Although UAE is famous for using only the best quality thick and strong glass panels for their high-rise buildings, sometimes although very rare, a panel is damaged or even cracked due to some reason or another, this can be due to extreme weather conditions or other factors but either way in such an event, the glass panel would obviously need to be replaced.
Windows of high-rise buildings
The windows that are used and installed on high-rise buildings or skyscrapers are not standard glass windows that are used for regular villas. The main reason for this is that tall buildings are subject to great pressure, caused by the wind, heat from the sun or sand storms. Besides that, a glass skyscraper often has glass panels that function as walls and have to resist people or objects leaning against them.
Because of these factors, the glass panels that are used in high-rise building need to be very strong and have to be fabricated in such a way that they don’t shatter if they suffer an event of damage. In general, two 6mm glass panes are used with a 12mm airspace between them.
You can imagine that a decent sized glass panel weighs quite a lot, so installing or replacing a window of a glass facade often requires heavy duty equipment. Sometimes, skyscrapers are even equipped with glass panels that span an entire floor and weigh even more.
Replacing glass panels
During the construction of a high-rise structure, cranes are used to lift the heavy glass panels to their position and workers stand on structural parts to guide and install the windows. But, after completion of the building, the cranes are removed and the replacement of large windows requires other measures.
Using a crane or mobile elevated working platform
The most obvious way to reach the area where a glass panel needs to be replaced is by using a crane from ground level and/or a mobile elevated working platform (MEWP).
A crane is able to lift heavy glass panels to the desired level so workers can install the window, possibly hanging suspended alongside the facade with a suspended scaffold or by using a MEWP.
This equipment will do the trick, but cranes on ground level do have their disadvantages: first, they need to be parked somewhere. High-rise buildings are often situated in crowded areas and to park a crane somewhere might only be possible when the street is (partly) blocked. Also, the costs of hiring heavy machinery are high, so when glass needs to be replaced from time to time, large expenses have to be made.
Another important factor is that cranes and MEWPs can only reach to a certain height, making it impossible to replace windows, more than a hundred meters high.
Replacing glass from the inside the building
Another option to replace windows is to do it from the inside of the building. A glass pane is transported with a special cart that has a suction tool to hold the window. The glass pane is brought to the level where it is needed with a (freight) elevator and placed into position.
For relatively small windows, this is a good solution, providing that the glass panel fits inside the elevator.
If the glass panels can’t be transported inside the building and a crane can’t reach the level where glass replacement is needed, another solution has to be applied.
Using a Building Maintenance Unit for glass replacement
The purpose of our building maintenance units (BMUs) is to provide access to the facade for all those who do maintenance work to the facade. In general, window cleaners will use the BMU to make sure that office workers, hotel guests or residents have a clear view and the structure looks impeccable from the outside. Especially when the facade is entirely made of glass, which is quite common in modern architecture.
Apart from cleaning a facade, BMUs can also be used for glass replacement on great heights without the use of other heavy equipment.
Glass replacement unit
Our BMUs can be equipped with a Glass Replacement Unit (GRU) to be able to hoist and lower materials, but mainly it’s used for glass panels.
A GRU consists of a winch incorporated in the BMU with wire rope running from the base via pulleys to the end of the jib. A snap-hook is attached to the wire rope and is suspended in front (or at the back) of the gondola. The hook can carry various tools, including a special suction tool that can hold heavy glass panels.
So if you should need glass replacements for your highrise building, we are the experts to call!
Contact us now at: http://www.maltgroup.com/18/contact-us