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Church services continued thanks to a creative scaffolding solution

The Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence is one of Italy’s most important tourist attractions. In 2018, a work and birdcage scaffolding had to be built inside the cathedral so that maintenance and refurbishment could be performed on one of the ceilings. The scaffolding provider faced a task that was both clear-cut and complex: to erect a scaffolding that allowed the continued use of the cathedral as a place of worship without any reduction of seating capacity. Edilcomit Ponteggi s.r.l., a Siena-based scaffolding company, accepted the challenge and delivered the perfect solution to bridge the apse – to a great extent thanks to Layher Allround Scaffolding Lightweight and the Layher Allround FW System, which was being used for the first time by the company.

Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is a famous landmark in the Tuscan city of Florence. The “Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower,” which would be the English translation, is a wonderful example of ecclesial architecture. Not only is it the fourth largest and longest church in the Christian world, it also has the largest brick dome on Earth. In mid-2018, a scaffolding had to be built under a section of the 40 metres-high ceiling in the cathedral so that inspection and maintenance work could be carried out. An important requirement was that the area of the cathedral underneath the scaffolding could still be used for services.


Technical creativity was the key

Edilcomit Ponteggi s.r.l. secured the contract to build the scaffolding. The scaffolding company from the Tuscan town of Siena has decades of experience and is a sought-after partner for construction services with a reputation extending well beyond the borders of Tuscany. Founded in 1984, the company specialises in the planning and installation of construction scaffoldings, facade scaffoldings and other types of scaffolding, and it is famous for its sophisticated and creative solutions. Edilcomit has been a Layher customer since 2004 and it is a dedicated user of the company’s German-made scaffolding products. Mariangela Vallerani, managing director of Edilcomit, explained why: “Layher Allround Scaffolding is a very efficient and reliable system. It’s also incredibly flexible and we can adapt it to whatever project we are working on. Layher scaffolding is very versatile, too: it can be used to build towers, support structures, formwork and reinforcing scaffolding, load-bearing structures for facade scaffoldings, work platforms, stairways, temporary bridging structures and for various other applications.” One of the company’s special areas of expertise is the renovation of historic buildings and Edilcomit already has experience in projects similar to Florence Cathedral. It also used Layher scaffolding for under-roof work at the San Domenico Basilica in Siena, which also remained open to the public throughout.


First use of Layher Allround FW System
Edilcomit combined Layher Allround Scaffolding Lightweight with the Allround FW System for the first time in the Santa Maria del Fiore project. The Allround FW System was developed by Layher for temporary bridging structures and support loads on construction sites. It enables the implementation of effective and affordable solutions involving the Allround Scaffolding and just three additional components. Consisting of an Allround FW post, a stable Allround FW top and bottom chord and a length-adjustable Allround FW diagonal rod, the individual parts are quickly bolted together. Standard Layher Allround Scaffolding lateral bracing used.


To comply with the customer’s request for the cathedral to remain open while the maintenance and restoration work was being performed, two platforms were built with the FW System resting on the side walls of the Layher Allround Scaffolding. The first platform, with a work surface of 13.25 m x 5.88 m, connects and stabilises the central part of the scaffolding and the second platform supports the scaffolding above it. To enable fast assembly, the supporting structure for the platforms was pre-assembled on the intermediate levels, then hoisted up and secured in place.

 
Convenient ascent and descent

A Layher platform stairtower provided safe access to the work platforms. The Layher platform stair makes safe and effortless ascent and material transportation possible without impairing the work area.

 

Matteo Milia was the Edilcomit technical project manager. He explained, “It took five of our scaffolders 31 days to put up the Layher Allround Scaffolding structure. By mid-September 2018, when the ceiling scaffolding was finished, they had installed around 55 tonnes of scaffolding material spanning 1,795 m² with a load-bearing capacity of 75 kg/m. The height of the last accessible platform is 37.5 m.

Used Scaffoldings:

Wilhelm Layher GmbH & Co KG

Ochsenbacher Strasse 56
74363 Gueglingen-Eibensbach, Germany 

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