5 Of the most interesting buildings in the world to clean

Everyone loves skyscrapers and buildings with unique architecture, but few, if any, take into consideration the unique needs associated with maintaining certain structures. The taller and stronger the building is, the more complicated and dangerous it can be to maintain. What does it take to maintain such a building?


  • Highly qualified employees with special skills and abilities
  • State-of-the-art, and usually very expensive, cleaning equipment
  • Cleaning supplies, in unbelievable quantities

The cleaning staff will have to work in the most unusual conditions, at incredible heights, using heavy and potentially uncomfortable safety equipment. They will have to put up with incredible wind speeds, slippery surfaces, tight spaces, and unreachable corners.

The risk for accidents is, in many cases, incredibly high, so insurance expenses are just as high.  If you then also factor in equipment breakdowns, you can then begin to understand what is at stake.

For an even clearer picture, let’s take a look at 5 of the world’s most interesting buildings and the challenges that arise with their regular maintenance:


  1.        Burj Khalifa is over 2700 feet tall; a 163-floor architectural wonder turning Dubai into one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions. Did you know that washing the 24,348 windows, equaling 1,290,000 sq ft., takes 36 people working for 3-4 months and an $8 million cleaning system?
  2.        One World Trade Center is the highest building in the Western hemisphere, reaching 1,776 feet in height over 104 stories (94 of which are above ground). Its laminate and VRE 15-54 glass surfaces are quite a challenge for cleaning companies: with an especially notable incident in November 2014, when two window cleaners nearly lost their lives due to a snapped scaffolding cable.
  3.        With its 605-foot height and one-of-a-kind architecture, The Space Needle draws visitors to Seattle from across the globe. Its first heavy duty cleaning, in 2008, required power washers with a pressure of no less than 2900 lbs/in2 and a temperature of 194 degrees Fahrenheit to get the job done.
  4.        At 1,815.4 ft height, the CN Tower is not only one of the most famous Canadian landmarks, but also the home of luxury restaurants relying on the view it provides. The great views of downtown Toronto require clean windows, but without space to allow equipment and supply storage, the tower is a huge challenge for any cleaning company.
  5.        Beijing’s premiere architectural masterpiece is the National Centre for the Performing Arts. It is also known as The Egg due to its egg-like shape and impressive glass and titanium exterior. Cleaning the exterior is achievable with safety harnesses, scaffolding and special equipment, but could you just imagine the tedious work of cleaning 2398 opera seats?

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