Various Royal Mail Strip Out Projects

OVERVIEW:

Lawson Group have successfully completed strip out works for various Royal Mail buildings around the UK, the projects were completed in partnership with the main contractor. This case study concentrates on four of the many locations: Southampton, Eastleigh, Greenford and Jubilee Hounslow.

CHALLENGE

Strip out and removal of various items including walls, PSL offices, tiles, asbestos containing materials, roller shutter doors, toilets, turnstiles.

SOLUTION

Royal Mail Southampton – Brief overview of site & scope of works

The work was located in the Southampton Royal Mail Sorting Office and consisted of the removal of the internal PSL offices, located in the main sorting area of the building. The Royal Mail depot was used 24 hours a day and had to remain in use during the works. A planned timeframe was agreed to take place over one week.

Due to the location of the offices a dust screen was erected around the structure using scaffolding with monarflex attached. The soft strip and demolition of the office was carried out by using hand tools, all waste generated was carried out of the designated doors and deposited into a 40-yard bin located on the loading dock.

There were various live services that had to remain in place during the demolition works, confirmation had to be received from the client before any cables or pipes were cut to ensure they had been isolated. Before any work could take place, a Refurbishment & Demolition Asbestos Survey for all structures was carried out.

Royal Mail Eastleigh – Brief overview of site & scope of works

The work was located in the Eastleigh Royal Mail Sorting Office and consisted of the removal of two large plasterboard walls in the main sorting areas. There was also a soft strip of the male and female toilets needed, located in the office on the ground floor and the soft strip of the canteen area on the first floor.

This Royal Mail depot was also in use 24 hours a day and would have to remain in use during the works. Dust protection was required to ensure the live working areas did not get contaminated with dust or any arisings from the works.

The planned timeframe was for 3 weeks. Similar to Southampton Sorting Office, there were various live services that had to remain in place during the demolition works, conformation had to be received from the client before any cables or pipes were cut to ensure they had been isolated.

A Refurbishment & Demolition Asbestos Survey for all structures had been carried out. This showed that there were several areas of asbestos that were to remain in place and not to be disturbed. These were marked on the site plans and indicated to all site staff during the site induction. However, some of the asbestos had to be removed including:

• Removal of asbestos containing Artex & plaster board ceilings cut out 6no approximately 400×400 holes in the Artex asbestos ceiling to the office and 2 other adjacent rooms
• Removal of approx. 20m2 of Asbestos Insulation Board (AIB) indicated by the red arrows below:

The perimeter of the site was fully enclosed with Heras type fencing and asbestos removal signs displayed to form a respirator zone to enclose asbestos removal works.

Removal of asbestos was under fully controlled conditions to include enclosures and negative air pressure all as current CAR Regulations 2012. A DCU was set up and operational, enclosures were formed. DCU, airlocks and baglocks were positioned as per the agreed site plan. Pre-formed asbestos removal enclosures were smoke tested prior to becoming operational. Personal air monitoring was carried out during removal works and following removal works a four-stage air clearance test.

Royal Mail Greenford – Brief overview of site & scope of works

This project involved: Cutting out of doorways and installation of props, removal of a roller shutter door and tile removal.

The opening of new doorways in block walls was required, the doorways were marked out on the walls before work started. Acrow props and strong boys (provided by VolkerFitzpatrtick) were installed in the required locations and checked by the site manager before the work progressed. Using a cut off saw with diamond blade and water suppression attachment, the walls were cut out along the marked-out line. The block walls were then removed using a sledgehammer. All the block work was removed and placed in the designated waste bin located outside the building.

The door to be removed was indicated by the Site Manager. Two materials lifts were positioned at each end of the door (the safe working load of each lift was 300kg). Once in place, access was gained via a scaffold tower where the roller was unbolted using hand tools.

Once free from its mounting brackets, the roller was lowered down to ground level and removed from site and placed in the designated waste bin. All mounting brackets were unbolted from the wall and removed from site also.

All the ceramic tiles around the canteen and kitchen were to be removed. Using a small hammer and bolster, the tiles and cement were removed from the walls as indicated by the site manager. All waste generated was removed from site and placed in the designated waste bins located outside the building.

Royal Mail Jubilee, Hounslow – Brief overview of site & scope of works

The work was located in the Jubilee Royal Mail Sorting Office and consisted of a strip out of male and female toilets along with the removal of a high-level wall and turnstiles, located in a safe area of the sorting office.

After services had been made safe, work could begin on the toilets. Loose contents from within each male and female toilets were removed. All partition panels sink units and all sanitary ware were removed first. Using a floor tile remover, the floor coverings were then lifted and removed from the rooms. Operatives then removed the suspended ceiling tiles which were removed from the working area. The operatives then proceeded to cut out the frame and lower to ground level. The existing access doors into the toilets were left alone as these were to remain in place and undamaged. Each room was swept clean ready for the site manager to inspect, ensuring that the works had been completed to the agreed standard.

Prior to commencing works on the block wall, plywood boards were placed adjacent to it to ensure the floor was not damaged. Using access scaffold, the wall removal started at the top, removing each block course by course. A 110v hand breaker was used to loosen the blocks, they were then passed down and removed from the working area.

Care was taken when working around live services, the position of these had already been briefed to operatives during the site induction. Once the wall had been removed to ground level, the area was then swept clean.

The turnstiles to be removed were constructed of steel plates bolted together, these were unbolted and deconstructed using hand tools. Once they had been unbolted into small sections, the steelwork was placed in a waste skip located outside the sorting office.

Security of the building was carried out using Heras fencing. For any hot works taking place to cut steelwork, a hot works permit was obtained from the main contractor before works started. On completion, the area was swept clean and inspected for any trip hazards.

RESULT

All the strip out projects for Royal Mail were successfully and safely completed by Lawson Group.

To find out more on how Lawson Group can help with your next demolition or asbestos removal project, call 01793 782000, email enquiries@lawsongroup.co.uk.