Counter Balanced Extensions on a zig-zag facade at the worksite in Malaysia

A demanding mast climber solution was required on the 150-meter-tall zig-zag form buildings in Kuala Lumpur. Sliding decks of almost four meters made façade works possible.

The Fennel worksite

The Fennel Project is the construction of an iconic landmark consisting of four, 150-meter blocks in the area of Sentul, Malaysia. Each block has 38 floors and altogether comprising 458 apartments. The Fennel project buildings have a very distinctive architectural design. The buildings are built in pairs and have a unique wave-like shape with sharp angles. Each of the pairs is connected with a 50-meter long swimming pool. This unique amalgamation of intricate architecture with well defined parks and landscapes makes the Fennel project one of a kind. The Fennel is project by YTL Land & Development.

fennel wave like facade

The Fennel towers designed with sharp angles and wave-like shape required a highly flexible solution for façade work which required adjustment to the changing wall distance from the platform.


The distinctive design of the Fennel makes it a unique and highly visible attraction in the city of Kuala Lumpur. This complex design and huge stature are bound to present a few challenges concerning façade work. The major challenges faced in this project are outlined below.

Complex angled façade

The main challenge in this project was the wavy zig-zag shape of the towers, which made it difficult to access the façade using traditional mast climbing work platforms. The building facade walls are set in and out 40 cm per floor. This cycle repeats every seven floors - totalling four meters.

fennel wave like facade 2

In addition, the height of the building reached up to 150 meters. Having a machine which could cope with façade work at such a demanding structure was a significant challenge. It was understood that to overcome this hurdle of irregular access points, there was a need for a significantly customized solution.

Machines had to be installed on the 5th floor podium level

The challenges of this project were not just limited to the zig-zag façade. Another major challenge was limited space around the towers for the machine installation. The architectural design dictated that the machines had to be installed on a podium at the 5th floor. This podium was assembled on top of tailor-made I-beams which were built according to Scanclimber SC4000 jack load calculations. The installation and erection itself was a time consuming process since tower cranes were only available at night for these operations.

fennel facade worksite podium level

Limited operational space

The construction site is located in the city of Kuala Lumpur, with heavy traffic around the site. This caused further challenges in delivering machines with limited space to keep them at the site.

Scanclimber MCWP’s with Counter Balanced Extension

Special configuration

After an analysis and an understanding of the project requirements, Scanclimber’s design team came up with specially customized sliding decks for SC4000 mast climbing work platforms. This special configuration called Counter Balanced Extension (CBE) included two separate long sliding decks on both sides of the mast. This CBE arrangement on each side of the mast formed one SC4000 MCWP unit. Both extensions were independent and balanced by a special counterweight system.

Counter Balanced Extensions

fennel facade worksite cbe

The Counter Balanced Extensions for this building project were 2.8 x 4.0 meters in size. These manually adjustable sliding extensions enabled reaching the façade with varying lengths from 40 cm to 400 cm. The Scanclimber MCWP’s with CBE:s were mainly used for multiple cladding works on the building.

Loading Capacity

The loading capacity of MCWP with two decks was less than for a normal mast climber. The total payload capacity for this design was 320 kg so that,

  • Max two persons with tools on one deck, 240 kg
  • One person on the other deck.

Because of counterweights, loads were restricted on the rear side of counter balanced extensions.

Why Scanclimber?

As Scanclimber MCWP’s had already left a positive impression during the construction of the IB tower in Kuala Lumpur, it was an easier decision to trust Scanclimber MCWP’s again with another high-rise building in a similar environment.

fennel facade worksite scan rent sdn bhd

The Scanclimber machines were provided by Scan-Rent Sdn Bhd. Scan-Rent Sdn Bhd is Malaysia’s leading rental company of Mast Climbing Work Platforms specialising in access equipment rental solutions for medium to high-rise structures since 1996. They were the first company in Malaysia to introduce Scanclimber Mast Climbing Work Platforms.

Project Facts 
Location of the Project Sentul, City of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Main Contractor YTL Land & Development
The company responsible for the machines
Scan-Rent Sdn Bhd
Machines used Mast Climbing Work Platforms
Models 36 x SC4000 Kosmos
Length of Platform 7.4 m
Sliding Deck Specs 2800 mm x 4000 mm
Main use of the machine Multiple cladding works
Max. Working height 150 m (42 floors)
Payload / Platform 2500 kg
Building space Four blocks with 38 floors, 458 apartments
The construction time of project 4.5 years
Est. completion of project Q4 of 2017
Special Features Specially designed sliding decks with 4.0 meters reach (2.8 m wide)

Construction References

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