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Concealing building maintenance systems to preserve design

CoxGomyl provide facade access solutions for some of the most iconic buildings in the world and work with some of the most celebrated architects.

These projects often include the key requirement for the Building Maintenance Unit(s) to not interfere with the building’s design aesthetic, whilst also providing all of the necessary functionality for facade access which is practical and safe. With over 50 years’ of experience, our team of designers and engineers have deployed a range of approaches for concealing the BMU which have been successful in maintaining the design integrity of buildings with a wide variety of features and architectural challenges.

Parking garage

The Building Maintenance System is driven into a garage for parking with doors that close to conceal the machine. This can be on a roof or, if there is little or no roof space available the Building Maintenance Unit can also be parked in the side of the building itself. One of the most complex and impressive concealed BMUs of this type can be seen in action at London landmark The Shard. As part of a comprehensive access solution for this stunning building, eight multiple knuckle machines are housed in garages behind mechanically retracting panels. Machines with reaches of up to 15m are automatically extended and parked to these pre-set positions as small as 3.5 x 4.5m.

building access

Parking pit

Where the project demands it, the Building Maintence Unit (BMU) can also be concealed in a parking pit. For The Duke Energy Centre in Charlotte, the BMU needed to have a long, extended jib to reach unique design features and manoeuvre into a tight parking space. The solution CoxGomyl provided included an innovative lift platform which lowers the BMU 6 metres into the parking pit when it is not in use.

Integration with building design

Perhaps the most challenging and remarkable approach to maintaining the design aesthetic, this involves close collaboration between CoxGomyl engineers and the building architects in order to use design features to conceal the BMU, or feature the BMU as part of the structure itself. For another of London’s i
conic buildings, the ‘Walkie Talkie’ (designed by renowned architect Rafael Viñoly) CoxGomyl developed a unique selective pivoting variable levelling BMU platform to travel on curved roofs and minimise visual impact from the outside of the building. Three of these machines run on tracks fitted to the roof fins and park concealed between the fins, blending seamlessly with the building and the stunning views around it.

building maintenance systems

Whatever the challenges of the project, CoxGomyl have the experience and expertise to ensure the needs of our clients are met and that our facade access solutions help maintain the design of beautiful buildings both; by providing access when the Building Maintenance Systems are in use and by concealing or integrating them when they are not.

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