There are many iconic landmarks throughout history that simply wouldn’t have been built if it weren’t for scaffolding; from the pyramids of Egypt to the Statue of Liberty. We often marvel at large buildings without realising quite how much work went into their construction, and scaffolding plays an essential role in the building process. Every building, from large department stores to a block of flats, is built using scaffolding, but of course some projects are much bigger than others. See our brief guide below to some of the largest, most awe inspiring scaffolding projects around the world.
The Statue of Liberty
One of the most recognisable landmarks in the world, the Statue of Liberty underwent mass renovation in 1984, with scaffolding erected all around the statue from the base to the very top of the crown. Experts from all fields of the construction industry were consulted on the project, and at the time it was built, this was the largest free standing scaffold in the world. Built entirely of aluminium, it cost approximately $2 million!
Victoria train station in London is one of the busiest terminals in the world, so when it needed refurbishments there was no question about whether it would remain open. Around 80 million passengers pass through the station each year, so it was essential for the scaffolding to cause as little disruption as possible. In 2011, custom scaffolding was built to hang above the trains and allow the roof to be cleaned and refurbished. This allowed the station to remain operating as usual; essential when you consider that the project took three years to complete.
Since its opening in 2010, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai remains the tallest building in the world. Construction took a total of six years, and scaffolding was added as the floors were built in order to keep the final height a secret. The finished building stands at an impressive 829 metres high, with 163 floors.
Construction for the Eden Project in Cornwall began in 1998, and a whopping 230 miles of scaffolding was used while it was being built. The structure is formed of two domes, standing at 55 metres and 35 metres high, and the site became a popular tourist attraction even before it was officially open. The unusual shape of the design meant that extra reinforced scaffolding was needed in order to build a safe and secure structure.
You may not be building anything as large as the landmarks mentioned above, but if you need professional and reliable scaffolding services for your next project, get in touch with Rodells Ltd. We can provide scaffolding for the industrial, commercial and domestic sectors, and our friendly and experienced team of trained scaffolders are on hand to help; whatever your needs. For more information or to discuss your next project, give us a call or visit our website.
Rope access is a way of enabling workers to conduct jobs and repairs in hard to reach places such as work platforms or scaffolding. Technicians are trained to ensure they are fit to climb whilst learning how to implement important safety measures when working in commercial, industrial and environmental settings. But when do you need to hire a trained rope access technician? Carry on reading to learn about four of the most common times rope access is needed.
Window cleaningHigh office blocks or commercial buildings require rope access to perform window cleaning; this requires a high level of skill and can only be executed by professionals. Dirty and smeared windows can have a negative effect on your employees and clients, whereas a clean and well-kept environment is best for ensuring positivity and motivation, not to mention prospective clients may build a bad impression of your company based on the cleanliness of the building.
Roof repairsAs one of the biggest structural features of your home, keeping your roof in good condition is essential for protecting other parts of the house. Whether its a leak, missing tiles or any other type of repair it’s a bad idea to get up on the roof and attempt to fix it yourself. It’s particularly important that you get on top of any repairs before winter, as the change in weather means rain and snow will make existing problems a whole lot worse.
Churches and weather vanesWeathervanes are attached to the highest point of a building or house and function by signalling which direction the wind is coming from. Although they are not as common as they used to be, they can still be found on older building or on top of church steeples; they are also used by air traffic controllers and pilots to ensure flights can take off and land safely. To make sure they don’t become loose over the years, or to initially install one, a rope access specialist is needed as it’s a dangerous job.
Unblocking gutteringAfter autumn and winter you may find that your guttering has become blocked with debris and leaves, but hiring a professional tradesman will return them to working order. Don’t ignore the problem, blocked gutters will not be able to function as they should, meaning that rainwater will fall elsewhere causing mould and rot. Guttering on tall and hi-rise buildings will need rope access to get the job done safely and efficiently.
For a team of rope access specialists, Rodells is the professional team you need. Despite being based in Hertfordshire, we have a history of providing specialist works all across the UK with a positive and affordable service aimed at achieving high-quality work. For more information contact us today and find out what we can do for you.
Here at Rodells, we’ve been around since 1898, so we know the Hertfordshire area well. With that in mind, we thought we would put that to good use. So, we’ve utilised this knowledge to put together a quick guide of some of our favourite places, that like us, are steeped in history.
Natural History Museum at Tring
If you’re on a tight budget, but you still fancy a day out, visiting The Walter Rothschild Building in Tring is perfect. It’s free to visit all year round. The museum is filled with Walter Rothschild’s personal zoological collections.
Their museum has been open since 1892, where Rothschild himself employed many collectors from around the world to help him bring together one of the largest zoological collections ever assembled. So, why not go and have a look for yourself?
You’ve almost definitely seen Knebworth House before. With a recent history of hosting huge concerts and providing a backdrop to many Hollywood films, this country house is iconic. If the sun’s out and you’re stuck for somewhere to go, the stunning grounds are a beautiful place to spend a summer's day.
You could wander through the historic deer park which covers more than 250 acres, with herds of grazing deer who have called the park home for longer than any of its residents. Or, there’s a dinosaur trail and adventure park if you need to keep the kids amused.
Paradise Wildlife Park
If you would prefer a day outside of interactive and engaging fun, Paradise Wildlife Park is the place. There’s truly something for the whole family at this beautiful wildlife park.
There’s a whole host of experiences to get your teeth into. You could feed red pandas, feed meerkats, or take a tour of the Reptile Temple. It’s not just all about the animals though. If in your party there’s a few who aren’t so keen on getting up close and personal with the animals, there’s no need to worry. The wildlife park has a mini-golf course, adventure playgrounds, and even a national speedway museum, too!
Founded in 1898, Rodells is a well-respected specialist works and access company based in Hertfordshire. We predominantly offer scaffolding services as well as lightning protection to both industrial and commercial customers across the country.
If you would like to make an enquiry about any of the services that we offer, please do give us a call. For our main office it’s 01727 841855, or if you would like to speak with our scaffolding team specifically, it’s 01727 821011.
For centuries, lightning has been shrouded in mystery and has been the source of much fascination by humans. In modern times, we are beginning to understand it as nature’s way of balancing irregularities between the clouds and the ground. Combined of both a natural wonder and scientific power that isn’t yet able to be harnessed, it’s no wonder that lightning features heavily across time and history.
Gods and Goddesses
In many cultures or ancient mythology, the god or goddess of thunder and lightning was often a high god, considered the king or close to it. In Ancient Greece, the King of the gods was Zeus, who was often depicted with lightning bolts as a weapon. Twins Astrape and Bronte were also Greek goddesses of thunder and lightning, which is where the Greek word for lightning (astrapí) comes from and the terms for if you have a fear of thunder and lightning, astraphobia/astrapophobia and brontophobia, respectively.
In Norse mythology, the son of god King Odin was Thor, the god of thunder and was known to summon lightning from his hammer weapon Mjolnir. In Hinduism, Indra was king of the gods as well as lightning too.
As well as depicted in ancient cultures as being weapons harnessed by the Gods and causing mass devastation, lightning has caused upset in many modern wars too.
During the Napoleonic wars, more than 220 British tall ships were damaged by lightning. As well as ships, many soldiers have also been killed by lightning over the years due to their metal weapons and equipment acting as magnets for lightning, such as muskets, swords, helmets and bayonets. Wars such as the Second Boer War and the American Civil War have seen such fatalities.
Science vs Religion
In the 1700s, American Benjamin Franklin was known to chase thunder and lightning storms on horseback and loved to study them. Subsequently, Franklin knew that lightning was a form of electricity and thus began to think about protecting people and buildings from it, which led to the invention of the lightning rod in 1752.
However, for centuries, religions such as Christianity taught that lightning was God’s punishment and God’s creation and shouldn’t be avoided: “When he uttereth his voice (...) he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” (Jeremiah 51:16). Franklin’s invention was rejected by almost everyone, including the military and the navy and particularly churches that needed it most on their spires. Quickly, his invention became known as the “heretical rod” and it was blacklisted by many. This was until the 1900s though, when people finally admitted that the invention was much needed.
Like Franklin, Rodells Ltd. aims to protect people and buildings from lightning by installing earth rods. This includes churches, schools, homes and more. If you’re in need of lightning protection or conductor testing in St. Albans, contact our team of experts today.
Lightning truly is something to marvel at. As a child, you may have been told that thunder and lightning is caused by an argument between the clouds - and this actually isn’t too far off the truth either. Lightning is caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves, and this creates an electrical discharge that seeks to remedy this imbalance.
As one of nature’s phenomenons, it is one of the most beautiful displays on our Earth, but also one of the most dangerous. As experts in lightning protection and earthing, we understand how utterly brilliant lightning can be - here are some interesting facts about lightning.
A single bolt
A single bolt of lightning reaches around 27,000 degrees Celsius - this is hotter than the sun’s surface, which is only 5,600 degrees Celsius. Each bolt has over 100 million volts of electricity and travels at 270,000 mph before hitting the surface.
The fear of thunder and lightning has a few different names but is most commonly known as astraphobia. The phobia is also known as astrapophobia, brontophobia or keraunophobia (all derived from Greek words or from the names of gods of thunder and lightning). This phobia can develop in humans and animals alike.
The odds of you being struck is 1 in 3,000 throughout your entire life but the odds increase or decrease based on where you live. For example, Antarctica, Greenland and Patagonia are pretty safe options, whereas the Americas and Northern Australia are more likely places to get struck. Wherever you are, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll get struck by lightning but, for those who have, 90% live to see another day.
The most lightning-struck location
Perhaps not something to boast about, but Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela experiences the most lightning strikes on Earth. Thunderstorms occur 140-160 nights throughout the year. During a 10 hour night, lightning can strike 28 times per minute on average. That’s roughly 40,000 strikes in a whole night!
Helicopters cause lightning
As helicopters can acquire a negative charge whilst flying, they can trigger a lightning strike if they fly too close to an area that is positively charged (hail, for example).
Lightning is one of the biggest causes of weather-related deaths each year, but did you know it can also damage buildings, ruin your electrics and start fires? Electrical equipment damage is usually caused by insufficient grounding or poor earth rod installation. History has seen it’s fair share of lightning damage too - did you know, in 217 A.D., lightning struck the Colosseum in Rome and incinerated the entire structure?
At Rodells Ltd., we specialise in protecting your homes and businesses from lightning. “Weather” you’d like to know it or not (see what we did there?), lightning could severely damage your property and affect your business operations. For professional lightning protection in St Albans and surrounding areas, contact us today.