Colemans completed this complex sequence of deconstruction and demolition works within the £600million regeneration of Birmingham New Street Station, working with Network Rail as part of the Birmingham Gateway project. It was the most challenging complex project that the business had ever scoped.
Works included demolition, deconstruction, dismantling and structural alterations, with a total tonnage of 15,000 tonnes across all phases. What started with a 30-week programme resulted in being so successful that we continued to work on site every day and night until completion in 2015, six years after project commencement.
Pioneering ‘demolition by design’, the works involved the removal of concrete from directly above one of the busiest network rail infrastructures in the UK, and below a huge city centre shopping centre. This included the complex deconstruction and dismantling of a reinforced concrete mezzanine floor slab from within the former NCP Pallasades Car Park, using innovative demolition techniques including an award-winning internal electric gantry crane system.
Concrete was supported on complex temporary works, including sliding technology to allow our team to cut the concrete without vibration and dust into optimised 10 tonne pieces. Once cut with diamond wire rope, they were lifted out by the gantry crane directly onto the haulage waiting at the site access and egress point.
The work was carried out directly over the live platforms below, with only a 200mm thick precast floor slab to separate Colemans’ work from the trains, people and infrastructure below. All material was removed from site and taken back to our recycling facilities, where it was recycled and returned to the project for re-incorporation into the works.
Other works included propping, cutting and lifting the section of the former Pallasades Shopping Centre to facilitate the construction of the incoming John Lewis store. Again, our innovation design included complex temporary works, all checked and installed to Network Rail’s stringent design checking process. Heavily cast reinforced concrete was propped, cut using diamond wire saws and lifted out with two tower cranes.
Key to the success of achieving the project goal of the opening the station on time was the formation of the iconic atrium which is familiar to all visitors to Birmingham New Street station and Grand Central. This section of work had originally been calculated to take 12 months but the client challenged us to deliver it in six. Working closely with the client and their lean construction team, we spent 18 months designing a specialist machine and overall demolition solution to meet this revised timeline.
The ‘Mega Muncher’ was designed and developed between Colemans’ own engineers and JCB to meet the strict 25 tonne load limit on the floor. Thanks to innovative design modifications, the work was completed in four months without any accident or incidents and ultimately saw the Colemans team collect the main award at the World Demolition Awards in Amsterdam – the ‘best of the best’ award.
This project was made possible thanks to close collaboration between Colemans, Network Rail, Mace and other contractors, as well as the station visitors, shoppers and pedestrians.
All work was completed to a tight timescale, with no additional noise, dust or vibration, working at night where possible to minimise disruption to the station operations.