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The Iconic Grade 2 Listed Parkinson Building

Metals and Plant Ltd was contracted to undertake the extremely sensitive re-configuration of level 3 and 4 at the iconic Grade 2 listed Parkinson building in Leeds city centre. Levels 1 and 2 were live throughout the works with level 1 being a university library with countless priceless pieces of art and books present, and level 2 was live classrooms. So noisy works, damage to the building / contents and avoiding interaction with students and teachers in the tight building and adjacent rear courtyard area, during the works and while removing all materials were a major concern for the University.

Logistically this was an extremely challenging contract as all waste had to be manually taken from each floor in sequence, down a rear small goods lift, then deposited into relevant skips positioned externally in the small rear courtyard / compound. To gain access to the rear courtyard / compound vehicles had to pass through / under 2nr underpasses with restricted head room, which resulted in 4-yard skips being the largest skip M&P could utilise to remove all waste. When you consider over 400 metric tonne of material had to be removed in this fashion over a two-month period, with all obvious potential manual handling hazards, it was no small feat.

In brief the scope of works for M&P consisted of:

  • Removal of asbestos containing materials.
  • Soft Furnishings strip out of the floors.
  • M&E strip out of redundant equipment.
  • Robotic demolition of non-load bearing walls
  • Installing temporary propping to numerous structural penetrations / alterations to 800mm thick structural walls. Including core drilling 350mm holes for needles to pass through at both high and low level, to allow the cantilevered propping design to be installed.
  • Fabrication of 30nr relevant steels / slices for structural openings.
  • Hand demolition to remove loadbearing walls once propped.
  • Provision and installation of non-standard padstones, installation of steels and all associated building works in connection.
  • Utilising track saws to cut the reveals of the new penetrations / openings in the 800mm thick walls.
  • Robotic demolition of 70lm cast concrete structural soffit over main central corridor on level 3.
  • Various building works across site.

Due to a very aggressive programme and necessity to avoid disruption to the students in relation to noisy works. Extensive consultations between all parties enabled M&P engineers to tailor a detailed programme of works which worked for both the principle contractor and the University, while also factoring in key exam dates / functions in the building over the duration of the works on request of the University.

This resulted in M&P having a team of engineer’s working both day and night on site to achieve the near impossible programme.

The substantial “night shift” team was tasked to undertake all noisy and dangerous demolition / removal / structural works as specified above. Then a second “day team” would undertake all quieter operations on site and were tasked with the monumental removal of all waste generated on nights. This again took expert planning to monitor and manage all necessary movements of materials / vehicles / skip lorries on site via the extremely tight and congested access / egress routes in relation to the university vehicles and extensive foot traffic through the day, while replenishing all skips in the compound area to allow the night shift works to be undertaken without delay.

Expert planning and attention to detail is always one of M&P strongest traits, and potential excessive floor loadings were another concern / hazard our engineers highlighted at tender stage. This again had to be expertly managed throughout the works by M&P engineers. This was achieved by calculating exactly how much wall could be demolished at any one time, in what specific area and sequence due to the varying structural capacity of the aging building, and subsequently where material could be stored on the floor plate once processed and prior to removal to ground floor level.

All work was completed incident free, prior to schedule and most of all safely for all concerned. M&P were commended by the principle contractor and University for our innovative work practises / techniques and professionalism throughout the contract in all aspects of our works.

Services Used
Peglar Yorkshire
British Rail
Ministry Of Defence
Sheffield Forge Masters