The British Airways i360 observation tower opened in August. At 162m (531ft) high, the needle tower features a moving circular viewing platform providing visitors with a new perspective of Brighton’s vibrant vista. It will draw 700,000 visitors a year to the West Pier, along with new jobs, new businesses and a new lease of life for the area. Requiring a solution built to withstand heavy footfall and the unique demands of coastal conditions, Principal Contractor Mackley selected Howe Green’s 1050 Series access covers for reliable access to power networks serving lighting and seating areas around the attraction.
The 1050 Series stainless steel panels were tailor-made to order by Howe Green with clear openings of 600 x 600mm exactly as requested, a service provided without time or cost restraint for accuracy and best fit. Set into the substrate, they sit flush with the surrounding paving so as not to present a trip hazard and raised with lifting keys provided.
Specialist marine and coastal contractors Mackley were able to create a seamless finish for a series of block paved seating areas leading to the i360 tower building as the Howe Green access panels feature a recessed lid, enabling paving and other floor finishes to be laid over.
Howe Green’s 1050 Series access covers are well suited to external usage as they have high resistance to weather exposure, an important feature given their seafront location. As well as being durable, the panels are double-sealed to prevent penetration by dirt and grease and feature stainless steel baseplates and reinforcements to prevent corrosion.
Sponsored by British Airways, the i360 tower was designed by architects Marks Barfield, who also designed the London Eye. With a project cost of £46m, every detail of the building was considered for best value, even down to the covers providing access to essential underfloor services. With Howe Green solutions installed, access to key service points will be reliably easy whenever routine or emergency maintenance is needed.
Dan Argles of J.T. Mackley said: “The access covers supplied by Howe Green were ideal for the busy seafront setting, with double-sealed panels to prevent water ingress. They enable quick and easy access to all the electrics serving lighting in public seating areas around the tower. The covers are very good quality and sit flush with the recessed block paving installed”.