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Speed and smart logistics were needed to renovate Germany’s highest church. What’s more, XERVON’s scaffolding experts had to be particularly light on their feet: they had to transport seven tonnes of material uphill for the last few metres of the journey by hand.
Germany’s highest church can be found on a rocky crest high up in the Bavarian Alps, almost at the very top of Mount Wendelstein (1,838m). Built 125 years ago, Wendelstein Church regularly holds Sunday services for worshippers and is also a popular location for weddings. Exposed to the elements, the years of rain, snow, frost and wind have left their mark with damp causing so much damage that there has been no choice but to repair the building.
above sea level: Wendelstein Church is Germany’s highest church. Only a handful of chapels can be found higher up
The building work began last year with XERVON playing a vital role in the project: REMONDIS’ subsidiary was responsible for carrying out the complex scaffolding work around the outside of the church. The client had awarded the contract to the company because it had been so impressed by its concept to transport and erect the scaffolding and by the fact that its plans had taken absolutely all of the complex challenges of this project into account.
Logistics played a major role in the success of this enterprise. All in all, the scaffolding specialists had to transport around seven tonnes of scaffolding material up the mountain – an unusual and time-consuming task. The equipment was first transported by train in a special waggon on the Wendelstein cog railway – normally used by tourists, hikers and churchgoers – to the train station 1,723 metres up the mountain.
The team had to carry all the material themselves for the last few metres of the journey
The material was then unloaded onto the mountain by hand and, from this point onwards, there was no automated equipment available to help the crew: the scaffolding specialists had to walk the last few metres to the church carrying their material themselves.
The team was given just five days to transport and erect the scaffolding around the building. Once they arrived at the church everything had to go really quickly because of the weather conditions: a scaffold was erected around three of the church’s walls for the first stage of the building work. The south-facing fourth wall is extremely difficult to access and so a suspended scaffold will be set up there at a later date to provide the builders with a safe platform to do their work. XERVON’s scaffolding experts will use the material that is already there to erect this hanging scaffold for the second part of the project – by rebuilding and repositioning their first scaffold structure.
Difficult transport conditions and little storage space: Wendelstein Church’s spectacular location required some unusual and highly complex solutions.
XERVON's concept to transport and erect the materials was implemented perfectly. Despite the difficult weather conditions, everything went according to schedule so that the scaffolding was available on time for the team to carry out their renovation work. Once again this project has shown how the meticulous and detailed planning work that has to be carried out by the XERVON experts is also able to deliver top quality results for the most complex of projects.
The renovation work on the church is currently well under way but it is very dependent on the weather. Whenever possible, the builders can be found at the site repairing the roof and walls. They are, however, currently behind schedule as this summer’s weather has not been kind to them. The church services will, therefore, probably not start up again until the end of the year.