Home Features Projects Swift sets the standards in Motion

The future landscape of Waltham Forest is taking a very individual shape with three distinctive towers elegantly twisting as they rise to look out across East London. Fundamental to the project’s success is the access and scaffolding. Jenny Gibson reports on Swift Scaffolding’s £1.4 million contract at the new Motion complex.


“The need to design consistency into an inconsistent building profile was a critical aspect of this contract,” said Sam Gage, contracts manager from Swift Scaffolding.

Motion is a residential development incorporating three tower blocks ranging from 12 to 18 floors overlooking Leyton in East London. Under construction are 300 new homes as part of a £350 million regeneration venture.

Main contractor Hill appointed Swift Scaffolding – a Scaffolding Association Audited Member – to provide scaffolding and access solutions for all external facades across nine reinforced concrete frame blocks during spring 2018.

Swift developed the scaffold design in detail to ensure that the strategy was robust enough to meet stringent safety and technical demands. Swift worked alongside the Hill team to design scaffolding solutions that met the access requirement of the key trade contractors focused around multiple access for men and materials. Design, logistical challenges and innovative thinking have all played their part in a scaffold contract that has been running since May 2018.

The scope for Swift includes main access tube and fitting scaffold for blocks A, B, C, D, H and J. This has been adapted in two ways to meet the project requirements: firstly, using Van Thiel sliding transoms to suit brickwork access and, secondly, to adapt to intermediate and floor-level platforms for following trades.

Three tower blocks – E, F and G – were erected in storey height lifts for cladding and facade works.

HAKI access staircases have been installed across the project to provide safe and easy access and egress to all blocks.

All elements expected on a project of this scale, i.e. lift shaft access, guardrails, birdcages and pedestrian protection gantries, are also included in Swift’s works.

One aspect requiring significant design input has been the loading platforms: 11 progressive towers and 45 cantilevered bays, mainly erected to the tower blocks. Traditional loading towers were used on the lower-level blocks allowing flexibility in positioning along the length of each elevation.

Mr Gage said: “Due to the limited ground space available, the need for cantilevered loading bays is paramount, as well as passenger goods hoists erected to each tower. The positions of the cantilevered loading platforms had to be carefully co-ordinated allowing material access to each floor level of each tower and to avoid clashes above and below as the majority of internal fit-out materials are loaded to each floor for distribution.

The small site footprint at 97 Lea Bridge Road has presented a challenge for the Swift on-site team with daily material delivery and storage. With such a vast quantity of material needed to scaffold nine blocks, well-planned logistics is vital to ensure productivity.

“This is down to using a tried-and-tested approach,” explained Mr Gage. “We have a good system in place along with Hill to make sure the gangs have what they need, when they need it, in the place they need it!

“On a project of this size, to date, we have delivered over 70 loads of materials with a combined weight of over 1,000 tonnes to build the job.

“Having a clear plan of how it’s all going to get on-site and where it will be stored is essential for efficient working. There’s no other way.”

More than 20 operatives have been on-site for a year already and the contract is expected to complete at the end of 2019. This type of project needs to be supported by well-trained, experienced and committed professionals. And that’s exactly what Swift have provided.



Developer: Peabody

Main Contractor: Hill

Scaffolding Contractor: Swift Scaffolding Ltd

Scaffolding Design Consultant: Engineering Techniques Ltd

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