Case Study – NUIG

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National University of Ireland, Galway City

In 2019, as part of a 2 phase project, Niall McDonagh Roofing and Rope Access were tasked with the removal of corroded window grill panels on two towers that stood on the grounds of the National University of Ireland. Years’ worth of rust and corrosion was severely weakening the structure of the panels, posing a serious threat to the building and pedestrians walking below.

Challenges and Restrictions Faced

  • Moving hazards like pedestrians, workers, cyclists, and vehicle traffic that warranted extra caution
  • A lightweight roof that was unable to handle scaffolding load
  • No access to the building facade because of the inability to use Mobile Elevating Work Platforms or scaffolding to reach the work area
  • Gathering and transportation of waste such that it didn’t affect pedestrians or traffic below, and was also re-routed to not go through the building

Service Provided

The team first created a specialized access solution to allow technicians access to all required locations in a safe and efficient manner. To bypass the constraints faced in reaching the walls, rigging was carefully set up at the top of the buildings to hoist the panels after removal.
Great care was needed to safely remove the panels without causing any damages to the building. A 5’ angle grinder was used for this.
The final challenge was lowering the removed panels to ground level, as the lightweight roof structure did not support the weight of a conventional crane. The team used certified rope access equipment to zip-wire all waste to ground level.
By the end of the project, an estimated 312 corroded panels were removed from each of the 4 sides of each tower. All waste was packaged and transported off the premises for recycling.
All Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) guidelines were followed, along with clear and precise documentation throughout the process.


All success metrics were met.

  • The project was completed on time and on budget
  • No damage and no disruptions to the university
  • 100% safety record with zero incidents
  • Low cost to the client

Duration of project:

Phase 1 – Tower 1, 4 days, 64 man-hours
Phase 2 – Tower 2, 5 days, 80 man-hours

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