High rise cleaning

The biggest realisation throughout the façade industry in recent times is that cleaning alone is simply not enough. If we look at cleaning in isolation, it’s not a sustainable approach to the wellbeing of buildings and in the long term can be costly. Exposed high rise buildings become weathered very quickly and they are at the mercy of the elements in the extreme.  Understanding the building fabric’s condition, its geography, weathering patterns, UV damage, corrosion, areas of decay and risk all need to be built into a more proactive program.

Such a detailed approach also helps protect the assets that naturally weather and decay over time, break down and erode. We are noticing an increased appetite for combined services of building skin cleaning, repairs and the proactive application of protective skin coatings such as nano coatings that protect the building fabric, its condition and performance.  Trends need to be driven towards more holistic service solutions and understanding for high-rise buildings’ needs; earlier intervention and investment within the building lifecycle through façade condition surveys (not just cleaning) is the only way such a change can be implemented.

Is cleaning the only solution for the overall maintenance of high rise buildings?

Absolutely not. Cleaning is simply one component of maintenance and it’s not enough.  There should be a well thought out planned and preventative maintenance schedule in place for building owners. Façade performance can only be optimised within a proactive and façade condition inspection framework. It’s critical to manage the building envelope holistically, so for example, don’t just clean the glass so that it ‘looks’ clean. Regular façade inspection activity will help build a real catalogue of information related to the façade weathering or corrosion. Proactive maintenance will out-perform any ad hoc inspections and limit expensive repairs. This can be achieved through specific routes of access, drones or rope access.

Will robotics entering high rise cleaning affect the market in a drastic way?

Inevitably, yes, but only over time when the technology becomes more sophisticated. With the rise of the IoT (internet of things) more sensors in façades can help in terms of data collection on building skins, but we are a long way off from a truly automated system where people are replaced to actually carry out the work and cleaning. Robotics are a great method of building regular data of the building fabric condition, especially at high level. They can help build the data from which detailed and specific cleaning and maintenance programs can be developed, however they cannot currently implement the solution over and above cleaning that the building may need. For me the solutions needed to understand, maintain and protect the building fabric at high level is a team effort whereby robots, technology and people all maximise their strengths to work to protect the high rise built environment. Leveraging a modern approach and integrating this within specialist high rise façade cleaning and maintenance programs is key to helping buildings last into the 21st Century and beyond.



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Building Transformation’s unquestionable honesty and enthusiasm for ensuring the client receives the correct whole-life solution (rather than a quick fix) resulted in us being able to ensure the building was not only returned to its former glory, but will stay that way for years to come. I would recommend them to anyone.

Kenny Gash - Carillion Amey

The work provided by Building Transformation was excellent. Their product and building exteriors knowledge is detailed, comprehensive and practically applied to the client’s needs. They offer a professional, detailed, high-quality and customer- focused service which meets the short, medium and long-term needs of the client, and provides practical, cost-realistic advice.

Kerry Quinn - Echo Arena

Customer service is paramount to Building Transformation and they invested vast amounts of time in providing me with a programme to facilitate what was a very complex and time-specific programme of work for the site. The quality and level of support provided by Building Transformation is priceless to any client/contractor.

Marc Blow MCIOB MBIFM - Carillion Amey

The approach and advice on setting up the works at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre were first-class. Building Transformation’s attention to detail was excellent and the RAMS were followed meticulously to every detail. We were delighted with the works and service, and would not hesitate to use them again, nor hesitate to recommend them to any organisation.

Kevin Egginton - Wolverhampton Council

A 200,000 sq. ft., four-storey leisure venue in the heart of Nottingham city centre surrounded by major traffic routes needed work to be done overnight to deal with the traffic issues, while the site remained open throughout. The project took around three weeks to complete and went exceptionally well; the Building Transformation staff were flexible and able to work round dynamic operational issues. The clean was of a high standard and has made a significant different to the image of the building. A very difficult job done well.

Suzanne Green - Land Securities

May & Co have worked with Building Transformation on a number of projects which have included external building cleaning and refurbishment. They provided a great service, supported by the high level of documentation from the initial quotation to books and industry-related guidance, all relevant to our project.

Anton Theobald - May & Co

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