As part of a £100m regeneration of an estate in Southampton, Merryhill has been involved in ensuring a safe environment for workers and nearby residents by removing all of the asbestos.
Townhill Park, located on the eastern side of Southampton had become run down in recent years, being described by local residents as an eyesore. The planned renewal of the estate will see the demolition of a number of blocks of flats, with new apartment blocks and houses being built in their place. In total, 428 current homes will be replaced with over 200 additional units, bringing the total up to 675. Constructed in the 1960s, the Townhill estate when built, was all council owned. Given the timing of the development, a number of different asbestos containing materials were used as part of the original build, most of which were still in place at the point of demolition.
Merryhill was contracted by Hughes and Salvidge who is managing the demolition project, and working on safely levelling the site ready for the new blocks to be built later this year. The works carried out by Merryhill consisted of removing a number of different types of asbestos including insulation boards, soffits and textured coatings.
All of the internal works involving textured coatings were carried out under controlled conditions using a working enclosure under negative pressure. Although more than is required under regulations, the volume of textured coating found on site warranted the additional protection for our operatives. Over 1300m2 of textured coatings were removed as part of the project across the separate blocks. In addition to the non notifiable works, insulation boards and soffits were also removed from each of the affected blocks. Additional health and safety precautions had to be made for these items to be removed as a number of them were found at height in the case of soffits, balcony panels and panels below windows. With no fixed scaffolding in place, each of the items were carefully removed under semi-controlled conditions using a range of boom and scissor lifts depending on the access limitations of each block. All of the contaminated materials were wrapped and sealed before placed into locked asbestos skips.
In addition to the residential blocks, Merryhill was also invited to remove all of the asbestos from The Arc, a public house also scheduled for demolition. Although all non-notifiable, the number of different materials posed a challenge given their sheer volume. Throughout the pub, the following materials had been identified in a previous asbestos demolition survey carried out by Gully Howard Technical: textured coatings, asbestos floor tiles, bitumen adhesive containing Chrysotile fibres, toilet cisterns containing Amosite, flashguards, promenade tiles, a water tank and an old boiler flue.
Summarising the project, Robert Bloomfield, Operations Manager at Merryhill said: “The project is nearing completion with only one block remaining to be stripped of asbestos. This successful project highlights the capability of Merryhill to carry out large scale projects across a wide range of building types, despite challenges faced with high level access and multiple addresses.”