Vinci Technology Centre UK: Demolition and Site Clearance
A total of 74.42 tonnes of waste were cleared from the site in less than 3 working weeks
Opportunities found off-site for the reuse of over 300 assorted-sized lockers
95.57% of waste diverted away from landfill, equal to 71.12 tonnes
The VINCI Technology Centre is one of the leading construction test centres in the world. Occupying a 5.5ha site in Bedfordshire, the Technology Centre offers a wide range of testing conditions and environments for all kinds of prototype products developed for the construction industry. These include laboratory testing, acoustic testing, full-scale mock-ups, weather-tightness, buildability tests and environmental assessments.
As an existing provider of waste management services to VINCI, Reconomy’s diverse product and service offering was already well known to the company. In April 2017, VINCI approached Reconomy with a requirement to clear and demolish several temporary structures at the Technology Centre that had reached the end of their lifespan. With a tight deadline already in place, Reconomy immediately set about liaising with its supply chain to identify suppliers capable of fulfilling VINCI’s requirements within the agreed timescales.
Once suppliers had been sourced, a site visit was arranged to scope out the requirements of the job in greater detail. This also presented the opportunity to check for the presence of any hazardous materials such as asbestos. No traces were found, making for a far more straightforward demolition process. The largest structure requiring demolition was the 288m2 Meteor Building – a two story temporary unit that had previously been used for on-site office space, but had subsequently been vacated. Also requiring demolition were a large semi-permanent marquee that had been used for on-site storage, a 12m x 6m bungalow built out of a timber and polystyrene frame sprayed with 25mm thick concrete, and two large portacabins of 10m and 6m in length respectively.
In addition to the demolition of numerous temporary units, a considerable number of assets were also in need of removal. Though the Meteor Centre had already been mostly cleared, a few pieces of furniture and other items remained. Reconomy arranged for the delivery of a 40-yard roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) container to site, to clear the remainder of these items before demolition got underway. Stored within the marquee were over 300 lockers of varying sizes, most of which were in good working condition.
Instead of simply recycling them, attempts were made to find an outlet that would allow the lockers to be reused. Following numerous enquiries, agreement was reached for the lockers to be donated to Hemingford Abbots Golf Club and Houghton Hall Equestrian Centre, both based in Cambridgeshire. This saved the Technology Centre a considerable disposal charge. Other items in need of removal from the site included a large quantity of assorted concrete slabs, miscellaneous steel structures, railway sleepers, three large metal containers and a turnstile.
The site clearance process took less than 6 days to complete, with the lockers loaded into 40-yard roll-on, roll-off containers for delivery to their new homes. To remove the miscellaneous steel structures, high temperature cutting equipment was used to break down each structure into manageable lengths. These were then transported to a recycling facility for processing, together with the other assorted assets. Once each of the temporary buildings had been cleared, the demolition process could commence. A 360° excavator with the grabber was used to systematically remove all metal framework before taking down the rest of each structure. This assorted demolition waste was then loaded into an open-top articulated lorry for transportation to a recycling facility.
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In less than 3 working weeks, a total of 74.42 tonnes of waste was removed from the site. This included 29.25 tonnes of brick and hardcore waste, 20.89 tonnes of wood, 6.25 tonnes of metal and 3.5 tonnes of plasterboard. De-gassed air conditioning units from the Meteor Building were also collected and disposed of as WEEE waste. All demolition and site clearance work was carried out within the timeframes required by VINCI. Furthermore, of the 74.42 tonnes of waste generated, 95.57% was diverted away from landfill – equal to 71.12 tonnes.