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Heritage Building Scaffolding at the University of Manitoba with debris mesh enclosure

Not surprisingly, using scaffolding on heritage buildings needs to be specifically constructed and designed. Once all necessary permissions have been granted for maintenance or conservation work, every step of the project should be undertaken with great care. Scaffolding must be custom made specifically for the type of work required, keeping the unique features of the building front of mind. For over 50 years, the teams at Northstar Access have successfully created a range of specialized scaffolding systems for heritage buildings. 

Why is scaffolding a vital part of historic building projects?

If scaffolding is not erected correctly, it could cause severe damage to rare materials that are often hundreds of years old. These types of repairs can be extremely expensive, and it is often unlikely for the stone or woodwork to be restored identically, compromising the integrity of the building. Historic buildings are often irreplaceable, and once damaged it’s impossible to bring them back to their original beauty and individuality. Northstar’s heritage scaffolding services help to make restoration possible while honouring our history. You can view some of our heritage building projects here.

How does scaffolding cause issues for historic buildings?

Scaffolding is a vital part of any construction job, and scaffolders must be mindful of both the people they are protecting and the buildings they’re working on. Inefficient scaffolds may cause problems because they lack care for their surroundings, don’t plan ahead or pay attention to detail during the site preparation. Before any scaffolding on heritage buildings is constructed, our experienced team will carefully assess the needs and requirements of the project. This will minimize any issues and ensure the access and protection are provided in the best possible way.

Choosing the best type of scaffold for your heritage building project

Some types of scaffolds are less likely to cause damage than others. Here is a guide to the different types of structures commonly used:

Independently tied scaffolds – are used to provide access for exterior painting or maintenance jobs. They are usually fastened to a building for additional security, and therefore, are not advisable for delicate historic buildings. Northstar offers several solutions to ensure access can be gained without damage. These include fastening the scaffold to a birdcage framework scaffold or installing additional buttresses when providing scaffolding to historic buildings.

Support scaffolding or shoring- Often temporary building works are required because there is a danger of partial structural collapse or because removal of a crucial supporting member is necessary for replacement or renovation. Additionally, shoring is often required to bear cumbersome loads, and an inadequate design will pose a risk to both members of the public and the historic materials.  Therefore, shoring must be designed by a structural engineer. 

Heritage Building Projects Require Extra Care

Planning ahead is key.  The design of the heritage scaffolding work should be carefully assessed and planned well in advance of the actual building work. Northstar’s 50 years of heritage building access solutions have earned us an excellent reputation for our high-end customer service and knowledge. This has been achieved by being involved in the early planning stages and seamlessly integrating scaffolding solutions with irreplaceable heritage projects. 

Health and Safety. Besides preserving ancient buildings, customized scaffolding solutions are necessary for each project to guarantee optimum levels of health and safety. It is essential to ensure that each member of the team is briefed and made aware of the historical worth of the building and its unique materials. This results in extra care and consideration by every team member.  

When planning for a heritage building project, you cannot afford to discount knowledge and experience – we are here to help. Get in touch with a member of our specialized team today to provide the best access framework for your heritage project. 

heritage building scaffolding at the university of manitoba
Scaffolding on a heritage building at the University of Manitoba

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