Mobile Access and Lifting Gantries


Contract Investor:

Vinci Construction UK

Contract Location:

Barton Square, Manchester

The Brief

VCUK were looking for a lightweight and efficient way to lift and safely install the glazing panels at Barton Square, Trafford Centre Manchester.


They had already explored heavy steel lifting gantries as well as obtrusive cranes, thus their brief was quite clear. They wanted 4no. gantries along each 40m barrel roof working simultaneously to maximise productivity. Necessary lifting equipment was to be included in the design as was a safe platform level for the glazing team to install from.


No drilling or fixing to the new structure was permitted, thus existing cleat fixing points would need to be utilised at both Eaves and Apex levels.


The Product

Before initialising any design work, it was clear that a modular approach was required to provide a logistically viable solution.


Standard ‘AllyBeam’ components were used to provide the necessary strength required at the top of the structure, accompanied by bespoke ‘flat pack’ components allowing an efficient bolted installation procedure. Our own Track and trolley system was utilised to provide effortless movement along the 40m barrel, together with a specifically designed braking system.

Two hoists were required per gantry to successfully lift the glazing panels up to their respective apertures. The hoists were operated from platform level with isolation points located at eaves level.



The gantries supplied enabled the glazing team to install safely and efficiently, which lead to improved programme timescale. This was recognised in the Site Inspection Report conducted by Peter Hirst of Cladtech Associates:


‘We wish to acknowledge and give significant credit to this access system as an example of how a bespoke access solution can ultimately prove to be the most efficient (both in terms of safety and installation) in achieving all round holistic benefits to a project. Considerable recognition should be given to those responsible.’

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