Safedem will use the Despe-developed modular TppDownWay climbing work platform system to demolish the two largest residential blocks of flats in Scotland, the Whitevale and Bluevale towers in the Gallowgate area of Glasgow, on behalf of the Glasgow Housing Authority. The blocks’ location near busy public roads and a busy adjacent retail park precludes the use of other demolition methods. Built in 1969, the 31 storey structures stand 85 m (279 ft) tall. Bluevale will come down in 2015, with Whitevale following in turn during 2016.
The system developed by Italian contractor Despe SpA, first used in the French city of Lyon to demolish the UAP Tower, consists of a three level work platform that seals to the building while demolition work is carried out inside this enclosed environment and hydraulically climbs down the building as it is demolished floor by floor. This ensures a closed environment to minimise the impact of the demolition to the outside environment as well as protecting workers from the worst of the weather conditions. Safedem managing director William Sinclair told D&Ri: “We carefully assess every project before developing the safest and most appropriate method of demolition. This collaboration with Despe has been born from close ties and friendship established through our involvement in the EDA. This is the first time the system is being used in the UK."
Alex McGuire, director of property for Glasgow Housing Association's (GHA) parent company, Wheatley Group, was reported by the BBC as saying: "The Gallowgate twins have a special place in people's hearts and in Glasgow's history, but their time has come to an end. This unique demolition is another important step in the ongoing regeneration of housing in the city and will ensure our homes are fit for future generations."