Valentine Place, London SE1


Lawson Group were awarded the contract to remove the licensed asbestos and demolish the former studios and warehouses which were in the heart of cultural London. Lawson Group produced technical demolition and deconstruction of a building that included façade retention of the front wall which survived damage in World War 2. The multi-purpose complex had seen many uses in its time. Lawson Group were contracted for the asbestos removal and demolition works as part of a regeneration project of the complex, turning the former buildings into modern luxury flats and houses.


Licensed Asbestos had to be removed from the building before demolition could take place. The new buildings had to fit in with the current style of the surrounding buildings, as part of the works, façade retention along the front wall facing Webber street would be required. Additional control measures would need implementing to protect two live substations that would remain in use throughout all works.


Lawson Group were principal contractor at Valentine Place and worked in conjunction with the client to produce the programme. Lawson Group’s method statements and construction phase health and safety plans were sent to the CDM coordinator for approval.  Working close to central London, safety and positioning of machinery was imperative.

The works commenced with licensed asbestos removal undertaken by Lawson Environmental (part of Lawson Group).  The licensed asbestos was detected in a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey which found asbestos in multiple areas of the site. Approved plans of work were implemented detailing confined space works for asbestos removal within basements and ducting voids.

The demolition work required was broken up into a 4-phase plan as stated in the programme. Commencing on the east side of the complex working west, the works initially required the use of Lawson Group’s CAT 336 to undertake the work. As the project progressed, Lawson Group’s CAT 323 and Liebherr 944 were also required.

A strategic methodology was required in preparation of the façade retention to take place. A stage in the programme required a pile mat to be created to client specifications in readiness for the commencement of piling operations to the Northern site boundary. This is where a basement was constructed below the new office building.

Hand demolition was required by Lawson Group’s specialist operatives to remove internal structures in preparation of the façade retention. Temporary works were applied to support and secure the façade. Once this stage of the methodology was complete, the other outer walls of the building were cut away from the façade wall using hand breakers to complete the process. Once separated, demolition of the rest of the building and the crushing of the demolition arisings took place in readiness for use by the client. Crushing is a service that Lawson Group offers most clients as they are licensed to crush demolition arisings to a 6F2 specification which allows the clients to use the crushed material as a sub base for roads.


The project was successful and allowed Lawson Group to be able to demonstrate the exemplary standard of work they produce in the heart of London. It also showed why they have such an outstanding safety record, holding OHSAS 18001, in addition to the ISO 9001 and 14001 which had previously been awarded.

To find out more on how Lawson Group can help with your next demolition or asbestos removal project, call 01793 782000, email