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Well equipped and heated through the winter

1 feb. 2017

Gate Building Renovation, Neuschwanstein Castle, Füssen, Germany, Germany

The preservation of cultural monuments such as Neuschwanstein Castle is usually associated with a great deal of time and effort together with correspondingly higher challenges placed on the erection of the scaffold. For scaffolding and enclosure of the gateway building, the PERI UP Flex scaffold solution has been optimally adapted to suit the local site conditions and static requirements. The exclusive use of system scaffolding components thereby accelerated the assembly work and, at the same time, increased safety levels during the use of the scaffold. For the first time in scaffolding, heatable roof tarpaulins ensure that the formation of unwanted snow loads are prevented during the winter months.

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of Germany's most famous sights. Every year around 1.5 million tourists from all over the world visit the cultural monument near Füssen in the South of Germany. King Ludwig II of Bavaria had Neuschwanstein built in the style of a medieval castle with work beginning in 1869. He only lived a few months in the castle and died before its completion in 1886. Unique to Neuschwanstein is the idyllic location with breathtaking panoramic views surrounded by lakes and mountains. The three so‑called royal castles – Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee – were proposed as a UNESCO world cultural heritage site in 2015 whereby the nomination should follow in 2022.

Comprehensive renovation measures

The enormous maintenance costs for Neuschwanstein Castle are the responsibility of the Bavarian Palace Department. Movements in the foundation area must be constantly monitored and the steep rock walls must be secured again and again. The harsh climate takes an enormous toll on the limestone facades and, in particular, the roof construction which also requires continuous restoration measures. This is why the so‑called gateway building is currently completely enclosed. A temporary weather protection roof spans the oldest part of the castle which also provides access to the inner courtyard. During the winter months, the damage to the facades and roof areas is to be pinpointed and documented; the actual renovation work will begin in the spring of 2017.

Flexible scaffolding solution

Known for specializing in historical monuments, the scaffolding professionals of BSB Bau- und Spezialgerüstbau GmbH erected work and safety scaffolding for carrying out the restoration measures with help of the PERI UP Flex modular scaffolding system. As a result, it was possible to flexibly adapt the scaffolding construction to match the local site conditions using only system components. Time-consuming tube and coupler work during scaffold assembly as well as resulting dangerous tripping hazards during the subsequent use of the scaffolding have been consistently avoided. With the scaffolding of the circular tower as well all modification work resulting from countless obstacles and discontinuities, the PERI UP scaffold assembly also creates a neat and orderly overall impression. Thus, it is hardly surprising that many visitors are currently admiring and photographing not only the castle but also the PERI scaffolding.

Heatable roof tarpaulins

However, the glances of most tourists miss a further, important and extremely innovative feature: for the first time, heatable Keder sheeting has been used for the scaffold roofing. The functionality of the PERI solution is very similar to rear window heating in car manufacturing: heating wires integrated into the tarpaulins ensure that snow accumulation and thus any unintended loads are avoided during the colder months. Therefore it is possible to optimize bay widths and spans along with allowing a reduction in the weight of the construction. In this way, significant savings are made regarding material usage as well as erection time and effort.

Assembly by hand

The extraordinary location of Neuschwanstein Castle presented a further challenge for the BSB scaffolding team and PERI engineers: as this tourist attraction can be visited all the year round and the scaffolded gateway building provides the only access for visitors, work had to be carried out in a very confined space. This meant that neither a telescopic handler nor crane support was available during the entire scaffold erection operations. For the execution of the roof construction in particular, the PERI planning took into account that all assembly steps could be carried out by hand.