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Rope Access Versus Building Maintenance Units

The number of high-rise buildings across the UK’s skyline is rapidly increasing and with many more planned, the requirement for safe Façade Access solutions is at an all-time high. With such a huge increase in demand, many companies are struggling to stick to the basics to provide clients with the most effective, cost-efficient solution for their Work at Height personnel.

Last updated: 08/02/2021

So, what are the best options? Heightsafe’s specialists have provided guidance on the benefits and disadvantages of maintenance via Rope Access equipment, in comparison to typical Building Maintenance Units.


Rope Access Equipment – The Pros

  • Quick to deploy
  • Ideal for straight façades and difficult to access areas
  • Ideal for narrow façades
  • Low material costs
  • Easy to retro-fit
  • Non-destructive
  • Cost-effective
  • Two Compliance Testing visits required annually


Rope Access Equipment – The Cons

  • Difficult to access complex facades
  • The working area is more limited
  • Even though it is unlikely an accident will occur, there is an increased risk of an incident
  • More time consuming when carrying out the work
  • Less capacity for tools


There are more advantages than disadvantages of Rope Access Equipment. However, it is worth weighing this up against Building Maintenance Units to see if it is a better option for your requirements:


Building Maintenance Units – The Pros

  • Good for complex façades
  • Wide working areas
  • Suitable for two personnel
  • Reduced risk level


Building Maintenance Units – The Cons

  • Large investment required for purchasing and installation
  • Relatively large roof space required to house the unit when stationary
  • Limited options for retro-fit
  • Certification required after repositioning
  • Four compliance visits and one full service required annually
  • High maintenance costs
  • Risk of electrical break down


It is up for debate on which Work at Height solution is better. It’s more than likely that it entirely depends on your circumstances and the site you are operating on. The right solution for your building will be entirely dependent on a number of factors, such as budget, maintenance requirements, roof space and façade structure. Therefore, our specialists recommend a Work at Height Site Survey to determine the best solution prior to providing quotations.

The process of booking a survey through Heightsafe is easy. All you need to do is contact us online or by phone on 020 3819 7199. You will be able to get a free consultation and quote from one of our specialists, and they will be able to arrange a date to visit your site as soon as possible.

Related Products and Services

Rope Access Maintenance Services

Heightsafe's Rope Access Maintenance Technicians provide a safe, cost-effective and non-disruptive solution for installation, cleaning, and repairs at height utilising abseiling techniques.

Façade Access Systems

Suspended access solutions for rope access technicians abseiling down high-rise buildings to complete maintenance works.

BMU Service and Maintenance

Heightsafe offer full testing of BMU Cradle equipment which can be individually tailored for you, minimising operational down time and maximising productivity.

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Get in touch with Heightsafe’s friendly, professional team today for free, no obligation advice on your Rope Access Maintenance requirements.

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