Are you working on a protected or heritage building? Often, older buildings need to be restored, but they are also more delicate than a modern structure, so specialty construction scaffolding is required. You’ll need to look at scaffolding rental that is designed specifically for this purpose.
What is Considered a Protected Building?
Protected structures are buildings that are considered to be of special value in a historical, scientific, architectural, social, technical, cultural, or archaeological manner. Whether the structure is of special interest is up to the local planning authority.
Protected buildings may include old churches, theatres, apartment buildings, and museums, among others. There’s no shortage of structures that need to be cared for and many are in need to reparation and updating. Whether you are painting or actually rebuilding sections of the build
Often, these buildings are older and have design features that may be more delicate than most structures. They can be damaged easily and even having something bump into the facade could ruin the original finish. Any construction or renovation projects must be carried out with extreme caution and anyone working on this type of building needs to be fully informed of what they are dealing with.
There are certain obligations that come along with owning a protected structure. The owner or occupier is legally obligated to keep the building safe. It cannot be neglected or damaged. This means that a restoration project is quite important, but it’s also important that the structure not be damaged by scaffolding or other types of invasive construction methods.
When working with a protected building, construction companies must be very careful to keep the construction from damaging any part of the building. This means that scaffolding should be carefully built with the conservation of the building’s exterior in mind. To this end, you’ll want to hire a scaffolding company that is carefully selected for their ability to work with older and protected buildings.
What to Look for in Scaffolding Companies
When you hire a scaffolding company for a restoration project, you don’t want to hire just anyone. It’s essential that they understand the nature of vintage buildings and are properly able to work with them. Since the building is likely to be delicate, the scaffolding needs to be carefully constructed around it to avoid damaging the structure. Other things to look for in scaffolding erection companies include:
Experience: Scaffolding isn’t something you can just jump into. It requires extensive knowledge of construction and physics in order to build safe scaffolds that will not harm people or buildings. You should look for a company that has been in business for a while, but also one that hires experts in the field.
Safety: The security of anyone working on a scaffold is necessary, so the structure needs to be very secure. Regular scaffolds are simple enough, but if the building you’re working on has oddities in the design or unusual features, the scaffolds may need to be more complicated. Safety involves careful inspection of the structure and building the scaffolding to the necessary requirements, based on how high the structure is and what type of design features are incorporated.
Workers should be trained in proper use of scaffolding and should be aware of safety measures required. It’s also necessary to regularly inspect the structure to ensure there are no weak points that could fail in the future.
Speed: How fast can the company set things up? In some situations, the structure is in danger of collapse or may have particularly delicate areas. When this occurs, you’ll find that time is of the essence and you’ll need to get the scaffolding in place immediately to remedy the problem. A company that can respond immediately and quickly put a structure in place to help protect your building will be invaluable and could actually save some of the more important design features that would otherwise be lost.
Flexibility: Older buildings are never predictable, so it’s very important that the scaffolding rental company you choose is able to adjust to the changing nature of the renovations. You never know when the rules may change and require something different. Tube and fitting scaffolds often work best for this type of issue, since they allow for adjusting to odd angles and unique features that may be incorporated into the building.
Insurance: It’s imperative that the scaffolding company you choose offer insurance. While most companies offer basic insurance, you’ll need to be certain that they cover the more common mishaps that may occur when you are working with scaffolds and structures. Otherwise, you could end up paying out of pocket if something goes wrong.
Conformity: There are a large number of rules and regulations when it comes to historic buildings, including what you can and cannot attach to the exterior walls. Ideally, the scaffolders will understand the rules and will be fine working within the constraints of the local authorities. They should also be able to conduct inspections on a weekly basis to their clients, along with providing reports on the structure familiarity.
Budget: This is fairly far down in the list of priorities, simply because, while money matters, the quality matters more in this case. If you’re dealing with an older, more vulnerable building, you need to make sure you have the best scaffolding company available, regardless of the cost. Selection based entirely on budget can end up being a very bad decision and damages to the building could end up costing far more to repair than to hire the best option in the first place.
Scaffolding companies are not all the same and they don’t all offer the same services, so take some time to find one that does everything you want. After all, the more they take care of, the less you need to worry about.
You should make a list of everything you’re going to need a hand with before you start looking for a scaffolding rental company. What kind of scaffolding are you looking at? If you’re not sure, you can always ask for recommendations from the company itself. With their experience, they should know exactly which option would be best.
Scaffolder Safety for Vulnerable Buildings
When working on an older or architecturally complex building, you will need to take precautions to prevent damage to the facade. Scaffolders will build the correct scaffold for the building, depending on its characteristics and whether it requires a suspended or supported scaffolding.
Not only does the scaffold need to be sturdy enough to hold workers and materials, but there is more to it than that. It’s important to use the correct methods, as you don’t want to scratch up or dent the building.
Scaffolding structures have the potential to cause great bodily harm if not build correctly and regularly inspected. If you aren’t sure how safe the structure is, no one should be on it. You always want to have the scaffolding inspected before you start using it and every 7 days after that. If there are any risk factors, such as high winds, you’ll want to have it inspected more often. If you’ve hired a company to build the scaffolding, as opposed to merely renting it, they should handle the inspections for you. This will be part of the service they offer and they should have someone on hand for doing the inspections.
While regular inspections check for the sturdiness and safety of the scaffolding structure, you’ll also want to regularly check the impact the scaffolding is having on the protected building. It shouldn’t cause any damage to the building, even if it’s superficial. Adjustments will need to be made if the structure is impacting the exterior.
Renovating specialty buildings is a unique area to focus on in construction, but it can be very rewarding. If you’re interested in building a name for yourself in this area, you’ll need a reliable scaffolding company to work alongside you. After all, the scaffolding is a very big part of the construction process.
Keep in mind that everything you do to conserve valuable structures in the world will help preserve the uniqueness for future generations. It may not be easy to rebuild and restructure, but it is most certainly necessary. With the right scaffolds and tools, you’ll find it much simpler to manage.
Are you about to start work on a historical or otherwise culturally relevant building? You’ll need a scaffolding company that knows what it’s doing. Call DH Scaffold Services today to learn how we can help you.