The project scope called for the safe demolition of the former Penicillin manufacturing plant, taking account of it’s previous use, location and live services within a live manufacturing complex.

The three-storey building was the birthplace of the very first penicillin made at Ulverston. The three-storey structure posed a number of challenges to the demolition team. The building was located within the pharmaceutical manufacturing site in a designated flame-proof area and within a confined space bounded with live pipe gantries and services. There was also the additional hazard of the solvent recovery tank farm being located adjacent to the building. Prior to commencement of works, all our operatives attended the Glaxo Wellcome site induction course covering the Special Site Rules for flame-proof areas.

Due to the location of the building in relation to the pharmaceutical plant, permits to work had to be obtained prior to commencing operations each day. A strict controlled method of demolition/dismantling had to be employed. Once the building had been decontaminated and deplanted, operatives fully equipped with personal protective equipment, (PPE), proceeded to remove asbestos insulating boarding to the building internals working in controlled conditions. Once all internal boarding was removed and clean air certificates issued, external works commenced. Operatives began to proceed with the removal of the cement bonded asbestos sheet cladding, which enveloped the roof and external walls of the structure.

Working from access platforms and equipped with full PPE, operatives removed fixings securing the sheeting using protective hand held tools, minimising any potential danger from sparking. The cement bonded asbestos sheets were removed in whole sections, removing the risk of airborne contamination, and placed in sealed containers for disposal at a licensed tip facility.

Once the task of de-cladding the building was completed, the second stage of dismantling involved the removal and disposal of redundant pipe-bridges and pipe gantries. Operatives traced and identified the pipe-work for removal. Once traced, the pipe-work was isolated, drained down and purged of residues. Cold cut methods were employed for the removal of the redundant gantries and pipe-work.

All works around building 10 had to be phased throughout to allow tankers access to an off-load point directly adjacent to the demolition area. Glaxo Wellcome instructed that access for tankers must be maintained at all times during the works. All vehicles and plant movements through the site had to follow designated routes due to overhead obstructions such as pipe gantries.

Once all the preparatory works had been completed, Connell Brothers employed the use of the CAT 235D (70t) long reach excavator, equipped with 360′ rotational cold-cut shear, to demolish the remainder of the structures. The long-reach excavator commenced to sectionally cut through the steel structure placing manageable sections on ground level.

A second Hitachi 270, equipped with shear, assisted with further processing of the steel work for loading and transporting off site. Due to the restrictions of the site working space, all debris arising from the work had to be removed intermittently to allow the work to progress. The long-reach machine proceeded with the demolition/dismantling of the three-storey structure, working methodically from roof level down to floor level and completion.

Key Facts

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