Building Access Units

Manntech are well established as a leading specialist in developing individual customised access solutions for uniquely challenging and highly complex buildings all over the world. As such, our portfolio of deployed Building Access Units represents a huge variety of complex machine functionality designed, engineered and manufactured to meet specific access challenges. This involves ensuring that all the practical access requirements of each building are satisfied in addition to working within the limitations and parameters each unique project presents in terms of the space available for Building Access Units, the ability to navigate complex building geography or architectural features and any requirements to conceal the machinery from view or otherwise ensure it blends into the design of the building.

A key feature often utilised for complex Building Access Units is telescoping. Depending on the requirements of the individual project, both the jib and mast sections of a Building Maintenance Unit can be precision engineered with multiple sections capable of extending and retracting to deliver an impressive range of movement and facade coverage to service every section of challenging building facades and navigate around architectural features. Telescoping also provides the additional benefit of a more compact, subtle profile when not in use. A real world example is Munich’s Highlight Towers. Part of the complete access solution is a Building Access Unit which utilises a two stage telescopic jib to achieve a maximum outreach of 19 metres and the ability to retract to 7 metres. In combination with a telescopic mast, the unit can be retracted and lowered down vertically so it is effectively hidden from view by the features of the building itself.

Jib luffing, or the vertical movement provided by the jib arm, has also become a common feature which allows for the cradle to be safely lifted over a building parapet or other features before being launched and descending the facade. Specialists in custom solutions for complex buildings such as Manntech, however, are able to offer more advanced luffing capabilities tailored to specific projects. Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, for instance, benefits from BMUs with a parallelogram system or ‘Z-luffing’ which utilises multiple pivots to provide the required outreach while, once again, achieving a very compact parked position to conceal the Units from view.

Most Building Access Units will provide some slewing capability, i.e. the horizontal rotation which allows the cradle to be safely positioned over the side of the building and returned to the roof. Providers who specialise in more complex access solutions, however, are able to provide a much greater range of slewing capabilities. Depending on the specific project, Manntech’s BMUs might be designed to provide horizontal movement of the mast, the jib arm, or at the cross bar where the cradle is connected to the jib. This can provide for a greater range of motion and provide safe access to otherwise challenging features. At the most advanced end of the scale, the custom BMU at World Trade Centre in Abu Dhabi navigates an irregular, curving track on a steeply sloping roof and rotation is handled by a computerised system which automatically makes other required adjustments.

Many features and capabilities which have become more commonplace in recent years were first developed by Manntech before being adopted by the wider industry. Manntech, however, continues to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations with customised access solutions which draw on our history of technical expertise and innovation as well as consistently developing entirely new solutions for unique access challenges.