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Complex Demolition

Client: Network Rail
Discipline(s): Demolition, soft strip, weather protection, structural alterations, concrete removal
Location: Birmingham  
Background Following on from the success of Phase 1, Coleman & Company was appointed by Network Rail to carry out Phase 2 of the Birmingham Gateway Project to transform Birmingham New Street Station.  
Scope of works To enable the construction of the Atrium and the new concourse at the station, Coleman & Company worked with Coleman Engineering Services and Coleman & Company Specialist Cutting Services to deliver the following works:
  • Demolition of JJB Sports store on the roof of the Pallasades shopping centre
  • Staged soft strip of retail units in the Pallasades shopping centre
  • Formation of large voids throughout the structure allowing for vertical access, services and escalators
  • Demolition of the West Mall Link Bridge
  • Structural alterations to the project critical North West Corner, including dismantling and steelworks
  • Spiral ramp demolition
  • Demolition and weather protection of North, South, West lightwells
  • Removal of West Mall Link Bridge
  • Formation of the Atrium void
  • Design and implementation of sliding temporary works on the lower retail slither, to facilitate earlier start on site for construction teams
  • Design and installation of bespoke suspended decks to incorporate lifting gear and comply with the stringent fire regulations imposed on the operational station
To carry out this work Coleman & Company, also joined forces with JCB, designing a bespoke demolition rig - specialist hybrid excavator.

Project challenges

A number of issues led to challenges on the project:
  • Atrium concrete removal works involved the removal of 6,000 tonnes of reinforced concrete over two levels. This took place beneath the new multi million pound atrium roof structure with architecturally finished paintwork, not compatible with concrete dust
  • Work was to be carried out adjacent to live operational track and platforms
  • With 140,000 people per day visiting the station, the majority of work needed to be completed at night
  • At platform level the ground conditions were extremely variable due to the presence of services. Coleman’s innovative design meant that the temporary works did not have to be situated at platform level
  • The size of beams were up to 18 metres by 2.5 metres by 1.3 metres and required handling and removal of huge sections of concrete
  • No immediate access to the site nor any easy route existed for concrete removal from the live station, 30 metres above road level
  • A weaker lower retail level slab presented issues with load bearing of temporary works from above, rubble and plant loading

The project was situated under the multimillion pound atrium roof at the busy Birmingham New Street Station and above the Pallasades Shopping Centre. In a city centre location, the site was surrounded by commercial and retail units and within all major city centre access routes.