A tight squeeze - Tilley & Berrett at work in London

14 February 2012

Tilley and Barrett’s Kocurek-modified Hitachi high reach made short work of the structure once worki

Tilley and Barrett’s Kocurek-modified Hitachi high reach made short work of the structure once working from the internal courtyard

UK contractor Tilley & Barrett overcame a major logistical challenge on a confined site in central London. The company had won the contract to demolish a seven storey structure surrounded by live roads on two sides and occupied accommodation on a third.

The initial plan was, following asbestos remediation, to demolish the structure from the top down. However, more than double the amount of asbestos was discovered on site, requiring substantially more time for the remediation process than the contract initially allowed - however, the contract period remained the same, requiring the demolition process to be substantially speeded up. With a bit of lateral thinking, the project engineers determined that a high reach could do the work in the time frame available. There was one major problem - the work could not be carried out from the outside of the structure and there was no access large enough to allow the machine to move into the central courtyard of the building.

The answer was obvious - create one! Tilley & Barrett personnel carefully cut an opening into the side of the structure at road level and created a ramp through the building down to basement level at the courtyard side, down which the 42 m (138 ft) Kocurek modified Hitachi was carefully reversed after being assembled in the streets surrounding the site. The building naturally also required structural reinforcement prior to the opening being made.

Working with smaller machines to process the debris, the high reach made short work of the structure, allowing Tilley & Barrett to keep to time on this unusual demolition job.

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