Burnley based Hardy Access Services have been commissioned to facilitate access to the fully glazed atrium dome on the roof of Liverpool Central Library.
The dome, a well known Liverpool landmark, resides above the central stair core, and was installed during the library refurbishment some 8 years ago.
Access was required to inspect the whole of the external of the dome and change some failed units, but due to the shape, height, glazed facade and position of the dome (24m from ground, on the roof of the library, within a mile of the banks of the river Mersey and potential for high winds), this was not an easy task.
Hardy Access Services put forward a scheme that would involve erecting a free-standing scaffold, which would in turn allow modular beams that would span over the top of the dome and support a monorail lifting beam, and tie the scaffolds together increasing the stability of the structure. The lifting beam also needed to have a loading capacity of up to 500kg, as there was the potential of removing the central Oculus section of glass. From the overhead beams, Hardy’s were able to erect hanging scaffolds, providing access to be achieved right up to the glazed façade.
A large loading tower was then erected. The tower, 6m long x 4m wide and 24m high, and erected without the need to tie into the historic façade of the library, would provide both the means for them to raise by hand the materials required to build the atrium scaffold, but also had the potential to allow erection of a gantry hoist, should any materials be required to complete the actual glazing works.
Managing Director Paul Hardy said: “We’re very proud to have been asked by Shepheard Construction and Liverpool Council to undertake this work. The library and its famous dome is well known across the city. The project itself was a challenging structure but one which we’ve got the required skills and experience to undertake. The result is a refurbished dome which will serve the people of Liverpool for a number of years to come.”