Overcoming Technical Challenges On-Site

Finding Solutions to Technical Challenges On-Site
Whether a construction project is happening on a small or large scale, there are several risks, issues and problems that need to be planned for. Typically these fall into categories such as resource or time constraints, health and safety risks and even unrealistic expectations. Often, site managers will put plans and safeguards in place to avoid these common pitfalls.

At Pexhurst, there have been many projects where we have faced technical challenges – sometimes unforeseen – and still directed the team towards the common goal of successfully completing a project. Below, we outline just a few of them and the range of opportunities for creative problem solving and team collaboration.

£2 million industrial refurbishment, Bush Industrial Estate, for client Telereal Trillium

This 27-week project, involving the refurbishment of a large distribution centre, saw us work closely with various stakeholders including the local school to minimise third-party disruptions. We were also required to be compliant with Network Rail’s strict conditions…

The first challenge regarded how to effectively remove the roof of the property. Under normal circumstances, we would use a conventional scaffolding installation and effectively remove the roof from above using a tower crane. However, as this project was being undertaken close to Overhead Line Equipment of the railway track and other exposed live electrical equipment, we were required to use non-conducting materials. Other requirements and specifications for the scaffolding included rolling stock, signal light clearances, protection against dropped materials, safe access, egress and movement of materials.

To overcome this we developed a bespoke scaffolding system that:

  • insulated the scaffolding so that it was a non-conductive design
  • protected against debris falling on the track
  • allowed access to the property for the refurbishment

The design was bespoke for the project and was ultimately successful as it was passed by Network Rail!

View the case study here: https://www.pexhurst.co.uk/case-studies/bush-industrial-estate/

£690,000 office refurbishment, London Bridge, for client LaSalle Investment Management

This 28-week refurbishment of the fourth-floor office overlooking the River Thames included the installation of a new window, lighting scheme, AC throughout, bespoke plasterboard ceiling rafts incorporating strip lighting, feature walls and columns with a specialist render finish.

The office’s location – directly above the River Thames – meant the window replacement presented a unique challenge. To replace the large glazed pane from an existing curtain walling system with a new window, we deployed a lifeboat and a specialist glazing rig as well as an experienced abseiling crew!

View the case study here: https://www.pexhurst.co.uk/case-studies/two-london-bridge/

£1 million fire damage refurbishment, Units 12-17 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood for client Logicor

During this 20-week industrial refurbishment, there were some demolition issues related to structure and temporary support for the adjacent properties, however the steel fabrication team was proactive in resolving these.

Furthermore, as the unit was built amongst a number of other tenants, working on roof areas and spraying the elevations was challenging, particularly when it came to installing safety netting, accessing roof lights and maintaining a water-tight membrane.

To help overcome this, the team assessed the situation daily by stopping work when needed on high-wind days and maintaining regular contact with other tenants by issuing newsletters about the work taking place.

View the case study here: https://www.pexhurst.co.uk/case-studies/eldon-way/

Overall even with the best project and site management, it is not unusual for site teams to encounter technical challenges throughout the life cycle of a construction project. So, in addition to planning, the success of a project relies on overcoming these challenges through positive solutions involving everyone on-site – let’s see what technical challenges our 2021 projects bring us!

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