Thames Valley Police Headquarters in Kidlington, Oxford is a large campus area with multiple buildings. Being a high building, it is a target for pigeons and seagull, and also has quite a problem with Starlings, so as new buildings are being built, the designer is specifying bird protection as part of the construction phase.
On such prestigious buildings, particularly with ornate Rimex cladding structures and Brise Soleil louvers, pigeons will be attracted to the many ledges and warm alcoves created, so the original bird protection called for the use of Bird Wires as a protection method. Since completion of the structures, pigeons have been challenging and working out the bird wire which has now become ineffective.
Rapid ESL was approached as a bird prevention specialist to provide a solution to the problem via a competitive tender process, which we were eventually successful in winning. Our solution was to encapsulate the Rimex Cladding and Brise Soleil using ultra thin bird netting, supported by a framework of thin steel wires – enclosing an area completely is the most effective way of stopping birds roosting. This complied with the requirement for the solution to be almost invisible and not distract from the buildings prestigious look and feel.
This site does have some unique issues; it is a very busy and active site, security clearance is required for anybody working on the site (all our guys are security cleared for most situations due to the sites we are working on), access to high-level structures is limited in most cases, there is a lot of pedestrian movement around the site, tight time lines for delivery and ongoing bad weather forecasts.
We utilized Mobile Elevated Working Platforms (MEWP’s) to gain access, a Hinowa 2010 spider type platform for the high level works, and a Manitou 100VRJ Mast Boom for the lower level access. These machines were chosen for the reach and ability to access very small entry points where other machines would not have gone – correct choice of MEWP’s is an essential part of any project.
Before installing the netting, we cleaned off all surfaces, removed the redundant bird wire system and cleaned the Brise Soleil louvers removing all traces of fouling and grim so this would not need to done for several years to come.
We installed the netting in sections for several reasons, but easy of any maintenance was the most important reason. The net chosen was ultra thin, but immensely strong and constructed using knotless technology – this makes the net almost invisible but strong enough to weather the high winds often found around this building.
Communication with the on site FM manager and his team was crucial – there are very limited car parking spaces on site and so closing large areas was not acceptable, again having highly flexible MEWPs allowed us to install sections without using up valuable spaces.
We did have a few delays due to weather – in one day we had just about all conditions possible, showing just what weather problems they have on this site – high winds an driving rain make it far too dangerous to work at high level in MEWPs.
At the end of the project, we applied some Bye Bird gel to several high level shelves at the rear of the building – we use Bye Bird gel in a lot of situation and wanted to show the client how effective it can be for any future projects.
The client was delighted with the results, especially the way the netting blended in with the look and feel of the building. He was very impressed with our approach, communication and effectiveness on site and has recommended us to other authorities as well – which is always a great way to gain new business.
If you have a bird prevention and protection project and want independent and knowledgeable advice on dealing with bird problems, call 01635 247192 now or Contact Us here.