AN EASIER WAY - MESH PANELS
Former Fletcher Construction façade manager chose INTAKS as his preferred edge protection.
"AUT required three buildings to be constructed as an extension of their engineering and technology department. These comprised of a five, a six and a 13-story building all connected together to create a fantastic learning environment for all users”
Lessons Learned in the UK Lead to INTAKS
Thirteen years’ experience in the UK building construction industry led façade manager Chris Busby, formerly of Fletcher Construction, to choose INTAKS as his preferred edge protection.
AUT required three buildings to be constructed as an extension of their engineering and technology department. These comprised of a five, a six and a 13-story building all connected together to create a “fantastic learning environment for all users,” said Chris.
An Easier System
From years of experience in installing façade panels, Chris knew it was very difficult to install façade panels without removing the edge protection completely, which would ultimately put the installers, and others, at a higher risk.
“So, I tried to source something that was similar to what I’d worked with in the UK and I came across the INTAKS system.”
Chris said no one within Fletchers had used INTAKS before, so this was a whole new system to them. He wanted to use what he called “the post-pour system”, which meant that once the slab was poured the edge protection was then fixed in to the top of the slab.
He first discussed and trialed the edge protection system with the relevant sub-contractors and his project team, receiving positive feedback.
Joel, the general manager of INTAKS NZ then advised that INTAKS also had a pre-pour system, “which could be attached to the steel as part of steel install, providing operatives with an edge protection from the outset. Once you’ve poured your slab, and after adequate curing, you can then install the post pour system for your façade install, so it kills two birds with one stone, whilst always providing a protected edge to work behind,” explained Chris.
The Shift to Lightweight, Durable Scaffolding & Edge Protection
After careful consideration the project team decided to trial INTAKS. For many it was stepping out of the norm, due to the lightweight durability of the INTAKS system.
“In New Zealand they were typically used to a heavier and more rigid edge protection that doesn’t move. But I was used to using those light weight products in the UK, and because I used to install façade panels I was exposed to these types of products on a daily basis and knew that it would be a better option for us in this instance.”
Before choosing INTAKS, Chris said his team were considering using a fixed scaffold tube and clip. “But that meant we had to have scaffolders onsite full-time adjusting hand rails to suit and moving them out the way for the façade guys as and when required. Whereas with INTAKS the façade installers could remove it/make adjustments themselves, obviously once they were trained in its use.”
Also, initially when Chris was doing his research, he wanted something that had mesh fencing, which was typical of the systems he’d been working with in the UK.
“At the time Joel and INTAKS didn’t have that designed yet, but they said, they were working on it. Because INTAKS were so keen on getting feedback from people like myself, who have hands on experience with these kinds of products, they were very good at making it quite collaborative.
“We all discussed it [the fencing]. We later tried it on site, and from there we got the mesh fence panels. They were developed further as well. We actually made a number of minor adjustments to the system throughout using it, in order to make it better and safer for everybody.”
Chris said INTAKS is a user-friendly option, particularly for façade installation, especially when installing unitized panels.
“You never get the set out of the edge protection 100% perfect. You always find areas that need to be adjusted and Intaks is so easy to adjust. It can be adjusted by someone who’s trained to use that system, who’s not necessarily a scaffolder. As long as you’ve got the right skill set of people (and generally guys who hang façade panels are very well skilled) who are trained in the use of INTAKS they can quite easily and comfortably use this system.
“It is fairly quick to put up and it’s adaptable. It’s lightweight so you haven’t got the guys being fatigued, with regards to handling it. And if you ever needed anything the team would bring it straight out to you, so it was also a quick turn around on getting materials on site.”
Chris said he was extremely happy with the overall outcome and would definitely consider its use for his façade install projects going forward.