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Icrades London Diamond Drilling

We're Scaling New Heights with Integral Cradles

By Mark Castle | October 24, 2018 New
Find out how we got on working with Integral Cradles this month, as we help them scale another of London’s exclusive buildings.

Scaling success with Integral Cradles

This month, Derren and his team have been working alongside Integral Cradles to drill 600 holes for their latest project. Integral Cradles (or I.Cradles, for short) make façade access equipment for new buildings, refurbishments and ongoing exterior maintenance. They’re industry leaders in facade access, having designed and installed the bespoke facade access system for The Gerkin (now an iconic part of London’s skyline) and The Cheesegrater which was designed by the prestigious Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

I. Cradles have been installing access cradles to a new luxury apartment building in London this month, with the help of the Castle & Pryor team. So the maintenance team can navigate the building’s facade safely, and the residents can have clean windows!

What was the challenge?

Facade cradles are attached to the building’s exterior using davits. The davits are secured by solid threaded bars which are fitted into 180mm deep holes. Each hole must be drilled with exacting precision and rigorously pull-tested, to guarantee that the fittings can easily stand up to the crane's load. And - most importantly - that everyone using the cradle can carry out their work safely.

How did we help I. Cradles get the job done?

We drilled about 600 holes in the slabs around the perimeter of the building. Each at around 180mm deep with a 28mm diameter. Next, we secured the threaded bars in place using a special, super strong Hilti resin HY 200A. These davits are responsible for keeping workers safe when they’re carrying out maintenance work on the building’s facade - so there are no shortcuts. Once fitted, each bar is pull-tested ready for the davits to be secured and to hold the crane in place.

London Skyline
Marking Holes To Be Drilled

Choosing the right drills for the job

We used a combination of percussion drilling, hand held diamond drilling and a mini-rig/diamond drilling bit-combination. Percussion drilling is ideal for getting holes started but if we hit steel - it’s time to break out the diamond drills!

How did we overcome our biggest challenges on the job?

I. Cradles needed about 600 holes drilled into slabs surrounding the outer facade of the building. That’s four holes to each pad. But not all of the slabs are a uniform depth; each hole has to be checked individually to ensure minimum anchor embedment.

We also had to watch out for tension bars. If we touched a tension bar whilst drilling, we had to go back and reposition the holes. Even if a hole is 1mm too shallow - it has to be re-drilled. It’s real precision stuff!

And the result for I. Cradles?

The maintenance team at this new, luxury apartment block can carry out their work safely. All the fixings have been embedded to a safe depth and each fitting individually tested. So we know it will be safe for the teams going up in the cranes. And the new residents can have clean windows!

Want our team of highly-trained professionals on your job? Call us on 0800 163 382 or get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you a free quote.