Spidermen Spotted In Watford

Metal window refurbishment specialist ASWS has completed two phases of work in refurbishing the façades of the ASOS building in Watford using elevated platforms including a ‘spider’.

The property, which dates from late 1990s, not only required re-glazing and extensive mastic renewal and replacement to its original aluminium curtain walling system, the articulated, stepped and brise soliel structure also presented logistical challenges in terms of access and a very tight programme timetable.


Old and new

Associated Steel Window Services was renewing a past working relationship with main contractor ISG, while demonstrating its ability to embrace contemporary contracting techniques as well as traditional trade skills.

Initially, ASWS was engaged to carry out a full survey of the property’s curtain walling to determine its general condition, highlighting specific areas of damage and deterioration, as well as any glazing units which might require replacement. This included a full external survey using mechanically elevated working platforms and photography. The company was then awarded the contract for the first phase of work under competitive tender, which addressed the whole building envelope across all elevations and roof works.


Heavy lifting

Its team of twelve experienced operatives then proceeded to carry out the repairs utilising half a dozen different types of access equipment, including scissor lifts, HGV mounted Broncos and specialist spider equipment, which is designed to work at extreme heights in narrow areas that normal access equipment wouldn’t be able to operate in. This required the ASWS team to be specifically trained to be able to operate the spiders. The largest IG unit fitted was a 3m long by 2m high, weighing over 300kg. 


 “We were awarded the ASOS contract on the basis of our overall capabilities and being able to show the ability to work in challenging circumstances as well as to tight programmes.”

– Kris Bennell 

Contracts director, Associated Steel Window Services


Trying conditions

“While we have extensive experience of renovating different types of metal window – from the earliest wrought iron and steel windows, through to contemporary aluminium systems - access issues were a major element to this job involving getting to different heights, dealing with the variable ground conditions, the various weights of machine, and employing crane mounted glazing machines,” continues ASWS’ Bennell. “Not only that, the job was completed over one of the coldest winters in recent memory.  We are delighted to say that the project was completed on time and practical completion was achieved by our client.”

The project manager for ISG, Dragos Caraimaneanu, says: “This was a very demanding job where we were completing the full Cat. A and Cat. B fit out on behalf of ASOS.  Despite the difficulties, ASWS performed very well, even repairing and reglazing an extremely large window that was broken. The client was very happy with the results.”


Picture: ASWS overcame big access challenges to complete ASOS façade refurbishment.


Article written by Cathryn Ellis
16th January 2023


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