AWD Called On to Provide Scaffold Expertise after Dramatic Collapse in Gibraltar


AWD have been called on to provide our design checking expertise for a replacement scaffold for the construction of Ocean Spa Plaza in Gibraltar, after a severe storm caused the dramatic collapse of the original scaffold, resulting in an independent health and safety investigation at the site.


We completed Category 3 design checks for our client Ramboll GIB on scaffolding used for the construction of the £40m Ocean Spa Plaza, an elliptical-shaped luxury housing and spa complex in Gibraltar.

The complex geometry of the building required that we pre-assess several elements of the site prior to completing our design checks. These included the calculation of site specific wind loading within a combination of 7 different load cases, the analysis of the scaffold boards, scaffold members and connections, as well as calculating live loads for 2 different scaffold towers.




We created a 3D model of the structure with STRAP analysis software to interrogate the scaffold in the model environment. We analysed the scaffold for a variety of different load cases including:

  • Self-weight of the scaffold members & boards
  • Live load for both scaffold towers
  • 4 different working wind load scenarios

We also analysed 2 different loading combinations to relevant factors of safety. Our structural calculations provided our client with maximum axial forces, maximum standard load and maximum tension tie load for both load combinations. 


Our analysis concluded that the replacement scaffolding did not meet the regulatory requirements for the site conditions and we recommended additional strengthening works to our client. These included:

  • the insertion of a horizontal butt tube between the two diagonal tie members to reduce shear and horizontal tie loading to a safe limit
  • the installation of a tie tube at every lift point of the scaffold to tie the scaffold towers together and avoid the requirement for façade bracing on every tower

You can read about our other projects here

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