SHELL (UK) Ltd Demolition

Rowlandsway House, Wythenshawe
Following a stringent pre-qualification process and a successful tender submission Connell Brothers Ltd (CBL) were appointed to carry out the asbestos removal and demolition of the former major IT base for oil multi-national Shell (UK) Ltd. The 6.5 acre complex was located at the corner of Rowlandsway and Simonsway in Wythenshawe South Manchester.

The complex was adjacent to an ASDA supermarket and Wythenshawe Shopping Centre to the west and access had to be maintained to the multi-storey car park for the shopping centre. The south elevation comprised of residential properties and the “Metrolink Line” under construction from Manchester City Centre to Manchester International Airport.

The east elevations bounded by residential properties and south east corner by the operational St Andrews Church. The North elevation bounded by the local Job Centre and Gala Bingo Club.
The site had been extensively developed over the years and there was a mixture of differing types of building construction.
The Office Building was a long slender structure 15 Bays long and 2 Bays wide. The building was constructed with a reinforced concrete frame and heavy pre cast concrete panels around the perimeter. The general Bays along the length of the building were are 19 ft. and the two bays across the building are 28 & 22ft respectively.

The Northern Computer Centre Building was a 2-storey long span steel structure is situated next to the 6 storey office block. Comprised of long span lattice girders which picked up lines of secondary beams.

The Computer Suite was centrally located and consisted of a 2-storey steel frame building that had 9 bays along the building and 2 bays across. The perimeter was formed from brick/block panels.

The Administration Buildings fronting Simonsway and Rowlandsway were former school buildings and were 2-storey clad concrete structural frames;

The Car Park Building facing the main pedestrian route giving access east /west from residential properties to the Wythenshawe Shopping Centre. Comprised 5 / 6 storey split level concrete framed building with pre cast concrete cladding panels around the perimeter.
The Staff Facility Building (Former Wavell House) was a complex 2 storey steel framed building that included a large open span restaurant, a Sports Hall, Squash Courts, a dental treatment area and general recreational uses.

Following award Connell Brothers Ltd (CBL) in conjunction with the Shell Project Team carried out a number of phased meetings to promote the “Shell Life Saving Rules and Zero Incidence Rate”. This cumulated with 32 members of the demolition team attending Shell, Brabazon House for a “Safety Induction Day” in advance of commencing works on site.

With all consents in place, and diversion of supplies to sub stations and gas houses arranged the demolition project commenced in October 2013.

Phased asbestos removal was carried out followed by soft stripping of building internals and fixtures and fittings. Connell Brothers adopted a pro-active policy of re-using and recycling of building internals.

Several charitable organisations were contacted and the majority of suitable office furniture was provided free of charge for reuse. Raised computer flooring was lifted and re-used by external third parties. Timber partitions were stripped and removed for recycling at timber processing plants. Throughout the works all materials were segregated to prevent possible cross contamination.

Demolition commenced with the removal of Wavell House using excavators equipped with shear attachments. Due to the large span of the main structural beams a specific sequence of demolition was developed to ensure the stability of the building during the demolition works. In addition the close proximity of the boundary to both the front and rear of the building required careful consideration of the demolition methodology.

Following the demolition of Wavell House the demolition of the remaining buildings was carried out in a planned sequence to follow the asbestos removal works. The low level buildings were demolished working around the site to enable good access to be obtained for the demolition of the 6 storey office block.

The office block comprised a reinforced concrete structure with large panel precast concrete cladding to the external walls. These panels were in two sections per floor height with glazing between. Demolition of this building was carried out using one of Connell Brothers high reach excavators equipped with a pulveriser.

Demolition was carried out in a specific bay by bay manner working from the back of the building and towards the staircase core to ensure stability of the building. The office block was of a similar construction to the multi-storey car park and the information gleaned from its demolition was particularly useful in developing the methodology for the demolition of the multi-storey car park.
Prior to demolishing the car park a protective scaffold with mono-flex sheeting and debris netting was installed to contain any possible fragments resulting from the demolition. Once all protection measures were in place and the methodology approved the demolition could commence. The demolition of the front part of the car park adjacent to the road was carried out during the night whilst on-going processing was carried out during the normal working day.

Once the front section of the car park had been demolished the scaffold protection could be removed and the rear section of the car park demolished.

The final part of the project was the removal of 4 large generators and underground fuel tanks. The generators were located in a separate building and bricked in. The brickwork to the face of the building was removed and the generators separated from their exhaust systems. They were then jacked up onto skids and carefully manoeuvred out of the generator building. From here they were lifted onto waiting transport wagons by crane for re-use.

The concrete slab over the underground tanks was removed to expose the top of the tanks and the surrounding ground. This ground was then subject to chemical testing prior to, and after, their removal. The resultant voids were then backfilled with site won arisings.

All voids were backfilled and all demolition arisings removed to leave a clean level site for the client.

This project presented a number of challenges, namely:

• The very tight nature of the site
• Close proximity of adjacent buildings
• The very different type of construction of the buildings

Careful planning and the development of a close working relationship with Shell UK and Manchester City Council enabled this project to be carried out safely, on time and with minimum disruption to the adjacent property owners. This relationship proved very effective when severe storms uprooted a number of retained trees resulting in disruption to local traffic. These were removed by Connell Brothers immediately with Manchester City Council organising local traffic management to keep disruption to a minimum.


Key Facts

Project outcome – completed on time, and incident / injury free. CLIENT: Shell International ltd CDM CO-ORDINATOR: AECOM Ltd CONTRACT ADMINISTRATOR: Jones Lang Lasalle
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