In a building maintenance unit (bmu), the window cleaner stands in a cradle that drops down along the façade from a roof car. From the cradle, both the glass and the façade can be cleaned in a manual and labour-intensive way.
There are multiple ways to connect the roof car of the bmu to the building. Sometimes the roof car is attached to the roof with rails so that it can be moved horizontally. In this way, the window cleaner moves around the entire facade and cleans the glass in vertical, continuous tracks.
It is also possible that the roof car is fixed on a central position on the roof and cannot be moved. It has a telescopic arm and can rotate 360 degrees, like a crane. In this way, the entire façade can be reached via the cradle.
Visibility of a building maintenance unit (bmu)
In both above cases, the building maintenance unit (bmu) is visible from the ground. This influences the architectural aesthetics and is often a thorn in the side for clients and architects.
Architects and developers often make great efforts to prevent this visibility. For example, the installation can be concealed by an elevated façade. However, this can lead to problems with the building permit in which a maximum height has been agreed.
It is also possible to lower the installations into the roof to solve this problem. As a result, a large area of the top floor is occupied. Both solutions are expensive.
The new building maintenance unit
Previously, a building maintenance unit was complex and facilitated window cleaners to clean windows manually. Nowadays, the modern building maintenance unit cleans the façade automatically and is easy to install. The compact KITE robot moves like a spider over the façade at the touch of a button and cleans glass, window frames and panelling. The fixtures on the roof have a small footprint and are not visible from ground level. Only during cleaning, is the robot visible. With this technology, it is also possible to inspect buildings automatically.