Some sites are a dream and access isn’t a problem, others do present more of a challenge.
Access is checked on all sites two-three weeks prior to the date we are due on location – whether that’s a small extension in the countryside or a large build in London. At this site visit we look for access for cranes, haulage, welfare, scaffolding, and to check the site is ready for installation and for any potential hazards (e.g. electricity cables). We also look for any potential issues as well as to check where we would locate the crane and calculate the ground pressure. From this site visit we then look at any issues and resolve them (see below for examples), this might be by using a helicopter to bring in the timbers (yes really, we have done this!) or for more everyday problems we would liaise with the main contractor in order to resolve the issues. We would also work out the logistics (so we don’t for example have the haulage and crane arrive at the same time and block other road users).
If you are concerned about site access for your project, please don’t be – with any problem there is always a solution. Recently we have been working at Brixton department store – this project is in central London and on top of an existing building so it was obviously a challenge to get timbers and a crane onto the site! In order to solve the crane issue we used a spider crane which was dismantled and hoisted up on to the site and then we put the crane together again. The timbers were also hoisted up onto site. Another more everyday example is a tight lane meaning our haulage truck would be unable to access the site. In this instance we would either use our company van or a trolley system to get the timbers to location.
The key to avoid access issues is a site visit and to be super organised by working out the logistics, thinking outside of the box for solutions as well as a consideration not just for our carpentry team but other site and road users so there is as minimal disruption as possible.