How to Clean Skyscrapers like Burj Khalifa

Published On: March 30, 2017Last Updated: July 26, 2023
How to Clean a Skyscraper

How to clean a Skyscraper

Skyscraper is a term used to describe a tall building with multiple floors. Originally, a commercial architecture, it is now being built for residential purposes too. Some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world include Shanghai Tower, Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Scotia Plaza, CN Tower and many others with Burj Khailfa being the highest skyscraper standing 828 metres high with 163 floors. The biggest building in the world also has its own Twitter handle.

The soaring and majestic buildings we see shining in the sunlight are the result of the efforts put in by hardworking and courageous cleaners, who risk their lives to make the building look immaculate inside out.

There are several companies that provide excellent cleaning services, has thrown some light on this most adventurous job. Cleaning skyscrapers is one of the most tedious and time consuming jobs in the world. As this is one of the most dangerous tasks, it is highly paid too. Hanging hundreds of metres above the ground requires a brave heart.

The cleaner is mostly supported by an anchor, mounted on the roof. They adjust their position on the building with the help of this anchor. The standard equipment required to clean a skyscraper includes a rope protector, safety rope, tool for grabbing rope, and lanyard and suction cups. This equipment provides protection against falls and optimises speed and efficiency.

Previously, the cleaning workers were used to stand on window ledges to avoid fall, but later leather belts were produced to provide cleaners better safety. The belt attached to anchor bolts holds the worker safely in the air. The latest techniques involve the use of scaffolds, which offer more security.

Issues Related to Cleaning Skyscrapers

Height is not the only problem when it comes to cleaning skyscrapers. The cleaners also have to deal with extreme environmental conditions. At a high altitude, wind pressure increases dynamically, thereby enhancing instability and becoming riskier. Other issues cleaners have to deal with include weather conditions and bugs, which can prove dangerous for the workers.

Window Cleaning Mechanisms

Depending on the type of work required, different window cleaning mechanisms have been introduced allowing cleaners to choose the right mechanism as per their requirements. A few of them are:

Bosun Chair: It involves a single cleaner sitting comfortably and operating from the chair. It is used mostly for prolonged jobs.

Boom: It accommodates multiple cleaners to work simultaneously and can be used whenever needed.

Carriage: A carriage containing multiple workers is mounted on a rail on to provide easy portability.

Portable Davit: It carries multiple workers and provides access to multiple areas of the façade.

Wondering, how Burj Khalifa is being cleaned. The equipment encompasses twelve machines each weighing 13-tonnes, attached to the building. Each machine covers 40 floors while the job is managed by 36 workers operating inside metal cages. The cleaners wear specialised clothing and use hot water and the stereotypical squeegee to perform their job.

The time to complete the cleaning task depends on how tall is the building and what mechanism is being used. For instance, at Burj Khalifa, 36 window cleaners take three months to wash its 206 stories of windows – 24,000 windows in total, equaling 120,000 sq. metres of glass!

About the Author: High Stuff

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