Remodelling 16 Old Bailey

Adaptive solutions created to respond to challenges presented by the building structure and environment.

The remodelling of 16 Old Bailey redeveloped the building into 156,000 square feet of commercial space with views of the Old Bailey High Court and St Pauls Cathedral.

This building is a unique blend of two interconnecting elements: the 19th Century Grade II listed front section, Britannia House, and the 1970s office building.

Both sections were in need of significant renovation as well as the creation of an additional 2 floors to expand the space to 10 floors, which included landscaped terraces, a double height reception and a new glazed façade.

GKR Scaffolding provided access solutions for principal contractor Knight Harwood.

Renovating the old….

Full façade scaffold was erected to Britannia House for stone cleaning and was built up in 2m lift heights to roof level to also allow access for the roof repairs.

The front elevation was built from the ground; however, this building was directly adjacent to roads on both sides. As there wasn’t enough room between the building and the road to allow a scaffold to be based out, cantilevers were erected on the 2nd floor.

These extended from within the building, linking to the front elevation with beam bridging. Then, in order to access the 1st floor stone, a lift was suspended from the beam bridges. This meant that access was provided to all elevations.

A protection fan was erected along Green Arbour Court an elevation without scaffold. This was built to allow high level works from the 5th floor whilst protecting the pavement below.

…improving the new.

Full façade scaffold was also erected to two elevations of the newer office building. Lift heights were determined by the façade company to be 0.5m down from each floor level. This meant we installed shorter lifts of 1.85m height to accommodate this.

As the main elevations from the ground to the 5th floor consisted of existing glass panels, there was no structure to tie the scaffold into. There were, however, a number of windows that would open slightly at the top. This allowed us to install raking ties down through the gap in the window and drill into the floor slab at each level.

New panels were installed above the 6th floor where we could tie directly to the steel frame through the opening for the glazing panels before they were installed. These had to be adjusted as the scaffold came down to allow the final panel installation.

Additionally, the scaffold in the 12m section that had previously been the Atrium in the centre of the main elevation, had to be built without ties. This was due to the angled steelwork having to remain tie free.

A double tie was therefore developed to use the steel column and additional bracing was designed to stabilise the scaffold.

Access to maintain productivity

Despite being in a restricted area, deliveries to site were optimised by using both the crane and the lifting hoists at the same time. This doubled the number of deliveries to site within the same time frame.

A hoist run off was built in the loading bay to service 2 hoists a goods lift and a passenger/goods lift. This was built from the ground to the 9th floor level with landings at each floor level.

In addition to this a landing gantry was built to service the goods only hoist. This allowed 2 vehicles to unload at the same time one directly into the first hoist and the other to be unloaded by crane either to the roof areas or onto the landing platform.

The Outcome

By proactively adapting to project demands, GKR was able to create solutions to tying and securing scaffold when presented with limitations in using the building and steel structure.

This ensured that scaffold could be erected without impacting detrimentally on programme or the integrity of the building work.

As is typical with working in Central London, GKR also ensured that both the site and general public were safe throughout the duration of the work. Works and logistics were planned to cause minimum disruption to those in the neighbouring environment.


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