A light touch - 777's controlled approach
By Lindsay Gale03 December 2012
The UK’s 777 Group has recently finished a four month contract in the west of London where it had to carefully demolish part of Acton Council’s Town hall and Swimming Baths and also carry out façade retention work on a section of the Grade II listed building.
The structure originally housed two swimming pools built in 1904, with the Kings Room building connecting the baths to Acton High Road constructed in 1926. At the end of 2011, the facility was closed to allow for its replacement by a new three storey council amenities centre integrated with the front section of the original structure housing a 25 m (82 ft) swimming pool, library, gym and fitness studio.
Soft strip was carried out by 777 operatives to removed door frames, skirting boards and other furnishings from the Kings Rooms, with a heavy-duty steel frame constructed around the front portion of the site to preserve the Victorian façade.
The site imposed a number of challenges for the company. Contracts manager David Willcott said: “A restrictive one-way road network around three sides of the building and a busy high street on the fourth side meant managing access to and from the site was critical. With only one usable access point available to us, delivering machinery and removing demolition arisings had to be carefully choreographed to ensure vehicle and pedestrian traffic at the front and sides of the site were not disrupted. Manned access points to the site coupled with extensive use of scaffolding and fencing ensured the demolition was carried out in a controlled manner without risk to passing members of the public. Water-based dust suppression was used throughout the project and the local community engaged and regularly updated with the operation”.