St Mark’s Square, Bromley


4 weeks





In July 2022, a fire took hold at a new build apartment of 5 rooms in Bromley, Kent. Half of the home was destroyed in the fire that took four hours and around 100 firefighters to put out. Part of the roof of the block of apartments was also damaged. No injuries were reported but there was significant damage to the building.

Orb Rope Access was called in by developers U and I, and property maintenance and refurbishment contractor The Property Crew, to use our expertise in working at height to help make the site safe.

The brief

  • Remove loose cladding and unsafe elements of the fire-damaged roof that might cause injury to users of the building, teams working on the renovations, or members of the public
  • Inspect all fire-damaged areas located at height for structural integrity
  • Waterproof affected areas.

The building

The St Mark’s Square self-contained apartment is located in a 19-storey new build block that is part of a mixed-use development of residential and leisure properties. There is a Vue cinema, cafes, restaurants and a Premier Inn Hotel in the St Mark’s Square development, so this is a busy area for footfall.

The work

Access was challenging because we were unable to rigg from the structure, so instead, we used mobile anchors. These are temporary attachment points designed for use on flat or sloping roofs.

Because the fire damaged cladding was positioned above a public area we needed to work safely and swiftly with precision, to avoid injuring anyone in the area or causing further damage to the structure.

Benefits to the client

Rope access was the only way to reach the cladding and roof to complete the works due to the structure of the building and limited access to such a compact and busy residential and leisure development. Rope access doesn’t require scaffolding or powered access systems so doesn’t need vehicular access, and the work doesn’t impact the ground area below.

In terms of cost, a rope access team was far less expensive for the client than assembling scaffolding or using MEWPs (mobile elevating work platforms). Because we are also quicker, it saved labour costs.

This was the first time Orb Rope Access worked with U and I and The Property Crew. The collaboration of their local knowledge and our expertise in working at height was productive and successful. Having worked with us, the clients now understand the capabilities of rope access and the benefits of using us for working at height.

Benefits to people who use the building

Once the area was made safe, residents and leisure visitors were able to go about their normal day without disruption while the Orb Rope Access team got the work done above them, out of the way.


"We were approached by The Property Crew and asked if we could help them remove some fire damaged cladding and re-waterproof the affected areas. I made an initial site visit but didn’t see the full devastation until we were able to get up on the roof and have a closer look. Once all the burnt, charred, and melted material had been removed we than had to build a plywood frame to cover the gapping holes in the building. Once this was done, we then had to coat the wood and roof areas with a Liquid Plastics membrane to complete the works. It was a challenging project with many different elements that had to all come together at the same time."
Matt Lavery
Director, ORB Rope Access

Get In Touch

At Orb Rope Access we are very proud to be an IRATA Member Company and hold Safe Contractor status. If you are looking for a trusted partner to assist with projects that require working at height or confined space, please get in touch for a no-obligation quote or by calling 0781 333 9064.