MOST FREQUENT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The choice of Rope Access for A&M of an architectural envelope, instead of the obsolete Building Maintenance Units, guarantees many savings opportunities. No reinforcements are needed to support large moving types of machinery, often with large booms and large cantilevers, overhanging or moving parts. Interferences with facades are reduced. There are no power-consuming motors – RA operators take advantage of gravity which is free. Complex geometries are solved with simple solutions, while BMUs are forced to very articulated and complex mechanical devices. Progression of the operators on the facade is much faster and, in addition, you can employ simultaneously a large number of workers, while for BMUs the team is strictly related to the dimension of the gondola and number of units.
Yes, absolutely. The world of modern architecture speaks a lot about green policies and energy consumption reduction. Still, it falls into contradictions entrusting the maintenance of these prestigious projects by BMUs, bulky and energy-consuming machines weighing tens of tons with poor processing efficiency (m²/h), forcing an uninterrupted use of large electric motors with large consumptions and emissions. Using Rope Access for an architectural project’s correct cleaning and maintenance strategy means drastically reducing consumption and emissions. The only energy required for progressions on a tower is given by gravity, no more is needed.
Yes. Everywhere there are qualified companies that provide a professionally trained workforce according to recognized international standards. Rope Access is practicable all over the world and there are no regulations that prevent it. Fly Service Engineering supports its clients by indicating which companies are qualified in a given area.
The instructions that allow qualified companies to operate on the specif project are given on paper or on electronic devices, enriched by explicative operational schemes.
Rope access is a relatively new W@H system in the world of building maintenance. It was mainly adopted in the Oil and Gas market achieving worldwide success. Only a few years ago it made its appearance in the civil constructions market. At present, there is still an overall poor knowledge of this technique and of the technical parameters that make it so safe, efficient, and profitable. There is also a big confusion of the information delivered by poorly informed consultants and sometimes by competitors, who often advise against the adoption of this technique. For example, some indicate that in some countries there is a limit of 300 ft for the use of Rope Access, which is completely incorrect. This comes probably from a confusion with the bosun’s chair technique, which has a limitation of use but has nothing to do with Rope Access. Rope Access has no restrictions on height, it can be applied everywhere under the usual safety processes (including the risk assessment analysis) and in compliance with the specific legislation.
Yes, sure. Rope Access operators are professionally qualified for multiple skills, as well as any other technician. There are carpenters, glass cleaners, welders, and also experts in glass replacement. There is no limitation to the operation that can be done with Rope Access unless operations are properly planned and carried out. There are also gardeners able to work and maintain greenery.
Yes, up to a certain intensity. A single operator suspended on ropes is much less exposed to the action of the wind than the gondola of a BMU because the “sail” effect of a human body is much smaller than a gondola’s. In addition, the operator is close to the facade and can stabilize himself with his feet or tethers. As a result, a Rope Access operator cannot be subject to the impressive and catastrophic accidents caused by the wind like those happening unfortunately on BMUs.
Aesthetic impact is almost nil. The whole strategy is carefully designed to hide the anchor points as much as possible in positions that minimize visibility, with points that are already small or very small, made aesthetically homogeneous with the areas where they are to be inserted. Materials, shapes, finishes, colors guarantee that the few elements placed on the facade are almost invisible. All the tools and equipment for the facade maintenance are temporary, installed, and used only when something in the property needs to be replaced. So the aesthetic impact is zero also in these cases.