Common tower proprietary escape stairs and stair wrap

Working on tall buildings can be a dangerous activity. Contractors must consider the safety of their workforce and adjust working methods accordingly. Many such sites use a Common Tower – a temporary structure that is tied to the main building and is used in conjunction with rack and pinion construction hoists to provide access into the building under construction.

See the examples below for how one site developed this system:

  • Construction Access Systems (CAS) developed proprietary secondary escape stairs which fitted into a bay of the Common Tower.
  • The staircase was adjustable to come level with the Common Tower platform.
  • The original design had scaffold Haki stairs but instead they developed a component custom built stair which can be assembled at ground floor. This avoids working at height and improves speed and efficiency. The Common Tower is also pre-fabricated on ground floor to avoid working at height and then craned on to the level.
  • The stairs allow for improved welfare facilities such as portaloos at every 5 floors and taps on every level of the Common Tower outside the fit-out, which also avoids any potential issues with leaks within the building.
  • Staircase wrapping is used to protect from falling objects – the material is stronger than traditional Monarflex or debris netting and can withstand sharp objects. The vinyl wrap is under tension and allows for a tight fit to the stair structure.

Footer Reference

Monitor report. St George City/Multiplex Construction Europe. London. May 2017.


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