LEICESTER CITY COUNCIL Demolition
The Indoor MarketConnell Brothers were appointed by Leicester city Council to carry out the demolition of the former indoor market located within the city centre. The 6 storey building was constructed against the Grade II listed Molly O’Grady’s Public House and in very close proximity to the Grade II listed Corn Exchange (now a public house).
To the front and rear of the market were narrow streets with restricted vehicle access, whilst a 6 day a week outdoor market operated adjacent to the Corn Exchange, together with a newly constructed indoor market. An additional unique requirement was to avoid any potential disruption to the celebrations for the reinterment of King Richard the Third in Leicester Cathedral.
It was therefore critical that the demolition of the indoor market did not have an adverse effect on the remaining market traders, or the shops located on the roads to the front and rear of the site. In addition there was also a requirement to maintain the existing fire escape to the rear of the Corn Exchange that occupied the small passageway between the Corn Exchange and the indoor market. Works to both ends of the site required agreement from the owners of the Public Houses and party wall agreements were secured early in the project.
The indoor market against Molly O’Grady’s Public House
The indoor market against the Corn Exchange showing the small section of brickwork over the live fire escape between the two buildings
A traffic management plan was developed to enable the road to the front of the market to be partial closed for the duration of the works. The roads to the front and rear of the market were also closed separately at certain points throughout the work, with access to the shops being maintained through a series of road diversions and out of hours working in order to minimise disruption to businesses.
Once the site was secured soft stripping and asbestos removal could commence. The building contained a large internal lightwell which was utilised for the removal of the soft strip material, allowing material to be stored within the market. This removed the need for a large area to place skips in as they could be brought to site, loaded, and then removed quickly.
Once the soft strip and asbestos removal had been completed the lower front section of the market was demolished to provide access for demolition of the main structure and to erect scaffold to each end of the market to enable hand demolition to be carried out adjacent to the listed buildings.
In order to minimise the disruption to the surrounding businesses the first part of the demolition of the lower levels was carried out at night under a full road closure. This then created sufficient space to enable the demolition plant to be relocated and the road to the front of the site reopened to the public. Demolition could then continue along the front of the building without effecting the daily market operations.
A close working relationship was required with the council market traders representative in order to carry out these works and this relationship was continued successfully throughout the project.
In order to scaffold over the roof of Molly O’Grady’s Public House it was necessary to cantilever beams out over the roof from within the market building, thus ensuring no scaffold would be resting on the listed building. This required ladder beams to be installed within the market building, an opening being formed to the front of the lift shaft and holes being drilled through the gable wall to allow the ladder beams to pass over the roof of the public house.
Once the scaffold was completed and the floors propped a crane was brought to site and mini-excavators, together with a skid steer loader, were lifted onto the roof of the building to commence the main demolition works.
Exclusion zones were formed at ground level within the building and the lightwell utilised as a drop zone. Demolition then proceeded with the removal of the roof top plant room and the careful working down of both gables ends. The chimney to Molly O’Grady’s was discovered to be leaning away from the market and this was fitted with steel straps to provide support. The concrete gable wall to the market was cast against the public house with only a thin sheet of flexcell providing a separation. Careful hand demolition was needed to ensure the listed building did not suffer any damage during the demolition works and a section of the wall was fitted with temporary weatherproofing as works were carried out. As the gable ends were reduced in height the upper floors were also partially removed to allow for high reach demolition at a later stage.
Once the demolition against the listed buildings had been completed the central section of the market could be demolished using a high reach excavator. This required phased closing of the roads to the front and rear of the market to ensure access was maintained for market traders throughout the demolition.
Throughout the demolition works close attention was brought to ensuring the fire escape to the rear of the Corn Exchange Public House was maintained. In addition the use of a Dust Boss as well as water jets on the demolition tool ensured minimum dust was created. Regular update letters were sent to the local traders and a continual daily dialogue maintained with the council market trader representative to ensure no issues arose with the local businesses.
Following the completion of the above ground demolition works the basement areas were opened up and internal walls removed. Adjacent to the corn Exchange a slot was cut in the basement slab for future piling works for an extension to the public house. The remaining basement areas were cleared of arisings and the basement slabs backfilled with crushed site won material before being backfilled in compacted layers. The perimeter basement wall was trimmed back to footpath level and voids found beneath the pavements were either backfilled with crushed material or concrete as required by the specification.
Once the backfilling had been completed a number of CBR tests were carried out to ensure full compaction. Prior to returning the site to the client the council preservation officer attended the site to inspect the listed wall to Molly O’Grady’s Public House. The remaining timber hoardings were then removed, the pavements reinstated and the site handed over to the client.