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    Major works do not mean major disruption

    Major works do not mean major disruption

    As the largest shopping centre in Australia by GLA, south-east Melbourne shopping centre Westfield Fountain Gate cannot afford disruptions. When it came to the installation of over two kilometres of guardrails and half a kilometre of new walkways across a sprawling rooftop careful planning was needed.

    Westfield Fountain Gate had found in the past that when contractors installing equipment penetrate the roof sheeting, this in turn causes leaks down the track. As Fountain Gate is open 363 days of the years and they can’t afford to deal with additional leaks caused by contractors who don’t think about the impact of their work on the building as a whole.

    Rather than exposing Fountain Gate to the risk of ongoing roof maintenance problems and leaks, the team turned the installation of the new walkway to its advantage by upgrading existing infrastructure and introducing equipment designed to maintain the roof’s integrity.

    The design also met Westfield Fountain Gate’s brief for minimal disruption to centre operations. The patented modular track-mounted system requires 73% fewer roof penetrations and reduces site time by 60 per cent.

    Modules are prefabricated off-site in Defender’s factories so there is less time on site, less time working at heights and less disruption to trading. The modular design allows the installation of walkways and ladders to be very quickly and far more quietly.

    As well as the two kilometres of guardrails and half a kilometre of walkways, we installed 60 anchors, 20 rung ladders, four parapet cross overs, two cooling tower access systems and one midway landing in just two weeks, while traditional systems would have taken a good eight weeks – four times as long. Following the completion of the installation, most of the roof can now be accessed for maintenance without any special protocols, training or equipment. Best of all for the Fountain Gate customer and retailer, the work by Workplace Access & Safety was barely noticed and the installation is very unobtrusive.