September 7, 2021
Cantillon were appointed by Stanhope PLC to undertake the structural demolition, soft strip, and material salvage works at the landmark office building Warwick Court, located within the iconic Paternoster Square scheme, next to St Paul’s Cathedral.
The existing building comprised of six floors of commercial office space surrounding a central atrium, with retail and leisure spaces occupying the Ground and Lower Ground floors. As part of the Paternoster Square estate, the basement space was linked to the Square’s gyratory system, requiring a co-ordinated logistical plan to maintain access with neighbouring buildings.
Prior to commencing the project an extensive pre-demolition audit was completed by Cantillon to identify items of the existing fabric which could be reused via circular economy means. In doing so, over 14’000 raised access flooring tiles, 17’000 carpet tiles, and various glass partitions were able to be careful salvaged, packed, and distributed for re-use on other projects, rather than traditional disposal. In addition, existing internal stone cladding was removed from the atrium areas and moved to specialist storage to be reinstalled once the internal modifications were completed.
Structural demolition included the dismantling of roof top plant room structures and equipment, with works having to be meticulously planned and sequenced to enable them to be completed without the use of craneage due to the logistical constraints around the project, and to mitigate potential disruption to various neighbouring buildings, including the residential development at Amen Court. Further to these works, internal structures including atrium balconies, walk ways and link bridges, and staircases were removed in and around retained finishes and cladding.
Due to the extensive refurbishment which would commence following the soft strip, demolition, and salvage works, Cantillon worked closely with the Client and their Design Team to identify key components of the existing fabric and structure that would interface with the new works. In doing so, Cantillon established an accelerated element of localised investigation works to enable these to be reviewed earlier in the programme, and assist in the design development for the future works.
Due to the existing structure and retention of the external façade cladding, vertical transportation of materials was limited to the existing goods lift. As such, works had to be carefully planned and sequenced to maintain the programme, including the review of temporary works designs to ensure that components could be transported safely to the required workface. The existing loading bay also limited the volume of skip exchanges which could processed, making the processing and segregation of waste materials more constrained. In spite of this, the project managed to achieve a 97% recycle rate for all waste generated, by shifting the segregation phase to the workface rather than the loading bay. Whilst this made the task more labour intensive, it assisted in enabling BREAM credits to be accredited to this phase of the project, benefiting the Client.
The project was live during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, which created the additional constraints of social distancing for a large workforce. In overcoming this challenge, and maintaining the safety of our staff, Cantillon devised numerous procedures and processes, including the one-way systems throughout the site, demarcated canteen and drying room positions for operatives, handwash and sanitation points, and an enhanced cleaning regime. This was recognised and congratulated by both the Client and the Considerate Constructors Scheme.