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As a leading facade access solution provider, there are occasions when CoxGomyl are challenged to apply their knowledge, experience and problem-solving skills to unusual facade types.

Many traditional, ‘box-shaped’ buildings utilising steel and concrete often present the opportunity to install a relatively standard access solution to achieve tasks such as window cleaning and glass panel replacement reliably and cost-effectively. However, there are also buildings being conceived by innovative architects and developers which draw on a wider range of less common materials, unusual forms and new approaches to high-rise facade design such as the trend for greater use of wood in high-rise buildings and facades.

Of course, effective facade access remains a vital part of any building’s infrastructure as a necessary means to carry out regular cleaning and repairs. Unusual facade types, however, can present a number of practical challenges in terms of the building geography the access system needs to navigate and also in terms of the wider range of maintenance tasks the machines need to be used for.

Residence Palace Brussels in Belgium is an outstanding example of a building with innovative and imaginative facade design which required the CoxGomyl team to overcome a series of challenges to deliver a comprehensive access solution which is as unique as the building itself. The Residence Palace is home to high-level meetings of various European political bodies. Rather than a series of uniform windows and facade panels on flat surfaces, its purpose is expressed in the design of the glass atrium that surrounds the building. The atrium is made up of recycled windows sourced from all over Europe. Each glass panel varies in shape and this represents the diversity of the European nations which meet here, but also combine to form the unified structure of the atrium as a whole. Within the atrium, a lantern-shaped space has been created which also features irregular forms with elliptical floor plans varying in size from one level to the next.

As a highly experienced access solution provider with a reputation for delivering practical, reliable access systems for a wide range of projects, CoxGomyl were able to overcome the challenges presented by the unusual forms of the building as well as meeting all the client’s requirements for the system to blend seamlessly with the aesthetic. This was achieved by suspending the Building Maintenance Unit from tracks integrated with the structure of the roof. The BMU is complimented by an aerial work platform to provide access to the lower levels. In order to deal with the irregular forms and shapes of the building, the BMU is programmed to automatically navigate the structure and the cradle turns at specific angles to ensure it faces away from the facade surface.

Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore represents an entirely different type of unusual facade with numerous open sections and a curtain wall which are all designed specifically to integrate with plants and organic elements to create a ‘living tower’ and provide welcome green space in the city environment. No fewer than 21 species of creepers have been integrated into the facade and will continue to intertwine with the structure as they grow and develop. The sky terraces throughout the building and the sky garden at the open crown are also home to an additional 33 species of trees and plants.

CoxGomyl were able to present a comprehensive facade access solution for this unusual facade which provided all the required functionality by utilising standard machines and components in an intelligent combination. The solution was therefore more economical and cost-effective than the developers had thought possible. A Building Maintenance Unit is located at the crown of the building with the added flexibility of soft rope systems allowing operators to traverse across the unusual structure horizontally and diagonally. The mid-level garden areas are accessed via a monorail system on the underside of the soffit which is capable of navigating the numerous voids in the structure. Finally, a material hoist capable with a lifting capacity of seven tonnes completed the solution and will no doubt be vital to the continued maintenance and upkeep of the plants and gardens.

From standard building projects to the most unique and unusual facade types, CoxGomyl are the name to trust for reliable, suitable and cost-effective facade access solutions.

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