Benefits of Rope Access for Building Surveys and Maintenance

Architects and developers keen on making statement buildings often look for unusual and eco-friendly materials. But many know that to really make a building stand out in its environment: unique design, modern materials, and optimum usage of space which ultimately means buildings are getting taller.

While these buildings may be beautifully designed, modern engineered buildings are often very difficult to access because of the above reasons. But, like all buildings, the materials weather, decay, and eventually fail. Maintenance is more inconsistent because access solutions have not been considered.

And that’s why, when it comes to skyscrapers and other tall buildings, rope access and abseiling are the best way to ensure these eye-catching facades are correctly and properly maintained, inspected, surveyed, cleaned, repaired, and protected.

Scaffolding is fine for accessing tall buildings – to a point. But it’s abseiling techniques that provide the trump card. A building of any height can be accessed, provided there is adequate safeguarding in place. It’s also much quicker to abseil than to build an entire scaffolding platform. But there are other benefits to rope work too. Such as:

Less expense

As well as being quicker, it’s also far cheaper to maintain a medium-height façade using rope access than building a tower of scaffolding. Fewer hours – and less manpower – on the job means less money spent on the project and more finances you can direct towards your company.

More flexible

Living in Britain, rainy and windy days aren’t exactly an unusual occurrence. It’s something everyone in the building maintenance trade has to plan for. However, with some solutions, cancellation due to weather can mean having to reorder and reschedule which results in time delays. If you have booked a Moving Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) then you could be looking at weeks of delays to get it again. With rope access though, you can cancel and simply wait until the next clear day to get your work done.

More accessible

An MEWP can only reach to a certain height, depending on the model. Finding an easy way to erect building scaffolding for a rounded structure, such as the majority of stunning new Egyptian architectural buildings shown here, is equally as difficult. Neither method works for tall buildings. But rope access does. Any trained rope access technician can abseil down super tall structures, it’s even what they use to clean the Burj Khalifa. They can also access structures which aren’t particularly steady, such as a crumbling bridge – provided they are securely anchored to start off.

More versatile

You will find that your typical rope access technician is also a welder, photographer or painter. Then again, he or she may be an expert joiner or roof surveyor. In other words, you can often get several jobs done at once when using a rope access team.

Less disruption

You’ll rarely hear a team of rope access workers going about their business – even if they are feet away from you outside the 17th storey window. In fact, sometimes rope access workers can even work at night. You will probably be aware of an MEWP however, and definitely hear scaffolding being put together. Most importantly, of course, with rope access you don’t have to worry about an unattractive metallic structure over the entrance to your grand office block.


With dedicated one-on-one training and strict safety standards to adhere to, rope access is one of the safest building maintenance access methods around. Most rope access technicians will have been climbing and abseiling for years as a past-time and the practice has become second nature to them. You may be nervous of heights, but we can assure you, our technicians definitely aren’t – otherwise they would almost certainly never have gained their Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) qualifications.

At Building Transformation, we provide complete access solutions for any building façade. To find out how to create a bespoke access solution for your building, contact a member of our team today.