UK Hydrographic office – Robot window installation

Admiralty Way site, Taunton

This is a really exciting time for the UKHO as we transition to become a fully digital, data-centric organisation. The new office will play a key role in creating a modern, collaborative working environment that truly reflects and supports what we do. I am delighted to be able to continue our long connection with Taunton and the South West and continue to invest in the future of the UKHO.

John Humphrey, UKHO Chief Executive

With approximately 800 units to fit and ranging in weight from 70 to 200kg a smart method to remove the manual handling risk needed to be developed.

Working in conjunction with Ideal Combi and the window installer EWS, the preferred method selected was a glass robot a revolutionary new way of installing windows (Winlet window vacuum lifting unit). After a trail on site it was deemed suitable to lift, move and place the window units.

This machine has excellent capabilities of  glass handling and lifting, particularly within confined spaces, health and safety at work can be dramatically improved. The risk assessment and method statement were all drawn up to reflect the complete elimination of manual handling of the windows, but for this to happen BAM need to make sure the following was in place:

  • Ensure design details allow windows to be fitted internally
  • Ideal combi delivered the windows in accordance with the installation sequence
  • Ideal combi packed the windows so they could be handled and moved on site to the correct installation point
  • Ensure the floor plate is clear to allow units to be moved to installation point
  • Provide external access to allow unit to be guided into place

The UK Hydrographic office consists of the construction of a new 11000sqm Headquarters building and security building with associated access roads car parking and landscaping. The HQ building is a 3 storey concrete frame building with atrium to provide up to 700 desks in an open plan configuration, which will consist of:

  • The envelope is steel frame system, ribbon windows.
  • Curtain walling with brickwork and timber cladding.
  • Internal open plan offices with exposed soffit and timber cladding.
  • The atrium roof is precast concrete beams with roof lights and timber baffles.
  • Includes restaurant, gym, IT hub room.

The natural ventilation design called for full height composite timber windows to all levels. These units comprise fixed glazed unit and opening units both manual and automatic. The window units were manufactured and supplied by Idealcombi a Danish Window company.

All the units were successfully installed between January and March 2018.