Ideal Scaffolding (Southern) Limited provided a large scale bespoke temporary roof covering to facilitate the renewal of the Tidworth gymnasium roof and a large internal scaffold to replace the ceiling in the main gymnasium and several smaller scaffolds to replace ceilings within the squash courts. Jordan and Faber were appointed as the main contractor and ‘Ideal’ as the scaffolding contractor.
After site visits, planning meetings and contract award, work started on Phase 1 of the scaffolding project on Monday 13th May 2020. Phase 1 erected an internal birdcage measuring 36.5m long x 18m wide x 10m to 12m high using 90.5 tonnes of scaffolding taking 3 weeks to complete. This followed easing after the first lockdown due to covid-19 and therefore care had to be taken to observe the Governments Covid-19 guidelines. This proved challenging in maintaining social distancing in particular when working at heights.
On 2nd June 2020 work started on Phase 2 to erect a temporary outside roof measuring 52m long x 42m wide with additional buttresses with an unsupported span of 38.5m in the centre section of the roof. A whopping 378 tonnes of scaffolding was used in this phase with each of the 19 trusses weighing up to 2.6 tonnes! If all components were put end to end this would stretch for 45 miles! The total time to erect and dismantle the scaffolding was 24 weeks with 6 operatives totalling 6480 man-hours.
An innovative Platupus ground anchor system was used around the base of the exterior scaffolding which avoided having to use 450 tonnes of Kentledge. This also solved the challenge of otherwise shoring up the banks around the building in order to facilitate the massive scaffold leg load at the front of the gymnasium.
A 1.3m deep roof beam was incorporated to create the trusses required to span the roof. All these components were manufactured in the UK and supplied by George Roberts along with the tie bar system required to overcome the huge forces endured the temporary roof. Each of the twenty tie bars were capable of withstanding up to 8 tonnes of tension when the roof was put through its paces by the elements.
The project was supported by George Roberts Ltd who provided an invaluable service supplying component, boards, roof trusses and temporary roof sheeting throughout the project. The flexibility & professional services George Roberts demonstrated during the planning and execution of the project proved to be a key component in the success of the project. At the time the scaffolding structure has proved to be one of the large in the country.
George Roberts also supplied other elements of the external perimeter scaffolding and were instrumental in the success of this project. Their professionalism and service has been exemplary.
At the time of this project in 2020 the external scaffolding at Tidworth boasted the biggest unsupported span within a temporary roof standing anywhere in the UK.
In summary all parties collaborated to deliver a successful project on time for the MOD. The new roof and internal ceiling have really given the building a lift and look amidst the added challenges of dealing with COVID-19.