Devonport Naval Dock Yard – Plymouth

Client : Bowmer and Kirkland
Programme : 30 weeks
Value : £1m



The largest naval base in Western Europe, Devonport has been supporting the Royal Navy since 1691. The vast site covers more than 650 acres and has 15 dry docks, four miles of waterfront, 25 tidal berths and five basins.

The 9 storey office building, was constructed in the late sixties, with a combination of insitu concrete frame and precast concrete panels dowelled to the perimeter elevations.

Asbestos removal with soft strip and full demolition was required, followed by foundation removal and full site clearance for follow on development.


Significant soft strip and asbestos removal works were identified and removed under fully controlled conditions to prepare the building for demolition.

Part of the structure was immediately adjacent to a main dockyard site entrance which was in use 24/7, therefore detailed planning of the high reach demolition process was required to minimise disruption to the dockyard operation.

A newly built office was located parallel to the demolition activities, requiring environmental monitoring of noise, dust and vibration, with protection measures to prevent debris contact with the new glass clad structure.

Following the installation of carriageway protection mats, the demolition process was carried out to a finely planned schedule agreed with the MOD, to minimise the effects of the exclusion zones on the dockyard activities.

Coordination with the client, stakeholders and Naval Base were key to ensure works ran smoothly and the top level security was maintained.

Daily briefings with the client team ensured that dockyard personnel were aware of planned exclusion zones and the protection being installed to protect adjacent assets.


Substantial concrete foundations were broken out and removed from site to prepare for immediate re-development.

The project was completed successfully under challenging circumstances.