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Out of height, out of mind

For a long time, scaffolding has been accepted as a necessary eyesore by the public.

It’s often seen as an everyday obstruction for users of those buildings that need improvements or renovation works.

But with the recent trend for shrouding and screening, aesthetics and well-planned scaffolding design are becoming increasingly important to customers.

“It is more important to engage with customers early to understand how to deliver a better experience through scaffold system design”

We now have access to much better technology that allows us to model scaffolding systems around the everyday workflow of a building, particularly when it comes to people movement.

It is therefore far more important to engage with customers early on in a project, to understand how to deliver a better all-round experience through scaffold system design.

Visitor shield

This is illustrated in a recent project undertaken by Interserve for the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, which receives an average of 30,000 visitors
every week.

One of the key objectives was to shield these visitors from the major works being carried out.

From the client’s perspective, it was all about carrying out these essential works safely, while maintaining a visitor experience that was in keeping with the reputation of the museum, its artefacts and heritage.

“We looked at the project from the outside in, and we were able to make a major construction site look both aesthetically pleasing and safe”

Although the scaffolding was comprehensive, the use of shrouding systems allowed the team to close off the whole of the working site from view.

By designating specific site operative entry points, Interserve was also able to ensure that shrouding wasn’t damaged or tarnished.

We looked at the project from the outside in, and we were able to make a major construction site look both aesthetically pleasing and safe.

This in turn ensured visitor numbers remained unaffected, as did the quality of the visitor experience.

All in all, this project, like increasing numbers of others across the UK, shows just how important image and aesthetics have become for the industry and our customers.

The challenge is to keep combining good, safe design with innovative solutions.

David Fleet is a senior site manager for Interserve Construction

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