Demolition in London: Case Studies

The United Kingdom has a massive issue currently with a lack of new housing stock. A massive push for development is underway despite recent market and governmental uncertainty. Construction, and development, the UK is starting to boom especially in London where the market has been buoyant for years due to its bubble and strong investment credentials.

According to an analysis by Deloitte: London has over 1.7 million highly skilled workers, an increase of 234,000 in past 3 years. This development is experienced due to the growth of technology and financial markets in the various sectors.

But with an increase in development comes the responsibility to manage other aspects of construction such as demolition and waste disposal. These include construction of new buildings and demolition and safe disposal of the older ones. 
To understand the present state of UK construction industry, it is important to learn about key issues that the country is dealing with in these regards.

In this Article, we are going to list the case studies of various demolition projects in different locations throughout the UK.

Why Demolition?

There can be many requirements for demolition like unsafe architecture or infestation. It can take place in both private and public sectors.

By law, no demolition permit is granted by the Scituate Historical Commission for buildings that are over 100 years in age.

Demolition is an easy process for small buildings such as houses or two or three story homes. They can be pulled down manually with the help of hydraulic equipment: elevated work platforms, cranes, excavators or bulldozers.

However, to bring down large buildings like skyscrapers, masonry, tall chimneys, smokestacks and bridges, one requires the use of wrecking ball that is operated with the help of a crane, or the helping hand of strategically placed explosives.

Processes like building implosions with explosives are also quite popular to demolish tall buildings in London and other towns and cities.

Let’s have a look at some of the major projects that are undertaken in the UK:

Carnaby Street Demolition:

Situated in the heart of London, the Carnaby Street is a popular pedestrianised shopping street in Soho in the City of Westminster. This is a busy area with 150 shops and over 50 independent restaurants and bars.

Demolition project on a busy land like Carnaby puts forward many logistical and supply issues. Soft strip operations on such a busy street is quite a hectic task to manage.

History of the site:

The site had suffered a major bomb damage during the WW2 and required a lot of repair and ‘King Post Walling’ to retain the roadway.

Challenges faced at the site:

  • Demolishing structures on such a busy pedestrian street
  • Impact of noise and vibration on other businesses
  • Designing temporary structures to avoid damage to the existing ones.

Crosshall’s Building Demolition

In 2014, a major refurbishment project was undertaken that included the demolition of the Crosshall’s building. Apart from its eminent history, this building was once the first juvenile court in the UK.

The demolition of this structure involved the soft strip method as it was necessary to remove the internal structures like ground floor slabs and internal walls.

This building was then modified into a beautiful Victorian structure by facade retention. Also, some areas were left for the client to do the required changes.

Challenges faced at the site:

  • The activities had to be undertaken in a space restricted area
  • Minimum disruption to the neighbouring areas
  • Monitoring noise throughout the project

Chimney Demolition:

This chimney demolition was one of the most complex projects that required careful and detailed planning. The project took place at Briggate, Leeds where a 53-metre high brick chimney had to be pulled down with explosives.

The nature of this project required a keen supervision of the upper management and coordination of the workers.

Challenges faced for chimney demolition:

  • Use and functionality of the explosives
  • Communication and coordination under high pressure
  • Inherent dangers of using explosives
  • Maintaining the safety of the surrounding areas

University of Manchester — Asbestos Removal:

There are several buildings in the University of Manchester that require proper asbestos removal. Asbestos was sometimes found deposited above the false ceilings, inside technical ducts and other small spaces.

Here are few buildings where Asbestos removal projects were undertaken:

Stopford Building Demolition:

An enclosed space was created by encapsulating the walls to initiate the process. The project involved asbestos removal from three risers and a 9-metre section of the corridor.

Steps like decontamination and environmental cleaning were also taken care of towards the completion of the project.

Renold Building Demolition:

While inspection of the 9th floor of the Renold Building, Asbestos was found as the spray coated insulation in the pot and the beam ceiling. Therefore, high quality and standard service were expected to maintain the health and safety factors. Asbestos was removed with the help of a multi-needle injection system and quill blasting method. Later, after the completion of the project, works like ceiling reinstatement were also carried out.

Blackfriars, Rennie House, Wakefield House and 18 –23 Blackfriars Road

For a major demolition project of 3 buildings in Blackflair, it is quite important to learn about the logistical obstacles of the project.

This required a combined effort of hand and mechanical demolition for a safe and stable work.

The project was initiated by the pre-demolition method of Soft Strip to segregate waste all at once.

The method of soft strip involved removal of all internal loose fixtures and fittings as well as fixed items in the building. To mechanically process the building material, PC-210 excavators were used. Later, a PC-350 arrived at the location to break through the slabs.


Over the years, there have been many approaches that follow the concept of demolition. One of the most popular one being — Deconstruction.

To minimize the material and the after effects, a new building can be constructed at another space by the building debris left after demolition. It is important to segregate the waste so that materials like plastic, wood and paper can be recycled.

Also, this saves all the building debris to end up in the landfills that directly benefits the environment in several ways.

To help the environment, save costs and provide a safe and responsible demolition project we offer demolition contractors that are quality controlled, vetted and offer a great service.

Get in touch with the best experts to find the right team that delivers quality waste disposal services. It is important to carefully plan and design demolition projects not only to maintain safety of your workers and the general public, the environment and manage and control costs.