Replacement BMUs for the heritage-listed Lloyd’s of London building
The Lloyd’s of London building holds an unsurpassed place of importance in the City of London’s Global Financial Centre. It is a major landmark in London’s cityscape and its importance has been recognised by a Grade 1 listed status, protecting it as an outstanding example of a historically noted High Tech style in Britain, defined by flexibility and dynamism. The engineering expertise of Manntech, in partnership with Alimak Service’s Cento team, was called upon to replace the aging facade access system and safeguard the vital building without negatively impacting upon the aesthetic or interfering with the daily operations of its vibrant offices and trading floor.
The Lloyds building, designed by architect Richard Rogers, still relied on the 35-year-old building maintenance units (BMUs) which had been in place since its completion in 1985. The design and manufacture of a new facade access solution was required to satisfy current design standards and health and safety regulations. In addition, the new building maintenance systems needed to be sympathetic to the original design while working effectively within the loading limits of the building, including the planning requirements involved with working on a listed building. The custom facade access solution consists of 17 building maintenance units to meet these challenging requirements.
Six underslung BMUs are located on the underside of concrete capping beams. A tailored inverted design allowing integration with the building form. Four track mounted BMUs operate using the pre-existing track system with the addition of telescopic jibs. Six more larger crane type BMUs are mounted on the building’s feature towers, fixed in place with a tailored truss design. Finally, a single crane-type BMU with telescopic jib operates above the atrium section, with a bespoke design to minimize the weight and allow for the existing track to be utilised. Across the system, all building maintenance units also feature telescopic cradles for additional flexibility.
Innovative facade access systems were required throughout to meet the building’s architectural profile, while avoiding any compromise on current design principles and standards to operate within the structural limits of the building.
In addition to a strong portfolio of successful installations, Alimak Service’s Cento team had previously provided maintenance and service solutions for the original facade access system and therefore held specific knowledge of the building to undertake this complex BMU replacement. The full-service project included extensive planning and project management for the removal of the old BMUs and the installation of the new system with multiple crane lifts and complex working approaches such as the suspended scaffold platforms which were required to
access the 6 underslung BMUs.