A skyscraper is a strong, majestic structure holding many people and helps to create jobs and homes for cities all over the world. They don’t come without their challenges. One of the biggest of them is the glass. Most people look at a skyscraper and wonder at some point how you get that glass in and how you repair and replace skyscraper glass. It’s a delicate process and here, we’ll illustrate it in simple terms.
Skyscrapers are vulnerable to everything. From birds to the elements cleaning them and replacing them is quite a job. There are several important things to put in place prior to and during the process. We will speak from the perspective of the building owner to explain what they must know and what to put in place.
- To Repair, Refurbish or Replace the Glass:
The first consideration is whether or not you need to replace the glass or not. Sometimes the glass is only in need of a refurbishment or repair. Once you’re sure the situation warrants a replacement then move to the project.
- Risk Assessment:
The skyscraper may use heavy equipment such as cranes and scaffolds for lower floors. Depending on the height the windows to be replaced are and whether an internal or external method is being used. This is because there is risk of death or injury both to the glass installer and the general public on the ground or in the building. It’s important that a thorough risk assessment is made by the correct professional for each area of risk is performed.
- Securing the Area:
Wherever you’re working you must make certain you have the proper licenses and permits. These are typically obtained for closing roads and creating detours for the safety and security of the passersby and motorists. This is a great consideration in the area of insurances if an incident should occur.
Be aware of whom you are using to replace skyscraper glass as they as well as the building owner must have the correct liability insurance and workman’s comp. Accidental injury or death must be covered. At the same time, the replacement project should be done outside of normal working hours or if in a residential skyscraper it should be done at a time and day that has less movement for that area.
- Get the Correct Technicians for the Job:
Make certain the correct technicians are used for the job. This is an area that you can’t be relaxed in . The only people that should be replacing skyscraper glass are called Rope Access Technicians. They are safety and installation trained and have the proper equipment to do the job seamlessly.
There are three main methods to replace skyscraper glass. Without getting too technical, we’ll explain each one.
- Mobile Elevated Working Platform and Crane:
This is a method typically used while a building is under construction and can be used to replace the skyscraper glass. The job of the crane is to lift the weighty panels up to the project site. The work platform’s job is to hold the weight of the rope trained technicians. The technicians will walk onto the platform via the sides of the building and complete the work by guiding and holding the glass in place using a suction tool.
This method can be used to do windows that are to a certain height. When we get higher floors another method must be used. The most common is replacing the window from inside the building using another tool.
- Replacing Skyscraper Glass from Inside the Building:
This method will be successful if the glass to be replaced is smaller and can fit in the elevator or service freight elevator. Most skyscrapers have them to bring furniture and maintenance around the building. If the glass won’t fit, there is the third option. A suction tool is used here as well.
A BMU Unit. This is a Building Maintenance Unit. Painters and window washers will use this unit and it can be used to fit the glass. This is the most common way to replace skyscraper glass if it’s on a very high floor. The BMU is used to obtain outside access to the fascia of the building. The suction tool is used here the most as the least equipment is used to hold the glass in place.
- Glass Replacement BMU Incorporation:
This is a BMU with a glass replacement unit attached to it. Some skyscrapers have them. It’s a basic BMU that painters or window washers use but with a pulley system, wire and a winch. It sits outside the gondola or platform and is only used to hold the glass steady while the pulley system helps the glass replacement technician set it in place.
The company you choose must have technicians that comply with the Work at Height regulations of 2005. It’s essential that the work is done in a professional way with safety. This creates a sense of security that when the windows meet their daily bombardment of elements, other nature and people that they can maintain the strength and integrity you expect.
A company worth trusting with this very large and complex project that can affect your property years after installation will survey the building and all the conditions prior to moving on the project. You’ll get a pre installation report that explains every step of the work to be done and when to expect each phase to be completed. You’ll also know what could go wrong and the suggested solutions.
This type of installation project is a serious undertaking that should be performed by the most reputable company in your area. Look at other installation projects done and speak to the building managers to find out what their work is like. Ask them if there’s been any issues since and if the installation went smoothly.
You may also want to find out what the methods are that they use. Find a company that uses the most cutting-edge, modern method so you can get the job done with the least major disruption.