A building with history – that’s the Volkshaus in Zurich. The building opened in 1910 is famous above all today as a venue for concerts and events, and has provided bands like AC/DC and Metallica with the setting for their musical performances. Originally it served as a location for political gatherings and for social get-togethers.
Last year, the listed building was comprehensively renovated over a period of 3 to 4 months. This affected both the roof and the facade. In the course of the facade and roof renovation, all roofing and metal-working tasks were performed under the leadership of Rolf Steger of Preisig AG. This made a reliable, professional fall protection system essential. In this blog post, we concentrate on why that mattered, and the challenges which had to be overcome.
The total roof area of the Volkshaus Zurich requiring renovation amounted to a huge 1,850 square metres. Because of its inclination of 46°, the main roof surface represented a particular challenge, even for professionals. Without reliable fall protection, this working area would have been absolutely inaccessible. Even the route up to the pitched roof was a challenge, because it was essential to access and transition to the roof in complete safety. Find out more about the danger areas on the roof and the route up to it here.
The remaining part of the roof has an inclination of “merely” 26 to 28°, still a considerable pitch, but all the same not comparable with working on a roof with a slope of 46°. A further complication was that the entire building is under a preservation order, and so new tiles had to match the old beaver tail tiles from 1910. In addition, it was not permitted to modify the height and design of the roof structure.
However, not all renovation activities could be implemented according to the original standard of knowledge. Above all, in the area of fall protection “Old” and “New” had to be combined, in order to find a modern solution for the listed building.
The distinctive lightning conductor rods with conductor wires spanned between them, common in earlier times, were also amongst the challenges which arose in terms of visual appearance. For this reason, these elements and the conductor wires spanned between them were replaced visually with our steel posts. This allowed the appearance of the Volkshaus Zurich to be retained. In addition, the largely missing roofing underlay membrane had first of all to be created . The challenging timeline then played its part.
The challenges listed, especially the inclination of the roof, led to the AIO lifeline system being selected as the safety system. Altogether, 177 m of AIO lifeline system and 22 STA-10 posts were installed; in future these will provide adequate protection on the pitched roof of the Volkshaus Zurich. In order to prevent a pendulum fall in the corner areas of the pitched roof, 34 SDH-31 safety roof hooks were installed.
Through our many years in the planning and implementation of fall protection systems, we were able to integrate the safety solution inconspicuously into the roof surface, so that its presence as such is not even evident. The previous distinctive lightning conductor rods were replaced by our steel posts and the stainless steel wires between them. Every post consists of a 48 mm thick, insulated round steel rod, with a height of 400 or 600 mm. The 8 mm thick stainless steel cable is spanned between the posts.
When equipped with PPE and a suitable slider for the AIO lifeline system, a worker can safely perform all cleaning, servicing, and maintenance tasks on the pitched roof of the Volkshaus. The total length of stainless steel cable installed was 198 metres. Thanks to many years’ collaboration between Preisig AG and our team of experts, it was possible to comply optimally with the tight schedule.
- Optimum safety on the pitched roof, thanks to our AIO lifeline system
- Prevention of a pendulum fall thanks to the safety roof hooks in the corner areas of the pitched roof
- The universal components ensure optimum adaptation to the complex structure
Should you have questions on the subject of fall protection for your project, feel free to contact us here. In addition, you can find out in this checklist why facades must not be secured against falling.