Asbestos Demolition, Shell Tower, London

Located on Belvedere Road, Shell Centre (also know as Shell Tower) is situated within the heart of London just a stones through away from the London Eye. As one of the two central offices of major oil giant shell, many important operations and the day-to-day running of the company are conducted within this prominent and iconic building.

Constructed in 1961 the original shell centre comprised of the tower building along with two other adjoining wings which have since been demolished. This has resulted in a new tower building being built for Shell and numerous residential buildings to be completed in 2020. Shell Centre has seen various internal changes over the years and in 2016 a wider redevelopment project began with the aim of completing in full by 2020.

As part of this project shell are undertaking partial internal refurbishment of all 28 floors within the shell centre building to be completed over four continuous stages. These works have been and continue to be carried out whilst retaining limited use of the building with the first process being identifying all areas in which asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are present followed by the planning of removal works.

Being constructed in the 60s when asbestos containing materials were still widely used in the construction of many buildings, it came as no surprise that ACMs were found within various locations of shell tower including spray coating to structural steel work and general insulation material. Previous refurbishment reports issued by former asbestos management consultancies stated that majority areas containing ACMs (such as the insulation materials to structural beams) had been removed. However, it soon came became apparent to the principal contractor appointed at the start of the re-development project in 2016 that this was not the case with large deposits of debris accompanied by unstripped beams being found at various locations within the building.

It was at this point that Shell engaged with Ensafe directly to initially undertake a series of full R&D surveys to pre phase 1 construction floors. Following these surveys and the results they produced, the client took the decision to establish Ensafe in a full time Gatekeeper role to ensure full compliance to their duties under CAR 2012 (Reg 4).

Ensafe’s role on site quickly grew and now encompasses all the following functions:

  • Project based reassurance air monitoring.
  • Site wide R&D / Demolition surveys
  • Production of full asbestos remediation specification based on survey findings and OPLC specification
  • Approval of RAMS
  • Overview of full four stage clearance process
  • Final sign-off on all asbestos related works
  • All work managed on TEAMS database on behalf of the client.
  • 24/7 asbestos consultancy

The growth of Ensafe’s role and presence on site hasn’t just stopped here however as we now have up to four project managers working on site at any given time, with operations being conducted 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

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