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Cleaning skyscrapers is not for the faint of heart, especially if it involves one of the world's tallest towers and other tall edifices.
The UAE's outlandish architecture poses a huge challenge for every building cleaning company in town. Keeping the buildings spanking clean and gleaming is a daunting task that requires cleaning firms to keep up with the latest cleaning techniques and technology available. Common solutions like reach and wash cleaning systems and ladders do not apply as facades of tall buildings need to be cleaned with the use of special equipment and tools.
With a number of worker deaths attributed to high-rise cradles crashing to the ground, some companies are now changing tack, opting for the safer rope access technique. This procedure allows window washers to abseil down the building at their own pace. This is said to be a cheaper alternative to scaffoldings and cherry pickers. Other cleaning tools include the gantry and boom systems and spraying water on exteriors using high-pressure hoses.
Some cleaning companies employ building maintenance units (BMUs) permanently mounted on buildings. These suspended mechanical devices, tailored according to the design of the building, are controlled or programmed to move around the facade carrying cleaners with them.
Soon to make its way to the building cleaning world is a cleaning robot made by a Swiss company. Named Gekko Façade, it is yet to be released commercially. The robot cleaner is crafted to tackle heights, taking on the arduous task of cleaning hard-to-reach places.
Depending on the building size and shape, cleaning the facades of high-rises can take up a month or more at a cost of at least Dh30,000 per procedure.
• Reach/wash cleaning systems don't apply to towers.
• Companies opt for the safer rope access technique.
• Some companies employ permanently fixed BMUs.
Source: Special to Classifieds