Asbestos Demolition Survey in London

Prior to being redeveloped, a former Nestle factory required an extensive asbestos refurbishment and demolition (R&D) survey. Originally built in the early 20th Century, the Nestle factory in Hayes, West London was first used for producing cocoa. After progressing into manufacturing chocolate for PCK who were subsequently purchased by Nestle, the factory spent most of its working life producing the Milky Way chocolate bar and instant coffee granules. Once the factory ceased operation in 2014, the site had gradually been cleared, ready for being transformed into a mixed used development consisting of commercial and residential properties.

Approached by SEGRO to carry out a fully intrusive survey, the project posed some challenges which needed to be overcome. Given the scale of the buildings, it required not only a lot of manpower, but also coordination to ensure all areas were thoroughly covered. In addition to this, the main building needed to be split in terms of the survey required as only one part was part of SEGRO’s scope of works, the other was being dealt with by another contractor. This meant an imaginary line was placed through the building, meaning Merryhill’s work was to only be carried out strictly on one side.

Various other buildings were part of the scope, including offices, warehouses and a large house. In total, over 50,000m2 of building were covered in producing the final report where 341 samples were carefully taken and sent for analysis in a laboratory, 96 returning a positive result. All types of asbestos were discovered upon analysis including floor tiles, gaskets, insulation board, pipe lagging, cement based plumbing products, bitumen and even loose fill insulation containing Crocidolite (blue) asbestos fibres.

Speaking on behalf of Merryhill, Adrian Lynn, Surveyor who worked on the project said: “The Nestle project was a challenge, firstly given the scale of the buildings as the site is huge so a lot of planning was involved prior to getting on site to ensure the best use of time. It was a slightly odd situation with the imaginary line across the main building as not all of the site was being demolished. The project highlights Merryhill’s ability to cope with large, complicated surveys involving access equipment across multiple buildings of varying use.”