DDS completes Maidstone car park demolition

By Lindsay Gale02 June 2014

Working to a tight deadline, DDS Demolition has completed the demolition of a multi-storey car park in Maidstone in Kent, UK. The company, w behalf of Maidstone Borough Council, completed the project after 18 months of work and achieved a recycling rate of 98%. The car park in King Street had been built in the 1970s using the ‘lift-slab’ technique that later proved to be prone to failure. Despite efforts to reinforce the structure, it was finally declared unsafe and as a result scheduled for demolition. Following a competitive tendering process, DDS was appointed a main contractor for the job, which included the construction of a street level car park following the demolition.

The urban nature of the site imposed a number of constraints on DDS to successfully carry out the project. The structure was in the heart of Maidstone town centre, with surrounding paths, roads and adjacent shops that had to remain unaffected by the demolition work. This meant that very rigorous dust and vibration suppression was essential.

In addition, there was insufficient room for large excavators to be deployed in the initial phase of work, meaning that careful top-down demolition was required until sufficient space had been cleared in the structure’s footprint for their deployment. And if that was not enough, the car park shared a wall with a bowling centre next door that remained open during the duration, meaning that this elevation had to be demolished very carefully by hand.

The structural weakness of the structure also had an impact on the demolition methodology. The car park had to be temporarily reinforced during the top down work to ensure that the floors could carry the weight of the equipment required. Each floor was pierced in the same position by a well hole that allowed debris to be cleared from the working level to the ground floor, with regular clearance preventing any possible overloading of the floor being worked on.

A very large volume of the 98% of demolition arisings that were recycled were used on site to form the sub-base of the new car park that was completed at street level.

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