Riverpoint is a two tower commercial & residential complex in Limerick city centre, located on a busy intersection off Shannon Bridge. It comprises of multiple offices, coffee shops, and apartments. It stands 58.5 metres high and is the fourth tallest building in Ireland.
Following high winds, two cladding panels were dislodged from the structure and fell to ground, luckily without causing any injury or damage. The panels were located on the 13th floor on the south eastern façade of the structure. The building was seriously compromised by these missing panels and there was great concern that ravelling would occur. Weather conditions were poor and further high winds forecast.
Several methods of access were considered by the Contractor including scaffolding up to the damaged area from the tenth floor roof or accessing by means of crane and basket. Due to the street layout and the road gradient these were risky and time consuming options and entailed planning, road closure, exclusion zones and the risk that the entire cladding system would be fully compromised.
The Contractor contacted Collins Steeplejacks for an alternative means of access. We immediately attended the site and confirmed we could access the damaged areas using ropes. In consultation with the client and the Health and Safety Authority we devised a plan of action to secure the building in the safest possible manner. Our crews stayed locally consulting with the Meteorological Service waiting for an opportunity to gain access to the damaged area. In consultation with the Meteorological Service we ascertained there would be an opportunity the early hours of the morning. As it was dark at this time additional safety measures were put in place. The winds abated and we abseiled down to the damaged section and made safe the cladding alleviating the risk of ravelling. The replacement panels were ordered and installed within two days with minimal interference and no disruption to businesses. As good practice we went on to inspect the remaining panels to ensure their integrity. The speedy manner of our approach resulted in the site being made safe in a speedy cost effective manner.