Last Updated on November 23, 2016 by Kirsty Smithson
When it comes to demolishing buildings that contain asbestos, it is a huge and complex task, as all the asbestos must be removed before the building is demolished.
This requires the skills of a specialist licensed asbestos removal contractor.
This is the problem that The Silvertown Partnership had when it came to starting work on developing the old Millennium Mills, the former site of Spillers flour and animal-feed mill, located in London’s Docklands.
The job was so complex that they found only a few contractors available to choose from who would have the skills to do the work.
The developers bought the site after it had remained derelict for 20 years and have plans to turn it into a giant complex consisting of 3000 homes, retail, commercial and leisure facilities.
The Millennium Mills were built in 1905 and are a whopping 11 storey’s high. The site is in a prime location and a developer’s dream with it being so close to the O2 and London City Airport.
Rhodar were the specialist company chosen for the task of removing the asbestos from inside the buildings.
They are known as being one of the UK’s leading asbestos removal specialists.
Jason Davey, Chief Executive of Rhodar said, “We are the largest asbestos removal contractor in the UK, but we’re not particularly well-known in the London area, though we’ve had an office there for some time. So Millennium Mills is an important project for us.”
Work began on the site in November 2014 and to date has been one of the most extensive asbestos removal contracts ever seen within the UK.
Rhodar were enlisted with the mammoth task of stripping out, grit-blasting and deep cleaning the entire building’s interior.
The buildings were so huge that they had to be divided into three sections.
Work started at the top of each section working downwards, completing one floor at a time.
Scaffolding had to 1st be installed to all levels so workers could gain access.
Rhodar then started with a pre-clean on each floor before removing all the old equipment and fittings. After they’d done this they then made a start on removing the asbestos.
Rhodar had to work with asbestos in it’s many forms, everything from sheet roofing material to old lagged pipes.
The most difficult part of the job though was removing the old paint on the walls and ceilings that contained asbestos.
Mr Davey said, “We had to work with all different forms of asbestos. It was in the paint on the walls and ceilings, in the floors and in lagging around pipes and equipment.”
The paint was removed using a method called ‘dustless blasting’ which incorporates the use of water and recycled particles of glass.
This method means that the asbestos fibers are contained safely and not spread into the atmosphere.
The workers worked in sealed enclosures while carrying out the blasting, and each enclosure contained air extraction units providing a constant stream of clean air.
Mr Davey commented, “We monitored the air inside and outside the enclosures constantly, and each operative was equipped with their own personal monitor.”
As the asbestos containing materials were removed, they were securely bagged, sealed and stored securely before being taken to licensed landfill sites.
Tests were then carried out by an analyst following the removal of asbestos from the building to make 100% sure that no traces of asbestos remained.
The whole site was secured with security perimeter fencing. Pedestrians were provided with automatic turnstiles to walk through and all staff were given an electronic pass so they could gain access.
Access to the site and building was very strictly controlled.
While phase 1 involved stripping out the interior of the building, phase 2 will involve demolishing the actual structure’s concrete frame.
The facade itself is to be retained, so steelwork will be erected by Bagnall to support it while they carry out the demolition works.
The building works to Millennium Mills are expected to be complete by 2018.
The new Silvertown Quays development will bring in an estimated £260 million a year to the London economy and will create over 20,000 new jobs within 10 years.
Source of article:- www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/easy-does-it-1
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/
Alternatively, to book onto one of our asbestos training courses, please call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/
Published Nov 23, 2016