United Kingdom-based PP O’Connor has started work on demolishing the University of Manchester’s Faraday Building to make way for a new £60 million (US$91 million) innovation centre in the city.
Demolition, which will take around 20 weeks, involves removing several buildings. As well as the 1967 Faraday Building itself, the chimney and the link bridge to the Faraday Tower will also disappear from the 8,400 sq m (90,000 sq ft) site.
In their place will be built the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), which will be home to further developments with graphene. A flexible carbon allotrope said to be 200 times stronger than steel, graphene is already being linked with numerous potential future applications.
O’Connor, based in Irlam in the north west of England, has already worked with the National Graphene Institute.
Charmaine O’Connor, chief executive of the company – which employs more than 150 people – said: “We are proud to be at the start of the delivery of GEIC. It will be a major centre for development of graphene and no doubt have a significant impact for the university and the city itself.
“We carried out the demolition and ground preparation works for the National Graphene Institute in 2013 so it’s great to be back and involved with a new graphene building project.”
Mel Manku, a partner at Arcadis – the firm that appointed O’Connor for the work – said: “It’s important we select the right team for each stage of GEIC and the initial demolition works carry various sensitivities and complexities.
“PP O’Connor’s approach and track record on working on confined, challenging city centre sites and their impressive health and safety record, made them the right team for the job.”