Scaffolding West End – Case Study 2

Scaffolding West End – Case Study 2

We used fixed chapter 8 barriers to make the area safe below.

Scaffolding West End

Charlotte Street W1.

The Charlotte Street project is a good example of scaffolding West End. It highlights our coverage of this central London area. In this study we use a cantilever scaffolding, which we use when a scaffold tower is not an option.

The Brief

Avondale Interiors, a new client based in High Wycombe, contacted us. They asked us to tender for a project involving a cantilever scaffolding in London’s busy West End.

Arial House is a fully occupied five storey office block in the heart of Fitzrovia, behind London’s busy Oxford Street. Avondale’s end client needed to re-spray, and carry out maintenance work to, the windows and frames. The front and rear of the property required scaffolding to allow full access to each section of glass, with lifts every two metres.

The rear elevation is where the office car park was and was down a side alley busy with pedestrians and cars. The front elevation is on one of London’s busiest streets and to erect scaffolding over these areas needed some careful planning.

The Process

From the initial site survey it was clear that we could not build the scaffolding off the ground. The basement had large glass panels built into the ground floor. They would not be strong enough to support eight lifts of steel and boards. We decided to bridge scaffolding across the glass using up-stand planters on either side and strong aluminium X – beams.

The designers got cracking with the drawings and we began work on the rear elevation. We used fixed chapter 8 barriers to direct pedestrian traffic. A spotter on the ground stopped work altogether when cars needed to enter or exit the car park.

Once on site we could investigate the construction of the planters we planned to use to support the beams. This meant removing part of the cladding to see what was beneath. We were hoping for a concrete frame or brick construction but as neither was present, it ruled out bridging with X-beams.

Our solution was to build a cantilever scaffolding from the pavement. Fixing steel ladder beams to the wall of the property allowed us to keep the ground floor clear.

Safe Working

Again we used chapter 8 barriers to move the pedestrians away from the risk areas. We built a scaffolding tunnel so that the public could pass beneath while we worked above.

The Result

Avondale and their end client were pleased with the services provided and the block itself given a new lease of life.


Scaffolding West End - Charlotte Street W1.

This case study is focused on a cantilever scaffolding.

A cantilever scaffolding is used to provide access to an area where the ground directly below cannot be used. For example when it belongs to a neighbouring property. In this example the ground would not support the imposed loads.

Client Requirements

Provide a fully boarded access scaffolding to front and rear elevations.
Bridge over drive ways and entrances.
Keep entire ground floor clear as not fit to support weight of scaffolding.
Obtain all relevant licenses.
Supply full architect drawings.
Prioritise safety for pedestrians and office staff.

MTec Solution

Following the initial site surveys we designed a cantilever scaffolding structure, which allowed us to keep the ground floor completely free and protected from the works above. We would use steel "ladder beams" fixed to the wall with band and plate fittings and "Apollo X - Beams to bridge across between these supports.
We sent our design to the architects for conformation and load calculations while we discussed licences with Westminster Council.
The pavement licence requires £5 million public liability insurance. No problem, MTEC Scaffolding carries this amount of cover as standard.
Charlotte Street is a busy road especially in the summer when tourists add to the already heavy footfall. We needed to think carefully about how to protect pedestrians while keeping the project moving.
Deciding that a fully protective tunnel would be the safest route we added this to our Method of Work Statement and sent it to the client for final approval. For added safety we included a 5 board wide protection fan at no additional charge and our risk assessment came back with a perfect score.
Another project completed safely and on time.


This particular contract presented many challenges in regards to erecting the scaffolding.
The building was situated on a busy street in central London and the building was fully occupied with noise restrictions in place.
All local authority permits and parking dispensations were dealt with by Mtech including a detailed scaffold design.
We found them to be professional in all their approach to the contract, including a high level of H&S awareness.
We would not hesitate in using Mtech Scaffolding on future contracts.

Gary R Loveday
Contracts Director
Avondale Interiors