Demolition of Police Station Site, South Wales
South Wales Police has one of the largest estates within the blue light sector across the UK. The force had undertaken a strategic review of its whole estate and identified opportunities and shortfalls of its services.
The demolition and services project was created to prepare the top part of South Wales Police's headquarters, in Bridgend, into a useable site for much needed car parking and a proposed gym building. Several buildings in poor condition needed to be demolished along with underground obstructions needing to be removed. Perfect Circle was appointed to the project via Scape Group's National Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework to provide project management and quantity surveying services, along with health and safety/CDM advisory services.
Many of the buildings on site were old, meaning asbestos was used throughout their construction. During the initial surveys, a lot of the asbestos material was identified however, during the demolition further asbestos was identified. Works were delayed while additional surveys were undertaken and the hazard dealt with. The presence of asbestos was also detected externally, buried within made up ground. This proved to be extremely difficult and time consuming to manage safely.
Due to the historic nature of the headquarters site, the issues of unknown ground conditions continued with both redundant services being identified and unknown services uncovered. This was difficult to plan and undertake works efficiently on site due to the slow but safe work undertaken to remove the risks. Another challenge was the discovery of two 14” high pressure water mains running through the centre of the site.
With the engagement of a permanent site supervisor on site, working collaboratively with the contractor and health and safety advisor, a safe working practice and methodical way of dealing with identified risks was developed. It was clear from the offset that all parties needed to work together, including statutory bodies, to assist in dealing with issues and working together to remove legacy issues.
Eight buildings, ranging in size and height, have also been demolished, including a large underground bunker – formally a water tank – with one metre thick concrete walls.
Now complete, the scheme has ensured that South Wales Police is provided with a site ready for redevelopment, with the potential to create new teaching/learning facilities, which will help in the long term of front-line policing methods in local communities.
Perfect Circle added value by using its previous experience of working with South Wales Police. The consultancy's levels of engagement and knowledge of site risks, ground risks and asbestos material had helped to mitigate substantial costs from exporting materials offsite and are being reused as infill material.
Perfect Circle has consistently provided a highly professional, technically competent, customer focused and cost effective service, which has proven extremely beneficial to the South Wales Police Estates Department.
Clare Jones | Estates Manager (Capital & Strategic Projects), South Wales Police
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