A Review of Facade Access Solutions

With buildings reaching new heights and shapes, facade access has become a significant part of construction projects, especially in the UAE. The nature of today’s buildings necessitate engineered solutions to access their external skins for various maintenance purposes, mainly involving cleaning. There are three common methods of accessing building facades, and here is careful review to understand each of them and implement the better solution.

The facade access system we are all familiar with is a rope suspended from the top of buildings to allow a single person connected at the end to traverse along the facade, usually to break in through windows and fight the bad guy. In the real world, such a suspended system, also called Bosun’s chair, is a common and quick method of facade access. The solution, however, has some obvious shortcomings. Apart from the fact that only a single person can access the facade, that too a relatively small area at a time, this method is restricted when it comes to supertall buildings. Operators are required to be highly skilled as well. Taking the scenario of Dubai into consideration, it is a bit difficult to imagine implementing this solution for curved and unique facades that are common in the area.

Bosun’s Chair, Source: Wikipedia

Next comes platforms suspended from various levels of a building which allow two operators to simultaneously work on wider surfaces, thereby resolving the challenge posed by Bosun’s chair. But movement is restricted to the vertical direction alone, and megatall buildings are again excluded.

The ultimate solution is a BMU or a Building Maintenance Unit. These are installed on buildings permanently, and are easy to operate once trained. BMUs come in various types, including roof cars, monorails, etc. There are no limitations in terms of height or area of access, and there is a lot of scope for customized solutions. In short, it becomes a part of the building, allowing easy access when required without much hassle.


BMUs optimize your building maintenance procedures from top to bottom. Visit our website to learn more about the advanced BMUs offered in the UAE.



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