Palais de Versailles, France

Project: Palais de Versailles, France

Renovations of Louis XIV’s magnificent yet fragile Palais de Versailles are always a daunting undertaking and the latest is no exception.  With its 700 rooms, 67 staircases, 2,153 windows and 27 acres of roofing, the sprawling 17th Century Palace outside Paris sets the international standard for a challenging restoration programme.

Forming one part of the massive seventeen year, €390 million restoration project, the UBIX® temporary roof system from Combisafe has been integral in providing protection to the exposed elements of this fragile building during the renovation of the King’s private apartments.

The palace has been in a state of restoration for much of the last four centuries, however the latest masterplan ‘Great Versailles’ is the largest in history.  Launched in 2003 by President Chirac, the entire estate is to be restored to its former glory by 2020 through a combination of public funding and support from businesses and individuals.   

Until June 2012 a huge artistic canvas will hide scaffolding and building works in the Palais de Versailles' Royal Courtyard as the roof and main building undergo restoration.  To provide weather protection to both the building and workers while the delicate gold leaf is being replaced on the roof of the King’s private apartments, the fast application of the lightweight and robust UBIX temporary roofing system proved ideal.

Specialist scaffolding contractor Ulma specified the UBIX system to cover an area of 800m².  With superior strength and durability, UBIX was easily adaptable with Ulma’s multidirectional scaffolding whilst offering the protection the building and contractors required.

Designed with safety as the top priority, UBIX is the lightest and most economical temporary roofing system on the market. With a choice of bay widths – 2.07m, 2.57m and 3.07m – and two beam depths of 45cm and 78cm, UBIX allows for totally bespoke solutions to meet cost and span requirements. Due to its innovative structure and engineered approach, UBIX has the ability to create very large spans of up to 40 metres and more.

By choosing the UBIX system the working at height risk is removed, and the scaffolders were able to benefit from its quick and easy handling and simple erection. Requiring no specialist tools or lifting gear, it can also be managed at height by a relatively small team, and with the boltless fixings and loose components eliminated, all parts snap together for a rapid assembly process.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Versailles is France’s most visited historical monument.  While there is some way to go before this glittering palace is restored to all its baroque glory, Combisafe has ensured the building and workers can remain unaffected by the weather, further enhancing the company’s reputation for providing cutting edge temporary roof systems.