41 Lothbury, London EC2P (Listed Building)

Client : Wates Construction Ltd
Programme : 24 months
Value : 4.3m


Existing Structure & Location:

Formerly the Head Quarters of National Westminster Bank, situated directly adjacent to the Bank of England. This steel framed Grade II listed building had numerous features, which had to be protected and retained during the extensive “surgical” demolition programme.

Scope of Works

  • Following the soft strip and asbestos removal, complete sections of the 12 storey structure were demolished.
  • 3 basement levels were removed consisting of 2m thick reinforced concrete vault walls and 30 vault doors, some weighing up to 4 tonnes each.
  • Wherever possible, removing the concrete was undertaken by Electro-hydraulic Robotic Brokk machines or pairs of operatives working off specially constructed scaffolds.
  • Initially, only two access shafts could be created through the frame of the structure for removal of debris.
  • The project was complicated when the presence of 1.5 km of asbestos lagged pipe work was discovered within the floor screeds and 1200m bricked up within the walls.
  • The combination of the retained facade and the vast listed Banking hall precluded any vehicle access within the site.
  • The installation of two cranes mounted on the roof became necessary to lift debris over the side of the building in heavy duty mining skips, purchased for their durability and compact design.
  • Three phased electric robotic machines fitted with both Hydraulic breaker & cracker attachments were used, thus overcoming the issues of times and noise pollution within the various confined spaces.
  • To cut out the services, we invested in hydraulic cable cutters and our skid steer loaders used to move concrete to the loading stations, were fitted with “catalytic converters”.
  • Large air handling and extraction equipment was installed throughout basements levels with mandatory wearing of ear defenders.
  • The demolition period was phased and lasted 24 months.
  • The investment on the robotic plant, together with diligence and the training of the site made this an accident free project.