The SoZaWe (Social Affairs and Work) office in Groningen, Netherlands is a transparent building designed to provide an inviting and approachable environment where citizens feel welcome to come and get answers to their questions about work, integration, care and welfare, income and education. Sustainability is another key aspect of the design and green sedum plants are integrated with the glass roof.
There are two large meeting rooms in the building, a square with a marketplace for the public and a courtyard for the staff.
The challenge was to provide access to both the exterior and interior of the facade, designing an indoor Building Maintenance Unit (BMU) that would cause as little disturbance as possible to people using the meeting rooms and the square whilst also accessing every part of the facade.
For the interior system, we designed two hanging ‘spider’ cranes with self-hoisting platforms. The arms of the hanging cranes can pivot in various places in order to reach every section of glass. The track is mounted under an angle of 10 degrees.
The BMU traverses using a rack and pinion system and includes a material hoist for weights up to 250 kg. All movements are pre-programmed and, using a touch screen, operators can simply move the BMU into the correct position.
For the exterior, it was not possible to mount a standard rail on the roof so access is provided by a climbing roofcar.
Manntech was chosen for this challenging project because they found the perfect solution for indoor BMUs.