An unusual demolition project on the banks of the River Thames in London, United Kingdom, has been completed safely and successfully thanks to a bespoke scaffolding solution provided by access specialist SGB.
The company created a distinctive system for the project, part of which was regularly covered by the river water during the demolition process.
“This was a challenging project due to the location of the building, which was built out into the river, from a site close to Blackfriars Bridge,” said SGB’s southern design manager Brendan Fox.
“Fortunately, the contractor knew that we have experience of designing this type of structure for other demolition and construction projects on the banks of the Thames. That experience was a key point in allowing us to create a successful scaffolding solution.”
The SGB system included the addition of large steel brackets to the concrete columns on which the building stood. These were then used to support a series of beams which provided a solid base on which the scaffolding could sit.
“This meant that the lower parts of the scaffolding would regularly be covered by water as the Thames ebbed and flowed with each tide, and so the system had to be able to accommodate the force of the water flow,” Brendan added.
Water being present also created the need for the scaffolding to adapted on a day-to-day basis, with the team on-site having to remove and the reinstall the toe-boards every few hours so they were not damaged by the flow.
The SGB system was also designed with several other key requirements in mind.
“The scaffolding had to be constructed in such a way that it could be reduced in height, as the demolition work gradually lowered the height of the building,” said Brendan.
“The demolition materials had to be removed from the site via the river, so our design had to include various protection and containment features which would prevent those materials from falling into the water. We also had to allow for the presence of a large barge carrying an 80 t crane which was floated in alongside the building.”