Westgate, Bristol


Lawson Group were awarded the contract to produce a full soft strip out at Westgate, a five-floor office block. Located in Bristol’s city centre, the regeneration of this 90,000 sq ft office building required a strategic methodology to ensure there was minimal disruption to the public. The programme was produced in conjunction with Crest Nicholson who was the main contractor for this project.


Due to the design of the building, Working at Height Regulations 2005 would be followed closely to ensure that all staff were safe when working within the building. Commencing in June, this long project would consist of structural and hand demolition with the additional use of the Brokk – a remote-controlled machine designed specifically for demolition.


Lawson Group’s method statements and construction phase health and safety plans were sent to the CDM co-ordinator for approval. When writing the methodology, BS 6187:2000 was followed as a guideline to ensure that all codes of practice on various aspects of demolition were met.

Lawson Group take pride in their outstanding safety record, holding all OHSAS awards including 18001. Lawson Demolition (part of Lawson Group) utilised their hot works permit on site as this enabled the roof to be easily removed by hand. Lawson Group’s team started the soft strip on the top floor, working their way down. This included the removal of the offices in their entirety and all interior structures, leaving the skeleton of the building ready for the client to begin their enabling works. The proud exterior design of Westgate is celebrated so the client had opted not to demolish the shell of the building. This project aimed to create a high specification development without erasing history within Bristol.

Solely structural demolition took place to enlarge the central atrium that was currently there. The Brokk machine was used for this procedure to enable a balcony to line the outskirts of the atrium with flats leading off this walkway. During this procedure, strict health and safety rules were adhered to by all following the Working at Height Regulations 2005. This enabled the operators of the Brokks to produce their work successfully and safely when undertaking the necessary work close to the edge of the floors. The operators of the machines wore harnesses and the correct PPE for the job.

The current roof of the building was removed by hand, in preparation for a modern roof. This was done by utilising a scaffold crash deck which was put up beneath it. This enabled Lawson Group’s staff to use reciprocating saws and oxy propane to cut the roof into manageable pieces. The roof framework was placed down a rubble shoot and lowered to the floor level, then removed from site.


95% of the materials from the soft strip and structural demolition were recycled as most of the debris consisted of steel and concrete. The 1930’s art deco building had been given a new lease of life as it was to be transformed into luxury apartments and penthouses.

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.