Travelling Vertical Access – Bridge Mast

The main building to the Albion Riverside development features a stylish convex outer facade. This required a unique access solution in keeping with its design that would simplify the undertaking of maintenance to the complex’s south-facing exterior which curves simultaneously in three directions.

For this project, SCX devised a travelling vertical access bridge mast which runs upon recessed rails located at the top and bottom of the building’s aluminium facia, complete with a self-levelling cradle for personell and a robust control solution.

The challenge

Standing eleven storeys high on the southwest bank of the Thames, the Albion Riverside is a
multi-purpose development comprising shops, leisure facilities and residential accommodation.

With a roof-based conventional building maintenance machine deemed to be incompatible with the structure’s aesthetics, a bespoke access solution that could enable easy cleaning and repairs to its convex, south facing facade was required.

The solution

SCX was approached to develop a curved 30m tall vertical gantry access mast, capable of supporting a self-levelling man-riding cradle that travels the gantry’s full length while traversing the 120m around the building’s asymmetrical profile.

Weight was minimised with a trussed structure formed from curved members, which arcs
around the building and complements the style set by the aluminium tubing that makes up the external panels.

Precisely aligned vertical mast

  • The system runs along rails recessed into the building and hidden from view, located at the top and bottom of the aluminium facia
  • An electronically linked levelling device positioned along the mast measures displacement angles during operation
  • This enables the speed of the lower carriage to automatically adjust so that the mast remains completely vertical


Secure control

  • The cradle is operated by its occupants from an on-board control panel which is detached for safety when not in use
  • Electrical controls are enclosed in a cabinet at the top of the mast, accessible from the safety of the building when the cradle parks at one of the four maintenance bays
  • Remote control operation is possible when the cradle is unmanned and will safely de-energise if unused for 20 seconds


Self-levelling cradle

  • A self-levelling man-riding cradle travels up and down the mast, enabling easy access to the building’s exterior for its two occupants
  • A series of actuators keep the aluminium alloy cradle horizontal as it negotiates the building’s curved profile
  • Two mechanical jacks automatically move the cradle forward or backwards based on signals receieved from the levelling device


Let's talk more about travelling vertical access bridge masts.

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SCX Special Projects Ltd

Roman Ridge Road, Sheffield, S9 1GA, United Kingdom

t:  +44 (0)114 262 6199