Temporary masterpieces

There are constructions that require expertise, calculation and analysis skills, specific safety guarantees and quality standards. They are small masterpieces of ingenuity, yet they are born knowing that the hope of the principal is less possible. And yet they are not ephemeral works, like the Arabian Phoenix, they are ready to be reborn hundreds of kilometres away.


Their best asset is adaptability, passing without problems from Art Nouveau buildings to rationalist buildings. In the jargon of construction and design are defined as temporary works, in common parlance: scaffolding.

It does not change the fact that they are essential on any construction site. In the Moesano, a new company has been set up, The Marssal SA, which wants bring to Switzerland decades of experience in the sector gained across the border. We talked about it with the director, Fabio Porzionato, who is working on the construction site renovation of the UN building in Geneva.

Director, how did Marssal SA come into being?

“Marssal SA is the result of a project of collaboration developed by three entrepreneurs: Fabio Porzionato, director of Marssal SA, who has been resident in Lumino for many years, Mr Andrea Galli, president of Marssal SA and owner of Galli Group SA, and Enzo Mariotti, founder and president of Marssal srl and Cismont srl, both based in Cisliano, Italy. The project’s mission is the development of temporary and provisional works on construction sites in Switzerland, based on the long experience in providing of such works matured by Marssal and Cismont in Italy, with international construction sites. For example: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Poland. The history of Marssal srl is linked to the historic Ponteggi Dalmine spa, until the end of the 1990s, and and later to Marcegaglia Spa, which took over the ownership”.


Since when have you been operating? What are your main activities? How are you structured?

“Marssal SA is a new company, the certificate of incorporation of July 27, 2020, but it has already started to register important developments. In the first three months, the objective was to make itself known in the territory of Ticino and Moesano and from the month of October 2020, the first construction and in January 2021, which is part of a large project called Renovation Palais des Unions in Geneva. To date, approximately 15,000 square metres of scaffolding, 5 hoists for the vertical transport of materials and people have been used. The staff went from a single unit in the first three months to the current situation of one director, one technical collaborator, commercial collaborator a designer and 6 collaborators for the assembly of structures and machines.”


What are the main construction sites on which you are working?

“There are about 15 building sites open today and there are many more to come. We range from large to small construction sites without any difference, we are fortunate to be able to work with excellent companies, which can be investment groups, general contractors, construction companies, design studios and anyone who revolves around the world construction. We will also pay great attention to civil engineering and infrastructural development and infrastructural development, with a clear intention to participate in public contracts promoted by the cantons and other institutions.”


Director, you mentioned your commitment at the UN headquarters in Geneva. What exactly does this involve?

“At the UN headquarters we are providing first of all a service ranging from in-depth technical and security planning. We realized the assembly of all the scaffolding of external facade, those interior and all lifts from single- and bi-colonna construction site high flow rate. The particular difficulties of this important construction site are different. The general organization of timescales and logistics must be constantly confronted with the strict safety and behavioral procedures that this organization requires. In addition, the very high level of professionalism of our operators on site who have to deal with the different multilingual actors, satisfying every requirement. There is also a need to pay attention to the architectural artifact of high importance and delicacy.

Last but not least, we must to ensure the operation of the international offices. Attention to safety regulations and compliance with collective agreements are of the utmost importance. We confront each other constantly with UN inspectors from the city of Geneva, where procedures are much stricter than in the rest of Switzerland.


What technological solutions or benefits do you offer?

“The advantages offered by the proposals of Marssal SA are multiple. First and foremost a strong design service both at the preventive stage and during execution, and this is essential to avoid delays, misunderstandings, time wasting and production. We want to do the work well and immediately. The safety of fitters shall be given priority with equipment of high-level security and clear, effective procedures outlined.”


What are the main difficulties in the sector?

“The biggest difficulties in the sector are in the lack of propensity, innovation and investment.

Temporary works are incidental within the construction site and often their importance is overlooked, even disregarded for regulations. One example is the width that scaffolding must be in Switzerland for masonry work. The SUVA standard prescribes a width of 90 centimeters with a load capacity of 300 kg/mq2, but many times they are fitted with a smaller width and load-bearing capacity. We have made a point of studying the SUVA regulations and only propose systems that comply with it and perhaps offer better performance, efficiency and safety. The frame we adopted has a walking surface one metre wide. It is obvious that a frame with a floor one-metre-wide costs more than one with a 75 cm floor, and it is obvious that the former complies with the standard but the second does not, except for the work of whitening.”


But is the market is willing to pay this difference that makes the is properly respected? In other words, is the market willing to invest in this way? What does collaboration consist of with Marcegaglia?

“The collaboration with Marcegaglia places access to high quality standard,
developed over decades of experience,
regulatory adjustment, and investments. Marcegaglia is the largest manufacturer of scaffolding in Italy and is in able to meet the demands of each volume and specialization”.


Future projects and objectives?

“Our goal is to develop and consolidate the current dedicated structure to assembly and rental, becoming a reference partner for the various customers. In addition, for the civil engineering sector, we perform shoring and centine, while for studies of architecture, private and companies, we make furniture like bookcases, stairs, lofts, shelving and any works with pipes”.