The New Fetter Lane redevelopment, City of London

Project: The New Fetter Lane redevelopment, City of London

For the redevelopment of a 1960’s office block in the very heart of the City of the London, Kier Construction had to demolish and then rebuild one complete side of the building.   With eleven floors of leading edge safety issues and the close proximity of pedestrians and busy traffic, leading provider of safety solutions Combisafe tackled this challenge with a full height containment solution which would prevent operatives and materials falling or being blown out of the partially completed building.  

Designed by architect Tate Hindle for client Kirkbi Real Estate Investments A/S, the project at 8-10 Fetter Lane includes extensions to the eleven storey octagon shaped tower, a new façade, remodelled service core and new mechanical and electrical services.  The existing five storey link building is being rebuilt to provide office space above a servicing area for both buildings at ground level.  With an overall floor area of 134,000 sq ft, a distinctive feature of Fetter Lane will be the main entrance on Holborn Circus with its new façade of glass and steel construction framed by three scenic lifts.

Stripping back the existing facade whilst being close to busy roads presented a number of safety problems for main contractor Kier. ‘We have stringent safety policies and procedures and could not afford tools, materials or operatives falling over the leading edge’ said Gary Aboro, Site Manager for Kier Construction. ‘Combisafe provided us with a versatile floor to ceiling solution which met our specific requirements. They also provided training for our site operatives so we can erect and dismantle the system.’

Combisafe supplied a bespoke full height containment solution of Steel Mesh Barriers, mechanically fixed at the floor and soffit, to ensure exceptional levels of safety prevention and protection.

On each floor, there is more than 20 metres of the Combisafe Full Height Steel Mesh Barrier solution installed, along with the Adjustable Safety Post assembly for additional flexibility.  Using the unique Quiclox locking mechanism, installation is easy, and saves valuable time and manpower on-site.

The Steel Mesh Barrier from Combisafe offers a mesh guard rail with integrated toe board, available in 2 different sizes 2.6m or 1.3m.  Placed on top of the standard Steel Mesh Barrier is an intermediate barrier which has its toe board removed, and finally to close the gap to the soffit a smaller Make-Up Barrier is used. These barriers are used along with a floor to soffit Post Assembly, attached to the post assembly is two different sized Steel Mesh Barrier Holders. The Steel Mesh Barrier Holders allow the barriers to be hooked on or off from the post assembly with relative ease, in addition it allows the barriers to be raised or lowered to facilitate access for follow on trades without compromising there safety or exposing the leading edge of the building.

For the roof area, Kier had crane loading CantiDeck platforms which had to remain operational.  ‘We also required a system that could be fixed to the 11th floor slab edge but protrude out to prevent operatives and tools falling over the edge of the 12th floor slab.’ commented Gary Aboro. ‘Combisafe recommended their Safety Net Fan which could accommodate us on all our safety fronts.’

With a projection of 3 metres, the Safety Net Fan is tested to comply with EN1263 and will absorb falls from up to 6 metres. The mesh density of the fall arrest net is 60 x 60mm and is delivered laced together with an extra fine 20 x 20mm debris net as standard.

The full height containment system is part of the growing portfolio of Combisafe, who pride themselves on producing working at height safety solutions. They are strong advocates of pre-planning, Combisafe is able to advise on a suitable edge protection or fall prevention solution that will meet the needs of each build design.

Set for completion in 2012, the New Fetter Lane redevelopment has further enhanced Combisafe’s reputation for providing innovative edge protection and safety solutions for the most complex construction projects. For more than two decades, Combisafe International has set the standard in safety at height and continues to do so with the successful delivery of preventative and protective systems for the construction industry.