In advance of the construction of a new luxury hotel in the heart of London, General Demolition was charged with the removal of the upper floors of a building with a chequered and grisly past.
The precise history of the four and five storey building that sits at the junction of Garlick Hill and Queen Victoria Street close to the Mansion House underground station is something of a mystery. Although it most recently served as offices before lying empty for several years, it is thought that the building had historic links with the fur and leather trade so prevalent in this part of London.
With the recession now loosening its grip and with the need for high-end hotel accommodation again on the rise, client Evolve 2 Consult is undertaking an extensive demolition and refurbishment contract that will see the five and four storey buildings demolished to the second floor slab, and the buildings’ inner courtyard excavated and replaced.
This work was charged to General Demolition in October 2013 as part of a 12-week programme. “This is a challenging contract for a number of reasons,” says project manager James McKeown. “Access to the site is extremely tight and Garlick Hill has a 7.5 tonne weight limit. Also, given its location, we were keen to avoid road closures. In addition, the demolition works required us to work on four party walls so we had to be mindful of noise, dust and vibration that might impact upon neighbouring buildings. This also required some extensive temporary works to prop those party walls while the demolition work took place.” That demolition work utilised proven top-down methods.
Following some initial testing of floor loadings, a pair of 3.5 tonne mini excavators equipped with sound suppressed hydraulic breakers were craned onto the roof where they set about removing the upper two and three floors. Arisings from the demolition were dropped down a former lift shaft for rehandling by a 1.5 tonne mini excavator and a skid steer loader at ground floor level. Those arisings were then loaded into tippers for transportation to a licensed recycling facility in North London.