Demolition of Gold and Silver Bullion Refinery in Cambridge

Connell Brothers have continued to go from strength to strength over the past 12 months maintaining their status as one of the country’s leading NFDC members, a year which has seen the company both win and strike gold!

One of the most notable and original contracts completed during the period was the demolition of a former Gold and Silver Buillion Refinery Building on behalf of Johnson Matthey Plc.

Prior to the Demolition the Operational activities within the Gold and Silver Area comprised of Gold Refining, Gold Dissolution, Silver Evaluation, and Silver Refining.

Due to the nature of the site security was kept very tight at all times. Prior to commencement all Connell Brothers Operatives were required to undergo extensive checks of their medical and criminal histories.

All personnel on site had to comply with the strict security codes and HSE rules. Access and Egress to the working areas was controlled by an x – ray and metal detectors system. The site was also enclosed with two parallel lines of high security fencing including cameras and movement sensors.

The client even was so concerned about security issues that they even went to the lengths of inserting the following clause into the contract documents.

“Any precious metal discovered on site shall remain the property of Johnson Matthey. If the contractor discovers, or believes they have discovered, any precious metal, they shall immediately notify the Project Manager and arrange to hand the metal to an approved Johnson Matthey representative.”

“Despite the valiant attempts of our operatives no gold or silver was found on site!” said Dave Wood, the site supervisor for the works.

The facility comprised of a reinforced concrete frame building with a barrel vaulted north light roof. It was necessary to deconstruct the buildings following a very specific sequence for each roof element in order to prevent a possible catastrophic collapse. Vertical props and horizontal ties were installed at strategic locations to maintain the stability of the structure during demolition.

A live operational sub station was located at the southern elevation of the site and was protected and maintained in operation throughout. The scheme also included for the demolition of 2 number large chimneys.

Space for the working area was at a premium along with the risk of unplanned collapse but with the pre-planned protection, lateral restraints / supports, sequencing, timed traffic movements, controls and liaison with the project team the works proved to be a great success.

The impeccable standards in Health and Safety continue to be recognised by external bodies and have led to the receipt of the Gold Award from RoSPA for the third year in succession, and The National Safety Award from The British Safety Council for the eight successive year.


Key Facts

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