Case Study Bon Accord Aberdeen

Case Study 2 : Bon Accord Centre, Aberdeen.

The Bon Accord Shopping Centre is one of Aberdeen's premier shopping malls and with thousands of people visiting it on a daily basis it is vital that any construction work carried out has the minimum impact on its day to day trading.
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Recently the Bon Accords owners, Land Securities, embarked on a series of improvements to the centre which was originally opened in 1990. Part of these £6 million pounds worth of improvements included a refurbishment of the exterior and public entrances. The north entrance, which is one of the centre's main thoroughfares, had been originally designed to include a large free flying reinforced concrete canopy which supported a decorative planter, also made of concrete. Mansel Construction Services who were the main contractors, sub contracted the removal of this to Aberdeen's Lawrie Demolition Ltd. Work started in early October but very quickly it was discovered that the decorative window directly above the canopy hid a substantial concrete ballast which hadn't been apparent on the original plans. This ballast also formed the wall of an internal walkway and only very precise reduction of the surrounding concrete would leave the wall intact. Lawrie Demolition quickly realised that while traditional demolition methods would be able to remove some of the external canopy, as they got closer to the building, peckers or crushers would not be able to meet the levels of accuracy or meet noise and vibration limitations. Strict time limitations required that the entrance and surrounding area was cleared and ready for shoppers by the start of trading every day. This meant that any work could only be carried out between 10 pm and 5 am. Lawrie Demolition brought in GT Diamond Drilling Services of Dundee and after surveying the site they decided that coring and bursting would be the most efficient process. The GT Diamond Drilling team cored 127 holes into the remaining 1.7m x 8m concrete, sometimes through 19 layers of reinforcing. Waste water was collected by IBCs which minimised mess and ensured free access by the public during the trading hours. The GT Diamond Drilling team then, by carefully hydraulically bursting each hole, proceeded to reduce the canopy back to the facia of the building. Great care was taken to remove only a precise 1.4m of the ballast ensuring the integrity of the internal walkway's wall remained.

Over 14 nights the GT Diamond Drilling team removed an estimated 50 tonnes of reinforced concrete from the entrance of the Bon Accord Centre. Most importantly this was done with the minimum of disruption to the public and local residents. Needless to say because of the advanced diamond drilling techniques used, the refurbishment of the north entrance was completed in good time for the start of the Christmas peak trading period.

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