- Description: St Clements Flats, Worcester;
- Client: Mears Group;
- Challenge: To provide access during recladding and reglazing of three occupied blocks of flats.
SGB (Formerly Harsco Infrastructure) has provided an outstanding scaffolding solution for the external cladding & re-glazing works of three high-rise towers in Worcester. Severn House, Cripplegate House and Henwick House in the city’s St John’s area provide sheltered accommodation for the elderly, and have undergone a wide range of improvements. SGB’s task was to create a scaffolding and access solution that would be sufficiently versatile for the refurbishment and pose minimal disruption for the vulnerable residents.
SGB’s tube and fitting scaffold has been used to completely enclose the buildings so that no tools or materials can be dropped onto the pedestrian access areas below. This has allowed a wide variety of work to be carried out in complete safety, including the insulation and over-cladding of the existing structure, replacement of windows, the creation of new communal facilities at roof level, along with numerous other improvements.
“SGB’s scaffold team on this site was the best I have ever worked with. I am impressed with the scaffolding solution SGB has provided. The standard of health and safety on site was excellent due to site operatives’ actions and proactive approach.”
Antony Hall, Site Manager Mears Group
Despite the fairly basic nature of the buildings themselves, SGB was also able to incorporate some unusual features into the scaffolding system. “These included the facility to hoist the heavy cladding and glazing units up onto the scaffolding at various levels” says SGB’s estimator Jamie Sherlock. “We also used Readylok transom units which provided all the necessary strength and rigidity to the scaffolding, but without the need for any diagonal braces which would impinge on the working space inside. This provides maximum room for people and materials to move around the scaffolding while the work is in progress.”
Despite many setbacks caused by the weather, the SGB team took just twelve weeks to install the scaffolding on each of the three blocks. “The weather certainly didn’t help us,” adds Jamie. “At various times during the installation we had up to six inches of snow and periods of very high winds. However health and safety is always our number one concern, especially when we are working on what are reputed to be the highest buildings in Worcester.”
A lack of space on site was another factor which SGB had to consider. This meant that the amount of equipment which could be stored was limited, and with only one gate for vehicles to enter or leave the site, SGB had to schedule all deliveries carefully so that the scaffolding materials required were always available.
“We also had to be careful not to restrict access to the individual buildings,” adds Jamie Sherlock. “This required us to construct special braced beam supports to carry the scaffolding above the entrance areas so that they were not blocked by any vertical standards which would affect people entering or leaving the buildings. We also provided protection fans to the perimeter of each block and protected walkways to the access points of each block for added public safety.’’