Case Study: Safe Maintenance for Affinity Water, United Kingdom
Innovative office design for safe maintenance
This building was designed for Affinity Water in Hatfield Business Park in the United Kingdom. Safe maintenance was a key component in the design considerations.
The client wanted a statement building that would:
- reflect their corporate ethos,
- promote collaborative working, and
- energise their staff.
The building was designed using an innovative combination of environmental design and safe design. As a result, it has created a positive environment for the employees using the building every day, as well as a safe environment for maintenance workers.
Considering safe maintenance during the design phase
The designer of this building, Scott Brownrigg Architects, considered safe maintenance of the structure by integrating edge protection and platforms into the facade for cleaning of windows. These platforms are accessed by the external fire stairs, so there’s no disruption to the office workers’ daily roles.
A full height statement winter garden was incorporated into the design, with the garden surrounded by glass to to add extra visibility and improve the internal environment for workers. To aid in cleaning, a special scissor lift was developed, enabling workers to access the large areas of glass. At ground level, a path was also incorporated around the perimeter of the building to facilitate safe maintenance using the proposed mobile plant.
Accessibility and safety at height
To allow for safe access to the plant, which was located on the roof of the structure, the designer incorporated an integrated parapet to provide permanent edge protection. This feature has eliminated the need for temporary edge protection and fall protection equipment during maintenance of the roof plant. The parapet was concealed behind the awning so it didn’t affect the visual or sun shading effect of the feature awning around the roof.
Safe Design Workshop with project stakeholders
Safe Design Australia acted as the safe design consultant for this project, providing support in consultation and workshops. Safe design workshops are important, particularly for more complex projects as they can assist the designer in identifying hazards and consulting with other duty holders on ways to eliminate or minimise risks.
Participants can include the designer, the client, engineers, consultants, principal contractor, maintenance manager, employer (or workers representative) at the workplace being designed and other consultants.
Contact us to find out more
To find out more about this particular project, or how the Safe Design Australia team can assist you on your next project, contact us.