Ideas ahead of our time / Reference / Facade cleaning system Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Facade cleaning system

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Unique facade cleaning system for star architecture

The challenge

Two skyscrapers shape the Abu Dhabi skyline: the Trust Tower and The Domain, by star architect Norman Foster. The 280- and 380-metre-high towers were erected on the premises of the old market place (souq), amidst exclusive retail space, restaurants, exquisite snack stalls, offices and luxury hotels.

The two buildings’ facades are made entirely of dark glass panes and grant both their inhabitants and visitors a breath-taking view of the city – provided the windows are clean! Facade access systems specialist Manntech GmbH entrusted Abele Ingenieure with the development of a cleaning system for glass facades.

Our solution

As is common practice, the glass facades are cleaned by cleaning staff working from a gondola. However, unlike typical gondolas which are suspended with ropes from a crane boom and controlled from there, too, our gondolas run on a rail system. The rails curl vertically along the complete facade like ornaments.

These were our biggest challenges: the 50° inclination of the roof; the coarse reinforced concrete construction; the tight spatial situation as well as adverse weather conditions. Abele Ingenieure mastered all these difficulties with the highest level of professionalism: from the initial feasibility studies and drive and guidance concept development to the design of the rails and switches, tests regarding durability and wear all the way to multiple-body simulations – Abele’s engineers came up with just the right approach and solution for each of these challenges.

Manntech Fassadenbefahrsysteme GmbH

Foster + Partners

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Feasibility studies
Development & design
Tests & simulation
Design, layout & execution planning

Machine construction

Project participants

Weight of rails
1 m of rail weighs around 1,100 kg
A total of 800 t of steel were processed

Cleaning time per skyscraper
270 days

Managing Director

P +49 821 56 000 0

David Abele, General Manager Abele Ingenieure

Managing Director

P +49 821 56 000 0

» Perfection down to the last detail with a focus on a holistic approach – this is one of our major strengths. «

David Abele, Managing Director, Abele Ingenieure GmbH

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