The Institute of Civil Engineers at One Great George Street in Westminster, London recently played host to the Institute of Demolition Engineers Autumn Seminar.AS7

The exquisite venue welcomed Demolition professionals from all four corners of the UK to a day of networking and industry related speeches.  Delegates to the main hall were welcomed with trade stands from the likes of Worsley Plant, MST, the NFDC, Campbell Associates and joint sponsors Liebherr GB and ECY Haulmark. The new range of IDE merchandise was also on sale at the event.

AS1Announcing another packed out event with over 150 delegates, IDE President Duncan Rudall thanked the ICE for their hospitality and warmly welcomed the delegates to One Great George Street.

A full day of speakers had been arranged for delegates with Grant Styles MIDE opening the days events with a detailed talk on Erith’s recently completed project in the City of London. Mr Styles spoke in great depth about his company’s project to demolish LDP Farringdon and the challenges associated with dealing with BT, installing tower cranes and the processes which his company set up to ensure the safety and security of the site and its neighbours during the project.

A nervous Stuart Campbell, General Manager of Inglenorth Contracting was next to speak. AS2A very emotive and informative talk about his company’s issues with the Environment Agency was listened to intently by the delegates. The talk and subsequent court case centered around the EA’s definition of waste and its possible recycling. Commenting on the court case and legal action taken by the EA, Mr Campbell spoke of the EA’s refusal to allow concrete and brick material to be moved from one site to another saying it should go to landfill as it was waste. After a protracted legal battle, the EA quite rightly lost the case but left Inglenorth to foot their own extensive legal costs and to this day still stand on the fact that concrete arisings from a demolition project are waste.

The first morning session was brought to a close by industry stalwart, INDEX MD Dick Green. Mr Green spoke of his time working in Australia on various industrial Demolition projects. During the light hearted talk Mr Green spoke about the issues with obtaining explosive engineer licences in Australia’s different states, the country’s Health and Safety standards along with the problems with Cockatoos carrying asbestos fibres away from industrial site. Dick’s talk was finished with a video montage to the tune of Waltzing Matilda.  AS3

The late morning session was opened by Chris Holland, Technical Manager for Coleman and Company. Mr Holland spoke about the company’s recent high profile project at Birmingham New Street Station and their engineering solutions to the Demolition of the large concrete structure while the station was in operation. Mr Holland went into great depth speaking about the “Mega Muncher”, a specially built JCB excavator designed to cope with the large beams found on the project. Weight restrictions to the floor slabs pushed Colemans to approach JCB to build the machine which enabled the company to complete the project within time.

Final speaker of the morning was Business Economist Dominic Swords. Mr Swords enlightened the delegates on the state of the UK and World economic markets and how it has an effect on the Demolition and Construction industries. The downturn in the scrap market was particularly highlighted with Mr Swords’ words of caution for the possible fall in construction output in late 2015 and 2016 ringing in the delegates ears as lunch in the Great Hall was called.

Swanton Consulting’s Andrew Friedrich commenced the afternoon session speaking about the need for defined management roles and structures in order for safe and effective demolition operations. Poor management definitions will have an adverse effect on business according to Mr Friedrich particularly with the lack of suitable appointments to the role of Temporary Works Managers Temporary Works Management Safe and Effective Management.

Seasoned IDE speaker Wayne Bagnall was next to the stage to talk about a large Quay side demolition project PT Demolition his company was involved in. The Marine PT Quay demolition and redevelopment was a particularly complex project which involved the removal of a large area of suspended concrete decking, lowering of concrete piles, installation of new piles and the reinstatement of a wider and stronger quay deck.

AS12Final speaker of the day was Lynne Morgan CFFOH of the Breathe Freely Initiative.  A past President of the BOHS Occupational Lung Disease Campaign, Mrs Morgan spoke about UK industry’s collaboration aiming to reduce the incidence of lung disease from the Demolition and Construction industries. Mrs Morgan spoke about the high incidences of lung disease found throughout the construction related industries and horrified the delegates with the figure of 42 fatalities per year relating to our industry Breathe Freely.

IDE President Duncan Rudall closed the days excellent proceeding’s thanking all delegates for attending.