Our Suspended Access Platform wins Project of the Year


AWD’s Suspended Access Platform design has won Project of the Year for our client iMS Access at the Construction News Awards 2017.

We were approached by our client to provide a design solution to give workers access to refurbish the 100m diameter domed roof at Center Parcs, Longleat. We are experts in the design of access engineering systems for bridges, mast climbers, rooftops and many other types of structures, and we also provide structural calculations for our clients’ designs, as well as design checking services.

On this project, our design brief required that the centre remain fully open to the public during the repairs, since the work would take 30 months to complete, and so we had a unique challenge ensuring our design provided safety for those working on the platform, and also for nearly 4000 members of the public using the centre below on a daily basis.

Longleat Dome

             100m diameter dome roof with radial Glulam beams at Longleat

Our innovative design was a tiered access platform which was suspended between the radial Glulam beams of the dome. We utilised our own X-Beam design to create a strong and durable working platform capable of maintaining a safe working load of 500kg per tier. The judges described our design as ‘a brilliant, brave and innovative solution to what was a hugely challenging project’.

                 5 (1) 6 (1)

        Model of AWD's suspended access platform using our own X-Beam product

The platform was designed as a safety crash deck to absorb the impact of any falling glazing panel or roof component and prevent the object falling to the ground. Our access platform was also fully redundant, allowing for any structural component to fail without causing the platform to collapse. As a result, there were zero accidents over the full refurbishment period. Our design was described as providing ‘an outstanding health and safety record on an extremely high-profile job’.


      Our Suspended Access Platform design constructed at Center Parcs Longleat

We also designed secondary platforms for areas where the tiered platform was not suitable at the apex of the dome, as well as decoration platforms and custom lower tier platforms. Our platform was also designed to be made completely from ‘off the shelf’ components to ensure our client didn’t have to wait for bespoke elements to be fabricated, saving them time and money.

We are delighted that our work has been recognised in such a prestigious forum, and congratulate our client iMS Access and contractors SDC Builders on a great job on site.