Replacing windows at high altitude
Clear-blue skies, practically no wind at all – the conditions are perfect on this March 22nd for the two specialists who travelled from Munich, Germany. However, the fantastic weather on the day of repairs is anything but a fortunate coincidence. In fact, the situation is the result of meticulous planning and an essential prerequisite in order to even work with the façade access equipment along the external walls of Prime Tower. Indeed, given rain, snow, cold or wind, such an endeavour would be much too dangerous. The fact that anyone would carry out a window replacement at all at such a dizzying height is attributable to a very simple reason: The windows at Prime Tower are larger than the openings in the façade – meaning that they can only be installed from the outside.
Five people are taking part in this spectacular procedure. In addition to the two men in the exterior lift, two others are working inside the building. And of course all of them are professionally secured against any tumbles. A fifth person coordinates the activities from below. In order for the window replacement process to remain a safe procedure also for pedestrians passing by 30 storeys below, the specialists have cordoned off the area in front of Prime Tower.
Although the object appears like just a small piece of a puzzle at first glance, a closer look reveals that a single window exhibits an imposing stature. Measuring a height of 3.35 metres and width of 1.35 metres with a depth of 20 centimetres – not to mention a weight of 350 kilogrammes – these structures hardly resemble an ordinary window.
The window is released from inside the building with giant suction cups and carefully taken by the two men in the metal basket located on the building's exterior. The replacement of the new window is then carried out in reverse order.
Incidentally, the fact that a window has to be replaced is a rather rare occasion. The tower’s façade comprises 4,400 windows and just two to three of these are replaced per year – this time round due to a small stress crack. Hence, until such time that the next courageous climber must dare to ascend these heights may take some time.