Lifting Safety Top of the Agenda at Lloyds Register Group HQ
Winch systems specialist, Raising and Lowering Systems (R & L) have just completed a challenging project for Lloyds Register Group who are a £1 billion-turnover service provider, in the heart of London’s financial district. R & L who design and install winch systems for lighting installations, were commissioned to design, supply and install a lighting frame and winch system to raise and lower the huge luminaire in the main entrance atrium of the companies London headquarters.
Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global engineering, technical and business services organisation owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to research and education in science and engineering. Founded in 1760 as a marine classification society, LR now operates across many industry sectors, with over 9,000 employees based in 78 countries.
The company prides itself on its long-standing reputation for integrity, impartiality and technical excellence and their global technology centres and research network which means they are at the forefront of understanding the application of new science and technology to future-proof their clients’ businesses.
The site of the company’s headquarters has a fascinating history. Following the organisations origin as a classification society in a London coffee house in 1760, the company grew, spreading around the world and into new business sectors. In the late 19th century the society expressed its confidence through the development of a new head office at 71 Fenchurch Street, an impressive classical stone palazzo designed by Thomas Collcutt, the architect responsible for prestigious buildings including The Savoy Hotel and the Palace Theatre. At the end of the 20th century, Lloyd’s Register had commissioned an exciting modern building to be designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership (now Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners) who were responsible for the design of the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Lloyd's Register did consider relocating its London office to new purpose-built offices outside of London. Instead, it was decided to redevelop the site in Fenchurch Street to provide an energy-saving, efficient high quality working space which preserved and enhanced one of the oldest parts of the site, the Collcutt building. The new modern structure of glass, steel and concrete soars from the ground. Like Collcutt's original, the building is a product of its time. The main lifts and stairs are on the view at the front, behind full-height glazing. Inside, the building's structure of concrete and steel is also on display. The energy-saving concepts used also influenced the building's design and appearance. The building was completed in 2000 and opened by Her Majesty the Queen in November of that year. Today, it sill attracts much attention from visitors to London.
The towers and two flanking sections of the complex are linked by office floor-space and a dramatic glazed atria that bring daylight and space into the heart of the building. It is within this main entrance atria that Raising & Lowering Systems were contracted to supply and install a huge lighting frame from which a dramatic large and impending lighting installation was to hang. Following a site visit, a bespoke lighting winch system was specified. The system consisted of 4 motor gearboxes and a specially developed inverter unit to control them all. All components were installed and hidden in the floor voids below the 3rd floor offices adjacent to the atrium, meaning no working elements were visible within the atrium itself. A wireless remote control enables one person operation at the touch of the button from anywhere within the room so that the lighting can safely and easily be lowered to ground level for maintenance very quickly. The lack of space to house the winches and the bespoke nature of the design led to a very challenging but interesting project.
In addition to the installation of new winch system, the R& L team carry out statutory annual Thorough Examinations once every 12 months. This planned maintenance programme ensures that the equipment meets Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER), giving peace of mind that the installation is operational and continues to be safe to use.
It has been fantastic for R & L to be part of such an ambitious project. The client is delighted with the end results and the atrium lighting is being submitted for various lighting awards. The building itself has won and been shortlisted for, a number of notable awards since it was completed including the World Architecture Award for the Best Commercial Building in the World.
Raising and Lowering systems are the leading authority in the installation and maintenance of winch systems for chandeliers and other lighting installations in the UK and are a division of Penny Hydraulics Ltd (www.pennyhydraulics.com). Penny Hydraulics Ltd design, manufacture, install and service a wide range of lifting equipment and has its own purpose built premises housing its manufacturing and assembly plant, carrying out all the functions of a fully integrated company with design, manufacturing, quality control, aftersales support and nationwide service operation for over 38 years.