22 Bishopsgate

Scaffolding a skyscraper

Helping create part of the evolving skyline of London

Rising to 912ft it is the second tallest building in the UK. Principal contractor Multiplex enlisted the help of GKR to supply a full scaffolding package over the 3 years construction.

Supplying scaffold throughout the build presented inevitable challenges, the biggest of which was managing the risk of working at extreme height. The completed building will house London’s biggest bike park, a market, a gym, restaurants, bars, viewing gallery and event space.

It has become known as the vertical village!

Protecting the neighbouring buildings

Working from demolition phase required us to provide added protection consideration to the neighbouring buildings, including The Great St Helens Hotel.

We built a ground level gantry to the hotel which allowed mastclimbers to provide full access to the building façade to install cladding. Tammet protection nets were also used for added protection.

This protection ensured the building’s interface remained undamaged and pedestrians were safe throughout the duration of the construction of 22 Bishopsgate.

Adaptable access for skyscraper construction

Working from below ground level, right up to the 62nd floor, GKR created access solutions throughout the duration of the construction, progressing with height of the building.

Access towers were installed in the basement of the building. This allowed for access to pipework and false ceilings in the boiler rooms. Then, as the building rose, a climbing cantilevered HAKI staircase allowed access to the main core for shuttering works. As the building progressed, the crane also had to climb relative to the new height. Sealed access platforms were put in place around the choking frame of the crane with crash decks making it accessible and safe to repair if a fault occurred.

At the very top of the building, we supplied a birdcage scaffold to access the top steel ring beam structure. This allowed operatives to access the roof steels and for façade brackets to be welded on levels 61 and 62.
An additional birdcage was put in place from level 60 to 62. The cladding works at the top section of the building and on the roof could then be complete.

22 Bishopsgate has the fastest SkyRise double-deck elevator. We provided cantilevered access to the lift shafts and heavy-duty crash decks, which created access for OTIS to install the new lifts and complete this mega project.

Safely building the highest scaffolding in Europe

With an estimated 700 pedestrians passing the site every hour, it was critical to keep the public and local environment safe from falling objects. Throughout the work, we provided a hanging perimeter gantry to ensure this protection was provided.

However, the scaffolds at the highest point were the highest in Europe at that time.

Erecting scaffold exposed to the elements at 62 floors high, above one of the busiest areas in the City of London, required us to use our well-established working at height processes to ensure that nothing was dropped from extreme height. We used our 100% tethering processes with the GKR Elimin8 tethering system to eliminate the risk of materials falling from height. Every tube, tool and fitting were tethered which ensured there were zero incidents during our work.

Operatives were given Working Around Perimeter Edge training, and took part in detailed briefings before works at the perimeter edge took place, as well as using inertia fall arrest systems. The scaffold on the top floors was connected with tie bars and tubes drilled through the floor slab, this ensured that the scaffold would withstand turbulent weather and winds 4 times stronger than the ground.

Specialist experience for a specialist outcome

Experience of working at extreme height meant that access solutions could be created to enable all other trades to work productively and safely. Scaffold was erected in these high-risk environments to a high standard of competence and safety.

All with the adaptable approach required for the evolving needs of constructing such a unique building.



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