Simfield Access Solutions

Case Study – Marwell Zoo Fall protection

  • Site – Marwell Zoo, Winchester
  • Start Date – June 2017
  • End Date – August 2017
  • Objective(s) – To install safety netting at height allowing us to install an ETFE


Our client at Marwell Zoo wanted a series of ETFE cushion skylights to create a new domed ceiling for the structure that allowed natural light in, and would be easier to maintain. Whilst ETFE was absolutely in our client’s best interests, an issue presented itself in regards to the safe installation of ETFE. Namely, that safety netting would need to be installed ahead of the ETFE to make the area safe for work, and to prevent the project from taking a great deal of time longer to complete.

Case Study – Marwell Zoo Fall protection


Installing an ETFE layer may not have required a safety netting, just a cherry picker. Unfortunately, Marwell Zoo was surrounded by rough land that made operating heavy machinery difficult if not impossible. Rope access would have to be utilised to carry out the ETFE work, but before we can begin that, we needed to install a safety net to make sure the work carried out at height was safe.

Case Study – Marwell Zoo Fall protection


Working in sections, we commenced with installing a safety netting beneath the areas in which we would install the ETFE. The netting was rigged to the steel frame which would allow workers to operate safely on a secure platform. Only once this was completed could our teams move section by section, installing ETFE cushions to build the new domed skylight that Marwell Zoo wanted.

Case Study – Marwell Zoo Fall protection

Debrief & Review

Rope access would not have been our first choice to carry out the work, but considering the layout of the site, it proved to be our best and only choice. Our client was immensely satisfied with the timeliness of our work, which they were updated on daily of, and the quality of the finished product. This has been one of our largest ETFE projects to date, and without a doubt one of the most eye-catching.

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