Julian joined ION Environmental in 2015 as Senior Contracts Manager with over 13 years’ experience in the asbestos industry. He started as an asbestos operative, rising to his current position as ‘competent person’ responsible for asbestos operations at the company. Since joining ION Environmental, Julian has managed the contracts team responsible for delivering our major licensed asbestos contracts and has had direct responsibility for managing the largest and most complex projects – BBC CMH Aldershot, Lots Road Power Station and Ford Dagenham.

Prior to joining ION Environmental Julian worked at Aspect Contracts as Contracts Manager, OCS as Project Manager and Silverdell as Site Manager. His qualifications include: Licensed Asbestos Manager; Level 6 NVQ Diploma Contracting Construction Operations Management; CSCS – Black; SMSTS.  His highly qualified approach to asbestos management helps ION Environmental to deliver projects safely and efficiently, providing a key source of advice and management for the team.

Julian Sheldrake


Obviously, working in a highly-regulated industry, our teams need to be absolutely meticulous in the way they carry out works. We’re really proud of winning our three-year licence recently and that was testament to the great way our teams work together to ensure compliance and safety during works.

We often work on jobs where the companies doing the asbestos surveys haven’t really done a very in-depth job. The problem with surveyors is that they like to play it on the safe side, so they’ll say things like ‘that wall might contain asbestos’. No kidding – there are no end of things that might contain it, but you can’t treat the whole structure!

One such job was at Cambridge Military Hospital which had stood derelict for about 26 years before we came in. Ceilings were collapsing, floors were falling through – it was a nightmare trying to plan the works. Once we got in there we found loads of asbestos that wasn’t actually marked in the survey, it was significantly more work than we’d initially planned for.

Fortunately our teams know what they’re doing, so not only did we manage to set up multiple safety systems during the works, but also managed to handle the unexpected asbestos without significantly delaying the client’s main programme.

Like a lot of industries, asbestos-removal is ever-changing. At ION Environmental we’re constantly looking for ways to remove asbestos more safely and effectively. It’s a pretty dangerous material so I’m always looking to reduce the risk to our site teams and the public as much as possible. On some of our projects we’ve used the remote demolition machinery of Scudder Demolition to extract hard-to-reach asbestos safely. In ten years’ time, I think it would be great to be doing even more of our works in this way.

All of them! If I had to pick a single project though it would have to be Ford Dagenham. I’m from South Essex originally so seeing the changes to the area has been so interesting. It’s a great example of how well our team delivers work alongside Scudder Demolition. We’ve removed multiple varieties of asbestos, used high-reach machinery to reduce risk to operatives and undertook extensive planning to handle logistics over the vast site.

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63a Cutlers Road
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