Howe Green Access Covers Meet Tall Demands
November 2019

Howe Green Access Covers Meet Tall Demands

The British Airways i360 observation tower opened this summer. 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 an estimated 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 heavy duty access covers for reliable access to power networks serving 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 for accuracy and best fit without affecting the price or turnaround time. Set into the substrate, the covers sit flush with the surrounding paving so as not to present a trip hazard. They are easily raised with lifting keys provided.

As the Howe Green access panels feature a recessed lid, enabling paving and other floor finishes to be laid over, specialist marine and coastal contractors Mackley were able to create a seamless finish for a series of block paved seating areas leading to the tower building itself.

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 demanding 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 value and performance, even down to the covers providing access to essential underfloor services. With Howe Green solutions installed, accessing essential service points will be reliably easy whenever routine or emergency maintenance is needed.