Rhodar Asbestos Removal Project: Millennium Mills, Silvertown – London

Rhodar’s project video of one of the UK’s largest asbestos removal projects at Millennium Mills on London’s Docklands

Rhodar Ltd – Millennium Mills Asbestos Removal Project Summary.

Centrally located in the heart of London’s docklands – Millennium Mills is an iconic landmark, standing alongside London Excel, the City Airport and the Thames Barrier.

This huge11-storey industrial mill occupies some 55,000 cubic meters and sits within a site spanning 50 acres.

Originally built in 1905 and redeveloped in the 1930’s and 1950’s, the mill was once home to food manufacturer Spillers for flour and animal feed processing – but has remained derelict and abandoned for over 20 years. Its unique environment has led to it being featured as a backdrop to numerous movies, TV shows and music videos.

Renovation of this vast site is part of a high profile, £3.5bn project, led by the ‘Silvertown Partnership’, to transform the Royal Docks, returning the site to its former glory, including a new commercial hub, 3,000 new homes, gardens and additional leisure and cultural facilities.

Rhodar (http://www.rhodar.co.uk) was commissioned as principal contractor, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Greater London Authority, to oversee the process of returning the building to its original structural shell. Work started in November 2014 as part of a 10-month programme that was meticulously planned, to remove all hazardous materials whilst retaining numerous original features throughout the building.

The building itself was extremely dangerous with 100ft-openings, unsafe timber flooring, extensive raw metalwork and machinery. It also contained a number of hazardous materials including widespread asbestos contamination in the wall paints, thermal insulation pipework, partitions and flooring.

An extensive set up programme was required before works could commence.

The site also presented many unique challenges.
Due to its close proximity to London City Airport and low flying aircraft, a ‘working at height’ clearance was required along with permits for all works above the envelope of the building to ensure safe working practices.

Another challenge involved the relocation of a bat colony from within the building to new accommodation installed on self-supported roosting boxes.

Split into 3 different zones: Zones A, B and C, work was run simultaneously from top to bottom, following a sequential programme of scaffolding, pre-cleaning, dismantling & kit removal, asbestos works and finally the demolition of internal walls and floors.

In addition to the asbestos removal the project also incorporated a number of other core tasks…

• Timber flooring was removed on various levels and processed for recycling.

• A large steel infill, spanning across the upper level of the building was removed using mechanical and hand dismantling techniques at heights exceeding 40 metres, working from lorry-mounted high-reach powered access cradles and personnel cages.

• Removal of non-structural internal walls during demolition, leaving the floors clear for development.

Throughout the works our team has held weekly site-meetings with the client and its various representatives and with the project being very much in the public eye we have also had regular visits by dignitaries and TV crews reporting on progress. Furthermore the site has been assessed as part of the Considerate Constructors Scheme and attained the highest ‘Performance Beyond Compliance’ rating.

The successful conclusion of this asbestos removal phase by Rhodar completes stage-one of the redevelopment of this prestigious site…and is a key step towards the realisation of the overall Silvertown docklands vision over the next decade.

Summary of Key Project Statistics

Material removed:
53,000m² of asbestos containing paint via ‘precision dustless blasting’
5,600m² of timber floors
2,040m² of internal brick walls
700 tonnes of mill equipment
424 tonnes of recycled glass blast-media used

Waste material:
660 tonnes of asbestos contaminated waste

Recycled material:
160 tonnes of Timber Waste
700 tonnes of Metal Waste
650 tonnes of Brick Rubble
170 tonnes of General Waste

90 staff worked on the site during the peak period

To find out more about Rhodar or the Millennium Mills project, visit http://www.rhodar.co.uk/services/asbestos-removal-encapsulation

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