeavours, leaving a lasting impact on the construction landscape. Mercer Scaffolding and Layher have truly crafted a foundation built on safety, efficiency, and groundbreaking solutions—a triumph for the industry as a whole.