In 2017 Scudder Demolition commenced the design and build contract to convert an old House of Fraser outlet in the Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester into eight new retail outlets. Our team is undertaking a range of work including demolition, structural alterations, groundworks, drainage, steel erection, cladding, structural glazing, multi-storey carpark resurfacing and landlords fit out works in addition to the installation of new M&E infrastructure.
The high-profile site located within the pedestrianised conservation area of Leicester city centre has presented our team with an extremely small time window each day to service the site. To overcome this, we have undertaken detailed planning and logistics management to ensure all works progress as quickly as possible within a challenging programme duration.
Our team swiftly completed groundworks on the site, installing new manholes, lift pits and approximately 800m of drainage runs within the existing retail area. Following this, we removed large sections of the façade to install louvres, providing the necessary ventilation for a new level of car parking. As these works were directly across the street from a block of occupied flats minimising any disruption to the residents as a result of the works was paramount. To contain dust and provide a fantastic looking finish to the scaffolding the team elected to use a shrink wrap around the scaffold.
During the deconstruction and removal of the third floor facade, our team deployed unique gantry scaffolds to enable us to simultaneously undertake the works whilst installing cladding and undertaking demolition for new access routes below. In addition to this, the site team is operating 24 hours a day to expedite the programme and has also ensured the early installation of riser steelwork and supporting temporary works for roofing to keep the floor plate below clear for work.
Whilst working on the project, our team has deployed a number of unique deconstruction techniques including a full structural analysis of the centre's escalators to enable piecemeal deconstruction as no lifting equipment could be brought into the area and the escalators were unable to be collapsed due to the retained structure below. In addition to this, our team also removed a pre-cast stair unit from within an existing concrete core in near silence by using a system of lifting beams supported off the core walls.
This system involved the use of multiple chain blocks and meticulous supervision to lift the 8-ton precast stair element through a hole only marginally larger than it, minimising disruption to the centre's security control room which was manned 24 hours a day by security staff.
In addition to this, we have undertaken all structural steelwork on site, a package of work that entails the installation of approximately 80 tonnes of steel to cover new slabs and columns, support the facade, existing structure, cladding and roofing. Our team installed these elements using a combination of spider cranes, ROTO 360 telehandlers, A-Frames and chain blocks, material lifts and pallet stackers.