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July 20, 2020
Cantillon have been appointed by Brookfield Properties to undertake the full soft strip and structural alterations works package at City Gate House. The building is situated directly opposite Finsbury Circus and is connected to 38 Finsbury Circus via a glazed link bridge and to 50 Finsbury Circus by a glazed staircase. The structure is being developed into prime office space.
Cantillon’s scope includes the management and isolation of all M&E, whilst maintaining live tenants on the 4th and 5th floors for the first 6 weeks of the contract, asbestos removal, soft strip, large plant removal, large ornamental fish tanks and structural alterations. Work began on site in August 2018 and are due to complete in February 2019. During the early stages of the project the scope was decreased and the demolition items placed on hold due to planning issues. These items are to be added back into the works once the revised planning conditions are met.
The scope of soft strip was generally back to structure although there are retained items such as marble fascias and timber panelling throughout the building that are to be protected. In addition to this, the existing windows are to remain and where windows are to be removed, they are to be protected for future reuse. Asbestos removal has been undertaken in conjunction with the soft strip operations. Individual external façade scaffolds have been erected for the removal of external services, for the installation of an external hoist that services the 6 floors and to facilitate the safe dismantling of the link bridge between 38 Finsbury Circus and City Gate House.
One of the key challenges with the project was the need to work around two occupied floors, whilst maintaining all the services to these floors without any interruption whatsoever.
This required very precise co-ordination and management of the mechanical and electrical contractor working alongside the soft strip crews. This was carried out successfully without a single incident affecting the occupied floors.
Another challenge was the removal of the demolition arisings out of the building with only a single point of access and a small internal courtyard with a very tight radius on the access road, 135 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4RB preventing large transport safe access into the courtyard.
This was achieved by installing an external hoist, the use of multiple wheeled bins, adapting the roadway within the courtyard and using a very strict traffic management system to ensure the safe entry and exit from the site.
The link bridge between 38 Finsbury Circus and City Gate House is to be dismantled and the resulting void reconstructed using stonework to match the existing façade of the building. In addition to this a specialist glazier is being employed to match the existing windows and frames that ceased production in 2002.
During the soft striping of the building, historic damage to the clay hollow pot flooring was uncovered, where plant was hung from the ceiling and services penetrated through the floors. Once a scheme has been detailed by the structural engineers, Cantillon will be asked to carry out the repairs and also the fireproofing works to the newly repaired floors. There is also a requirement for grit blasting once the existing vermiculite fireproofing has been removed.
Further to any more additional works, progress on site is good and we are on programme for our completion date.