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Homes and Communities Agency – Smallwood Health Centre demolition

Connell Brothers were appointed as demolition contractors for the demolition of the former Smallwood Health Centre located in the town centre of Redditch.

The works comprised the removal of asbestos materials, demolition and removal of the building structure together with the ground floor slab and foundations. The demolition arrisings were then crushed on site and used as backfill to leave the site stoned up ready for future development.

The site comprised a three storey Health Centre constructed from a concrete frame with brick infill external walls. The central light well was covered by a timber arch structure containing windows. The roof was of a lightweight flat construction on lightweight steel trusses. The large span of the windows meant that the concrete mullions were transferring vertical loads to ground level.

At the front of the building was a Chinese restaurant and car park, to the rear a bus garage and NHS Centre which extended along the back of the building. In addition smaller private medical practices occupied the building to the left. The ground floor formed part of the retaining wall to the left of the site with a separate retaining wall being at the rear.

Initial works comprised the establishment of the site welfare facilities in the car park to the right of the Health Centre. Once the site was established a suitable access was formed at the rear of the building and the asbestos containing materials were removed. These comprised both notifiable and non-notifiable materials. The former being removed under fully controlled conditions by Connell Brothers in-house specialist asbestos removal operatives.

Once all the asbestos had been removed and the building was certified as safe to re-occupy the soft strip works could commence. This involved the removal of a section of window and wall to the gable end to allow skid steer loaders to enter the building. An inspection of the window structure confirmed the head of the window and the mullions were structural and therefore only a limited opening could be formed. These openings were staggered at each floor level to allow material to be safely removed on all three floors together.

Following the completion of the soft stripping the structure was then demolished by demolition excavators equipped with pulverisers “munching” the building from one end to the other. Due to the close proximity of buildings to the left hand gable a scaffold was erected and the last bay removed by carefully removing the roof and operatives working from the scaffold demolishing the walls inwards onto the footprint of the building.

Once the building had been demolished all manholes and service locations were accurately recorded prior to the removal of the ground floor slab and foundations. Part of the ground floor slab was retained to act as support for the boundary wall.

The rear of the building had contained a plant room and further investigation determined that there was a tank under the ground within the site boundary that required removing. A specialist sub-contractor was appointed who visited the site and safely removed the residual contents of the tank before certifying it as gas free and allowing Connell Brothers to remove it, together with the contaminated ground around the tank, and dispose of the materials at a licenced facility.

Once removed the hard demolition stockpiled on site were crushed using Connell Brothers own mobile crusher to a 6F2 specification for backfilling. Voids and foundations were backfilled in compacted layers and then the entire site was covered and graded to remove any hazards. In addition an amount of crushed material was placed against the perimeter ground floor wall and retaining wall to provide additional support.

During this period the Client’s representative requested that Connell Brothers appoint a geotechnical engineer to carry out ground investigation works and to carry out gas and water tests over a period of time. These were sequenced and undertaken without any delay to the project completion date.

The final task was to erect a perimeter fence using weldmesh to secure the site before leaving.

CLIENT: Homes and Community Agency

PROJECT MANAGERS: URS

COST CONSULTANTS: URS

CDM CO-ORDINATOR: Turner & Townsend

For Full Details contact Steve Balyski on 0161 925 0606 or steve.b@connellbrothers.co.uk