A rope access system based on RAPTOR rigid rails from Sayfa Group was installed at the Quay Quarter Tower in Sydney to allow workers to safely conduct facade maintenance and glass replacement on the building.

Background

Quay Quarter Tower, a 50-storey commercial office development located in the heart of Sydney, comprises of a series of shifting glass volumes stacked upon each other. This technology enabled building with its landscaped gardens and flexible work areas is a diverse and environmentally considered space.

Choosing to recycle instead of demolishing the building at 50 Bridge Street, the developers have taken the unique approach of retaining over 60% of the existing structure. Expansion and improvements will create a state-of-the-art tower that will be, in every sense of the word, a village.

Major requirements associated with this project were to enable safe and easy rope access for maintenance and window cleaning to the facades and, additionally, to provide for a glass replacement system.

Solution - RAPTOR rigid rail systems

With aesthetics at the forefront of this innovative building design, RAPTOR rigid rail was identified as the perfect choice when selecting a system to provide safe access to both the facades and the internal stair voids. RAPTOR's unobtrusive design provided the low visual impact that was in keeping with Quay Quarter Tower's clean architecture.

To enable light replacement and general maintenance to be undertaken, RAPTOR GROOVE was suspended in the internal stair voids. The system allows operators to manoeuvre easily and quickly around the area without the requirement for EWPs or other types of equipment, which can cause major workplace disruption.

RAPTOR rigid rail systems were installed on the building facade enabling rope access for window cleaning and maintenance. Additional advantages of the system were the slimline appearance and RAPTOR's ability to be installed into the soffit, making it almost invisible to the eye.

Within the brief, there was a need to supply a system that could be used for the replacement of glass panels.

Various means can be used when replacing windows on tall buildings. Small windows are sometimes replaced from inside the building, the panels being transported to the desired location using elevators.

However, in most cases due to the large size of windows in commercial buildings, they are lifted into place using cranes. Cranes work well in the construction phase, but once the building is completed and these have been removed, smaller ground based cranes become necessary. Using these is not always practical as they have a large footprint making them difficult to place, especially in busy locations. Furthermore, often they do not have a long enough reach. Another alternative is mobile elevated work platforms but again these can only be used on smaller buildings.

More popular is the use of BMUs (Building Maintenance Units). While these are an effective way of hauling replacement glass up the building, these machines are extremely costly to install, require regular expensive servicing, are difficult or sometimes impossible to retrofit and can take up a large amount of roof space.

Although the SAYFA technical team knew that RAPTOR rigid rail would be a suitable product to utilise for glass replacement, some additional design aspects were required before the system could be manufactured and installed.

In the system application for Quay Quarter Tower, two RAPTOR rails were supplied – one for rope access personnel and another for the hoisting of the glass panels. This separation was necessary to have as an important safeguard in the event of system failure or an emergency/ rescue situation.