ION Environmental were contracted by the University of Bedfordshire to remove all Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACMs) from the main boiler room in H-Block. As a learning facility, the University is in constant use and shutting down the main boiler room whilst the building is occupied was not an option.

We were instructed with the task of undertaking these works during a shutdown period over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. This meant engaging a day and night shift working back to back to maximise every hour available during the shutdown. We started by isolating the boilers on the Thursday before Good Friday. This was paramount to the programme because it allowed the boiler room to be an acceptable temperature for when our first night shift commenced the following evening on Good Friday.

Once the enclosure was constructed and smoke tested, we set about our first task of removing all ACMs which was in the form of residue insulation. The residue had been identified on the walls and ceilings, but what made it even harder to detect was the fact that years of paint had been applied to the areas. It took two teams of our most experienced Supervisors and Operatives to locate every piece of residue and remove it entirely. 

The swift, professional, successful delivery of these works is testament to the skills and dedication of our operatives and an acknowledgement to 'The Carey Way' where, ultimately, it is about our clients and how we work with them, ensuring we do our best by them.

Julian Sheldrake, Senior Contracts Manager, ION Environmental

Upon completion of this part of the process, an independent asbestos analyst carried out an in-depth visual inspection of the walls and ceilings. Once satisfied, we encapsulated the walls and ceilings with a rubberised sealant paint, (ET150), and applied coats to every wall and ceiling surface. Access was also a major issue when undertaking this task, so mobile towers were implemented to allow access to all areas.  

Upon completion of the encapsulation works and signing off stage 3 of the Certificate of Reoccupation Test, we commenced with sealing the floor with red oxide paint. This really gave our works the final touch as not only had we removed all the ACMs and made the boiler room a safe environment, we gave it an uplift at the same time. 

Our site teams consisted of; 2 Senior Supervisor, 2 Supervisor, 4 Charge Hands and 8 Operatives, along with 2 visits by senior management. During the programme various audits were undertaken. These included internal audits by IONs own HSEQT Manager and Contracts Manager, all of which gave high results in their findings. The programme commenced on Good Friday and completed Bank Holiday Monday, within programme and on budget. 

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