View Full Version : Wire walkers to change light bulbs in Heathrow T5 ?

24th Nov 2013, 20:17
OK, this article says they need to use Wire walkers to change light bulbs in heathrow T5 ?

Is this just the Daily Wail creating a story out of nothing or has the UK seriously lost all ability of lateral thinking and any Hydraulic Scissor Lifter / Cherry Picker ?

What am I missing ????? Why is a Cherry Picker unsafe but a wire walker not ?????

'Since T5 was opened in March '08, there have always been challenges for Heathrow with replacing blown light bulbs.

'Various things have been investigated in the past five years (eg gondolas and high-level cherry pickers), but for a number of reasons, none of these was practical or safe.

'The good news is that Heathrow has now identified a safe and robust way to replace all of the light bulbs, and this is high-level rope work carried out by a specialist company.'

"Five years on, and they have not been able to change a single light bulb. It is one of the few jobs that can be done without the use of a qualified electrician, and they are going to have to rely on a team from Cirque du Soleil,' he joked.

Heathrow built Terminal 5 without a way of changing the lightbulbs | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2512663/Heathrow-built-Terminal-5-way-changing-lightbulbs.html)

Um... lifting...
24th Nov 2013, 20:29
How many smirking titled peer architects does it take to change a light bulb?

I'm sure they'll all be wearing retro-reflective vests, so it's bound to come out alright.

24th Nov 2013, 20:53
Perhaps someone could build one of those quadricopters that would be capable of supporting an electrician and his tools?

(or even an octocopter for redundancy?)

tony draper
24th Nov 2013, 21:07
Had three town center CCTV Cameras to service once a year in a particular area, in a spectacular good piece of planning the CCTV Consultant the town hired deemed they be installed where they were installed,it took three different Cherry pickers to do the job,it had to be all done on a single day because traffic had to be diverted,one very large one because of the height,one middle sized one to get into a restricted place and a wee one that could be driven over and deployed on a grassed area.
I didn't care I didn't pay for the buggas the Council did.

24th Nov 2013, 21:21
Is this just the Daily Wail creating a story out of nothing or has the UK seriously lost all ability of lateral thinking and any Hydraulic Scissor Lifter / Cherry Picker ?

What am I missing ????? Why is a Cherry Picker unsafe but a wire walker not ?????
I suspect they think the reader is na´ve and that the fixtures were installed with a sky hook.

I will say this though there has been many occasion in my profession where the architect has left the electrical and mechanical out of the equation.


24th Nov 2013, 21:25
One has to enquire how the lights were installed?

24th Nov 2013, 21:30
By a reporter on the Daily Fail, I expect

24th Nov 2013, 21:34
Yet another reason why we should shoot Architects on sight.........., along with telesales creatures, regional politicians and other ne'er-do-wells.

24th Nov 2013, 21:36
The lighting control & monitoring system as provided by Andromeda (part of Schneider Electric) is used throughout the development including the main Concourse A building, Concourse B, Concourse C, Flight Control Tower, Energy Centre, Main Car Park, Fixed links and Nodes, Toilets, Rail & TTS systems and many other areas within the campus. Andromeda were an integral part of the building services design team working with the main M&E companies: AMEC, Crown House, Balfour Beatty Group as well as many others. We now have an ongoing relationship with BAA regarding training and maintenance.
From:- http://www.schneider-electric.co.uk/medias/solutions/downloads/Heathrow_Terminal_5.pdf

Worrals in the wilds
24th Nov 2013, 21:47
A high ceilinged public building here had all sorts of problems getting to the light fittings, because the funky (and very expensive) tiles on the floor weren't strong enough to support a cherry picker without cracking. :uhoh:

The lights had been installed prior to the floor being tiled, so no-one realised the problem until the lamps started blowing. :\

From memory they built a scaffoldy sort of thing to get around the problem and moved it from fitting to fitting, but if wire-walkers had been available it would have been a lot quicker.

24th Nov 2013, 21:51
I just had a look at the T5 Terminal, with the beams as they are
I reckon you could get a climber to belay up a rope and do it.

24th Nov 2013, 21:55
Indeed - high level lighting would have been installed prior to any ground level remote 'kiosks' or decorative fixtures and fittings all of which could well be in the way of accessing the lights now.

Or, as Worral says, the floor fixtures may not have the bearing strain required to 'host' cherry pickers as the lights were fitted using the concrete base as the floor prior to the final floor being laid on top.

Or it may be simply not possible to get a cherry picker inside the building anymore as lighting may have been fitted prior to the doors being fitted.

500N - thats the more likely solution but the press have heard that a company will be brought in and that ropes will be involved and decided that means rope walkers rather than a similar system to that which is used to clean high rise windows.

24th Nov 2013, 22:00
obviously the designer foresaw the era of the ever-lasting energy-saving light bulbs (how many decades was the predicted light expectancy?). :cool:

24th Nov 2013, 22:16
I wonder if the current bulbs are the so-called long-life compact fluorescent ones?

25th Nov 2013, 01:17
Why not go the whole circus and employ this bloke.