Tension wire grid systems are now an accepted and proven method of delivering safe and easy access to high level services. What’s special about Cablenet is its flexibility, and the service and technical know-how behind it.
The Cablenet ‘virtual floor®’ – a high level access platform woven from steel wire rope – has had a major impact on auditoria design, not only in theatres and other dedicated performance centres such as multi-purpose venues and arts centres but even in school buildings and external applications.
Instead of having to incorporate fixed position walkway structures or scaffold towers to provide overhead access to lighting and rigging equipment, architects and theatre consultants can now install an all-encompassing Cablenet tensioned wire grid, one capable of covering a complete theatre, even a whole exhibition hall.
These permanent, high level platforms are virtually invisible from ground level and cast no shadow from lighting rigs positioned above. Most important of all, a Cablenet virtual floor® is strong enough to carry the weight of sound and lighting engineers, and provide the perfect platform for riggers to rig through.
Virtually any layout or room shape can be accommodated and Cablenet high level platform installations range from small, compact virtual floors® to platforms covering thousands of square metres. The inherent flexibility of the Cablenet system means it can also accommodate existing features such as columns or other structural supports, making it ideal for heritage buildings.
We work in close partnership with architects, theatre consultants and main contractors, and can provide as much advice and support as you need, from initial load calculations and computer modelling through to the design, construction and installation of the complete Cablenet system.
Since being introduced to the UK in 1997, over 100 Cablenet installations have been completed, ranging from small, self-contained virtual floors® to high level platforms covering several hundreds of square metres.
Installations have involved the design of a tension wire grid which had to be incorporated into a 300 year old listed building, accommodating existing decorations, ceilings and timber work. Others have had to allow for the lowering and raising of the Cablenet platform itself.
The expertise gained through installations like these led to the first Cablenet project on mainland Europe, a record-breaking virtual floor® involving a total grid area of nearly 2,500m2, equivalent to around a dozen tennis courts. This project, thought to be the world’s largest tensioned wire grid system, was commissioned by Spanish company IFEMA as part of a expansion to the ‘auditorio de puerta norte’ at Feria de Madrid, Spain’s premier exhibition centre.
Since then, we’ve installed tension wire grids of various sizes and specifications on four continents.
The scale of the installation and the accelerated lead-time was a massive challenge. To finish before deadline and on budget is a testament to Slingco’s design, production and installation teams
BIC BOURNEMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM
From initial calculations and computer modelling, to the design, construction and installation of the steelwork and wire rope, the creation of a Cablenet virtual floor® is a complex and highly skilled process. And while engineering qualifications are of course essential in the design of a high level platform, just as important is the experience gained through real life installations.
The design of the Cablenet tension wire grid must take into account the particular requirements of the venue. These, normally specified by the theatre consultant, will include the number of people to be supported, whether theatre lighting will be suspended above or below and whether there’s to be a rigging requirement. Other considerations will include the size, pitch and even colour of the cable.
Working to these critical requirements, an initial design is modelled to assess tension load deflections under point and distributed loads and, once this has been resolved, the Cablenet design can take shape.