Watch: How do you clean a wall of 900 windows?

There are nearly 900 windows to clean at the Willis building Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

There are nearly 900 windows to clean at the Willis building Picture: JAKE FOXFORD - Credit: JAKE FOXFORD

It takes window cleaners three days to scrub the outside of the Willis building, Ipswich town centres famous Grade I-listed landmark - and they were hard at work today.

The team have to use specialist brushes with telescopic handles that can reach up to 100 feet when fully extended to get the job done.

This means even the top floor can be cleaned from ground level - a requirement as the 890 smoked glass curtain windows that make up the building’s exterior can only be accessed from the floor or roof.

Dean McKinnon, a window cleaner with The Price Group, explained why the obelisk-esque office could be so difficult to clean.

“The black glass is a nightmare in the summer – it dries so quickly in the heat that the glass is left with streaks.

Cleaning the glass of the Willis Building Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

Cleaning the glass of the Willis Building Picture: JAKE FOXFORD - Credit: JAKE FOXFORD


You may also want to watch:


“We can’t just start and work our way around, we have to plan where we can clean and hope the sun doesn’t come out.”

The recent blistering heat has gone just in time for the cleaners, who can scrub up to 300 windows a day.

Most Read

Even with the lower temperatures, the team still have to start on the west of the building as the sun rises - then pack up and move around to do the east side later as the sun sets.

Cleaning the outside every three months is one challenge, but the window washers also have to do the inside of the window panes every six months too.

The windows are cleaned in two stages to avoid the hottest part of the day Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

The windows are cleaned in two stages to avoid the hottest part of the day Picture: JAKE FOXFORD - Credit: JAKE FOXFORD

The Willis Towers Watson building was built between 1970 and 1975 and serves as an office for almost 1,300 staff.

It was made a Grade I listed building in 1991 - at the time it was the youngest building to be recognised as a building of exceptional interest.

The black tint on the outside of the Willis building is almost invisible from the inside of the boil

The black tint on the outside of the Willis building is almost invisible from the inside of the boiler room. Picture: DARREN POWER - Credit: Archant

The iconic curved landmark sits at the top of Princes Street, just minutes from Ipswich town centre.

The iconic curved landmark sits at the top of Princes Street, just minutes from Ipswich town centre. Picture: DARREN POWER - Credit: Archant

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter