We are very proud that we were instrumental in installing the world’s first use of the new universal aluminium HD beam from Layher - bringing key benefits to this major refurbishment project in Reading. 

This project saw the transformation of the old ‘Yell House’ office building for Crown Student Living – ‘Queen’s Court’ and the accommodation caters for 395 students.  We used the beam both as a support for the scaffold structure above and, vitally, as a means of maintaining full public access to the on-site car park throughout the 11-month refurbishment programme. We ensured there was no need for any road closures.

The beam was built at ground level and then craned in two sections into position from above.  A scaffold tower at each end and a third support structure in the middle, allowed for two wide-access tunnels to be maintained underneath. This was large enough for delivery vehicles.  Leg load capacities of 116 kNs then enabled the full scaffold structure above to be supported by the 26 metre beam.

“One of the key characteristics of the new beam design is its 60 mm o/d top chord,” says Mel Archer, Managing Director of Archway Services.  “It is this that provides the strength and which also enables the scaffold above to be connected at a wide choice of fixing positions.  Compared to a tube and fitting alternative, the benefits are clear-cut in terms of complexity, time and manpower.”

We also used Layher Allround to provide full scaffold access to all faces of the building which were then clad in fire retardant sheeting.  Apart from its light weight, the wide bay design of Allround and its need for only minimal cross-bracing, have created the optimum layout for workforce access and movement during refurbishment work.  This includes the installation of a new façade and windows throughout and the addition of two new storeys at roof level.

The system also enabled our workforce to accommodate a series of bay windows that project outwards from the building. It's important to also note that the reduced number of scaffolders required helped to optimise safe working at height procedures.

We also used the Layher stairtower systems at key access points and a full width fan structure to provide protection across the main car park entrance/exit, as well as Layher’s established bridging beam system.


The project was featured in Construction News. Click here to read their article.


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