All buildings were of a different design and construction types, so a different approach would be needed for each. An Ecological Clerk of Works would need to be present to provide a watching brief during vegetation clearance, soft strip, removal of soffits and high-level brickwork. Lawson Demolition (part of Lawson Group) would need to comply with BS5228 in respect to minimum noise levels during the execution of the works. Before any mechanical demolition could take place, the inspection for the presence of bats would also be required.
Buildings to be demolished were:
Buildings 54, 53 and 52 – these were of a concrete frame construction with a flat fibre board roof. The dividing floor was re-enforced concrete that was cast in-situ. As these buildings were used as accommodation blocks there would need to be a large amount of soft strip to be carried out. All surrounding grass areas would need the topsoil removed and stockpiled away from the building. This is to ensure that no demolition material could not contaminate re-useable topsoil.
Building 19 – this was located at the back of the site behind building 26. It was a single-storey, steel-framed clad building. Inside were large workshop type rooms that would require a minimal soft strip prior to demolition.
Building 43 – This was a large, former public house with function rooms above. The building was constructed of brick walls, timber floors and a tiled roof. This building required a large amount of soft strip and all waste would need to be stockpiled along the roadside of the building for removal from the working area.
Prior to commencing works the structures were inspected by the site supervisor for any hazardous waste such as sharps, needles, gas containers or chemicals. Loose contents from within the structure, including furniture, appliances, loose waste etc. were removed by hand in a controlled manner and arising’s managed in accordance with the Site Waste Management Plan. Door frames and skirting boards were removed by using bar and sledgehammers.
The structure floors were cleared of general waste and debris prior to demolition. This was removed from the building via the windows and doors that lead directly to each designated drop zone. Once complete, the demolition phase could start.
All fencing carried signage warning of the dangers that would affect others entering the demolition zone during structural mechanical demolition.
Dust suppression equipment was set up next to the demolition excavator. A water supply from a fire hydrant was used to supply the tank via a licensed standpipe, this water pump supplied a jet of water to the building being deconstructed.
The demolition supervisor monitored the usage of water to ensure a minimum amount was used to reduce the environmental impact of excessive use and water runoff. All entrances to each building were securely fenced off to ensure no entry could be made into each building. A toolbox talk was conducted prior to demolition of each building to keep all operatives fully informed of what was going on.
A 360-demolition excavator with demolition attachment was positioned at the rear of each structure, all voids in the ground such as manholes and sewers will have been protected.
Using a hydraulic grab attachment, the roofs were removed back to the first supporting column allowing one bay of the roof to be lowered carefully to the ground floor slab. Any wood and timber were then be removed and lowered to ground level away from the building – this was processed and loaded into the designated 40-yard waste bins. Once the roof had been removed, the internal walls and floors were removed and lowered to ground level.
The external walls of each of the buildings were left until all internal walls had been removed to help contain any dust generated. This process of deconstruction was repeated until all the buildings had been removed.
Buildings 54,53,52,43,19 were successfully soft stripped and demolished ready for the next phase of redevelopment.