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New edge protection system utilised on £70m Riverside development

The regeneration of Stafford’s Riverside development is a major scheme on the site of the old Riverside Recreation Centre, Tesco store and multi-storey car park. This £70 million project will eventually see the completion of an 18-unit retail development of more than 190,000 sq ft, along with a new multi-story car park that will boast 1,032 parking spaces.

Now at the midway point in the construction process, the new development will see the Riverside transformed with the design incorporating a suspended floor area of 27,700m2 for the car park. However, due to its location, specialist contractor PCE Ltd had to work with tight constraints and have had to contend with not only the river bank, but also the busy surroundings of the city centre. With the structure being close to all the site boundaries it meant PCE had to consider carefully the best choice when it came to edge protection to ensure the highest safety procedures were implemented.

PCE sought to find edge protection that would be able to accommodate a variety of pre-cast designs over an array of concrete structures. These requirements meant that they had to look further afield and in doing so discovered PERI Ltd’s PROKIT barrier system at the biggest trade fair for the construction industry – Bauma.

Yet to launch in the UK, the PROKIT system was specified by PCE to aid those on site deliver a first-class project on time without compromising on safety. Supplied through PERI UK and shipped from Germany, the system enabled quick-assembly for the fall protection, with the mesh barrier providing a neat finish, with the system customised in PCE colours.

Apart from enabling a faster erection process, with minimal training needed, the system also allowed the construction teams to achieve a more flexible application which was ideally suited to the complex pre-cast structure of the car park. This element is crucial due to the level of activity on site at any one time and the safety system helps to minimise exposure to potential risks, as well as prevent debris from falling from height.

Operations Director, Chris McReynolds of PCE Ltd, said: “On this particular project the risk of falls and accidents is incredibly high due to the gaps in between each floor and between the columns running along each floor. Therefore, we had to specify an incredibly reliant safety system that would not only provide secure edge protection, but also ensure easy installation and adaptable mounting.

“After seeing the PERI PROKIT at the Bauma show in Germany, we saw the potential the system could offer for the Riverside development. The PERI UK team soon provided us with the opportunity to utilise the system and even flew three of us across to Germany to provide a better insight into the system and demonstrate how it would resolve our concerns about safe working practices on site.

“Once delivered to site, we found that the quick installation of the system also enabled us to accelerate working operations on building the shell. In addition, the small number of system components simplified the entire on-site material requirements and logistics. Comparing this to the use of rope equipment, the PROKIT offered the construction team considerable more freedom of movement, while still remaining safe and secure.”

Matt Binder, Sales Engineer at PERI, added: “The Riverside development in Stafford is the first project in the UK to utilise the PROKIT system. Although not yet launched in the UK, we were able to accommodate the specifications of the PCE team and provide a safe, viable and cost-effective solution to create a secure working environment for those on site.

“This lightweight and quick edge protection system has proven essential for the PCE team and its ability for the post to automatically secure into place when inserted into the feet means that the mesh barrier is fixed in position. This has worked extremely well during the construction of the multi-storey car park, as it has provided reliable securing of the edges on the shell of the concrete building.”

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