Autumn Seminar 2018

One Great George Street was again the venue for the 2018 IDE Autumn Seminar.

The stunning location, home to the Institute of Civil Engineers welcomed a packed house for a day of industry talks.

Hosting his final Seminar, IDE President David Darsey welcomed everyone before delivering news that two long-standing Members of the Council Of Management were stepping aside at the forthcoming AGM. Both Mick Ulyatt and Adrian McLean were thanked for their hard work and dedication to the Institute and their presence will be missed immensely. Mr Darsey went on to congratulate and thank all of the IDE Members for their help and assistance in raising funds for his chosen charity, Niemann Pick UK to the tune of £20,000.

Before the listed speakers commenced, Mr Darsey asked Dr Terry Quarmby to bring the audience up to date with the ongoing collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton. According to Dr Quarmby, the first year’s students are progressing very well with the second intake, commencing October 2018, fully subscribed. “There has been a great response to the courses being offered.” Dr Quarmby explained “What used to be seen as a black art, is now seen as a science.”

The first speaker of the day was Paul Delderfield one of only four Specialist Inspector of Health and Safety for the HSE. Mr Delderfield is responsible for looking after issues of noise and vibration and spoke at length about the issues facing contractors on monitoring HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome) within the industry.

Next to take to the stage was Swantest’s Conor McHugh a civil engineer with vast experience in construction and demolition projects. Mr McHugh delivered a talk on load testing of various floor types to allow contractors to design specific methods of floor by floor demolition works. Mr McHugh spoke about Swantest’s capabilities in delivering accurate test results for different materials and designs of structure and the ability to safely test the strain and deflection of a floor giving the demolition contractor a true and accurate figure instead of relying on potentially incorrect drawings and specifications.

The final speaker for the early shift was ABB’s Stephen Andrew who offered the packed auditorium a detailed analysis on how to increase safety and reduce potential costs on demolition projects through properly managing risk. “Removing the myth that many clients think that demolition is just construction in reverse would be a great start.” Mr Andrew explained “Along with removing the clause that the contractor accepts all risk on a project would be an even better outcome.” Rounding off, Mr Andrew explained that the ideal solution to a demolition contract would be that when signing off designs for a particular building, they took into consideration its future demolition.

The late morning presentations were commenced with an interesting talk on the World War Two defences erected along the south coast of England. Mark Harrison of Historic England described his and his team’s task to track down and identify buildings built to defend the UK from Hilter’s potential invasion. Mr Harrison spoke about the construction and subsequent demolition of many of the wartime structures which led to the financial ruin of a number of contractors under-estimating the demolition works.

AR Demolition’s Richard Dolman completed the morning’s presentations with an interesting talk on the demolition of the Broadmarsh car park in Nottingham city centre. The congested and difficult location forced Mr Dolman’s team to look at alternative methods of demolition due to the location of the project which was surrounded by various bridges, subways and busy roads as well as having a number of properties remaining live within the building as it was to be demolished. The technicalities of demolishing the structure involved the AR Demolition team commissioning and using a mobile hoarding system to ensure debris remained within the site and the use of a bespoke tele-handler mounted dust suppression system which enabled the site team to complete the project without a single complaint of dust from the surrounding businesses or public.

Following on from lunch the first speakers to take the stage were Jim O’Sullivan and David Rowe from Keltbray. Their topic was a continuation of a previous IDE Seminar discussion, the demolition of Earls Court in London. Following on from the previous presentation on the project both Mr O’Sullivan went into detail about one of the most complex portions of the redevelopment of the site, the removal of over 60 large concrete beams which spanned at various locations, the numerous London Underground tunnels bisecting the site. The largest of these beams, nicknamed Big Bertha was almost 40m in length and weighed in excess of 1400 tonnes and the initial thought of the demolition team was to cut each beam into chunks of approximately 20 tonnes before removing them with a small crane. This idea was shelved due to the projected 3-year duration of the work and instead Keltbray contracted ALE and the world’s largest crane to lift the beams out whole. From the detailed preparation on the ground to the dealings with train operators, the introduction of the crane shaved almost two thirds of the previous methods time away. Although not revealing the cost of hiring the crane, the Keltbray duo were very open and honest in their extremely interesting presentation which was very well received by the packed afternoon auditorium.

Noise, vibration and dust monitoring was the topic from the next speaker, Campbell Associates’ John Campbell. The issues associated with accurate monitoring and recording of these issues associated with almost every demolition project were highlighted by Mr Campbell who described the methodology and technology behind the gathering and recording of this information. One area of particular interest being highlighted was that of ensuring background checks are undertaken and recorded prior to works commencing on site.

The day’s final speaker was Andun’s Angus Holdsworth who gave a presentation on the delivery of two complicated rail projects in London at Manor Park and Highbury Corner. Talking about the problems encountered working in an extremely tight location at Manor Park, Mr Holdsworth spoke about the difficulties of stationing a 500t capacity crane close to a retaining wall in order to lift sections of overhead walkways situated directly above the electrified lines used to power the trains. The second project involved the demolition of the bridge which carries the A1 over the London Underground line at Highbury Corner. The bridge, constructed in the 1850s was of poor condition when the team commenced work on the delicate job to remove it.

Rounding off the day, David Darsey thanked everyone for their attendance and reminded them of their need to vote in the upcoming IDE elections, the results of which will be announced at the forthcoming AGM and Luncheon to be held at Draper’s Hall, London on the 16th of November.

Author and Photography courtesy of Paul Argent, RPA Photography.

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.

Autumn Seminar Bookings Update

IDE and NFDC London & Southern Counties Golf Day 2018

On Friday 7th September this year’s Golf Day took place at the prestigious London Golf Club.  28 Golfers with a mixture of handicaps took to the international course, in good weather conditions, to compete for a variety of prizes.

Individual Winner: John Faulkner (right)

Individual Runner up Guy Barker

Team Event Winners

The individual winner was John Faulkner with 45 points just beating the runner up Guy Barker who finished with 41 points.   The team event was won by Mark Jack’s team with 126 points with the runner-up team close behind on 124 points.

Longest Driver: Stephen O’Loughlin

Nearest the Pin: Colin Knight

Longest Driver was won (dubiously) by Stephen O’Loughlin and Nearest the Pin was won by Colin Knight.

A huge thank you to our sponsors, Erith Contractors and Worsley Plant whose support ensured the success of this event.

Erith Group Congratulates Apprenticeship Graduates

Last month saw two Erith Group Demolition Apprentices complete their training to become fully qualified Demolition Operatives.

Afeez Bashiru and Harry Tetsill are currently involved with the regeneration scheme at the Aylesbury Estate in South London.  For the past two years, they have both been working towards their NVQ Level 2 qualification, gaining valuable experience and knowledge from Erith’s site personnel.

Their hard work paid off last month when they both received their NVQ qualification.  Their Project Manager, members of Erith’s senior management and representatives of Notting Hill Genesis, their client at Aylsbury Estate, surprised them on-site with personalised cakes and a well-deserved tea-break in the midst of the August heat-wave.

Steve Bennett, Project Manager at the Aylesbury Estate, commented: “Both Afeez and Harry have proven themselves to be extremely eager and hard-working individuals.  Their hunger and ambition to progress in the industry has been evident from the day they started on site, and it has been a pleasure seeing them progress and having them in my team.  I am proud to see them achieve their qualification and look forward to continuing to work with them going forward”.

Author: Adam James, Assistant Bid Manager, Erith Group

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers. 


Andrew Dale Glides Over Wales

Erith’s Industrial Demolition Proposals Director, Andrew Dale FIDE, recently took to the skies of Wales in aid of the Stroke Association.

On July 27th 2018, Andrew left the relative safety and security atop the 370 metre-deep Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales and glided down the over mile long pit, reaching a speed in excess of 100mph.  Strapped to the zip-wire in a horizontal harness and with a camera fastened to his precautionary helmet, Andrew soared the length of the quarry in under 60 seconds, with remarkable views of the 500-million-year-old slate and lake below.

This was not Andrew’s first charitable adventure.  On his 50th birthday, Andrew parted company with an air-plane over the fields of Hibaldstow, Lincolnshire, parachuting down to earth and raising over £2,000.00 for charity in the process.

This years expedition was in support of the Stroke Association, a charity with significant importance to Andrew.  In 2015, Andrew’s Mother, Isabel, suffered a stroke and tragically lost her life the following year in the aftermath.  The Stroke Association is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to stroke sufferers.  Their focus is on providing the best possible treatment to those who suffer a stroke, and ultimately preventing strokes from occurring at all.  With over 100,000 strokes occurring in the UK every year, it is the fourth largest cause of death in the country.

Andrew managed to raise £2,000.00 for the charity, with generous donations coming in from friends, family and colleagues.  The money will be put to use by the Stroke Association in providing care and support to stroke sufferers, continue their research into finding improved treatments and expanding their network of services across the UK.

After completing his brief venture into aviation, Andrew commented “I am extremely thankful for the donations that have been sent in form everyone so far.  The Stroke Association is a worthy charity that is close to my heart.  I have seen first-hand the devastation a stroke can have on someone’s life after my late Mother suffered her stroke in 2015.  The fact is that even those who survive a stroke often have to try and rebuild their lives around the lasting damage it causes.  This charity does tremendous work in helping sufferers do just that and enable them to live a more comfortable life.  With regards to the zip-wire itself it was a great experience.  However, being suspended above what is essentially a giant hole was truly frightening!”

Andrew is still receiving donations for his endeavour via his Just Giving page

Author: Alison Gardner, Business Development Manager, Erith Contractors Ltd

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers. 


Are you ready for this years Elections?

Popular Presentations makes IDE Southern Regional meeting a Rousing Success

Last week saw the inaugural meeting of the IDE Southern Regional meeting, hosted by Council of Management member Toby Comley MIDE, in collaboration with the team at LDH Attachments, who provided the venue for the gathering at their HQ in Bordon.

The 36 IDE members and non-members were greeted with refreshments, including a tasty selection of vegan sandwiches and had the opportunity to network with other industry professionals in a relaxed setting.

With the meeting in full swing the presentations began with Roel van Oirschot of DEHACO talking about dust suppression units and David Hearne then displaying a “Terra 60 Dust Suppression Unit” in action. Toby Comley stated “the presentations were very interesting and well received by the guests present.  A highlight was when Jim O’Sullivan MIDE took the stage with his very interesting presentation on the “Mega Crane” at Earls Court, where he explained the complexities in building the largest crane in Europe on an inner city project and lift 1200 tonne concrete beams over underground tube lines.  Multiple questions then followed for Jim and one attendee commented that “it was the best presentation he had seen in a long time”.”

With the presentations complete the attendees had an opportunity to network further over a selection of delicious vegan cakes.

Toby added: “The event was very enjoyable and well supported by IDE members and non-members alike.  Thank you especially to LDH Attachments and to all that attended and made the event a success.  We look forward to this event being in the calendar every year”

Author: Toby Comley MIDE



Nancy’s Night Out

On the 16th June, Erith Contractors held an exquisite black tie Charity Ball at No.8 Northumberland Avenue, in aid of Niemann-Pick UK (NPUK) – for a cause dear to their hearts, they hosted a night to remember for a beautiful, strong and inspiring little girl and others just like her.

David Darsey and family welcomed David’s granddaughter, Nancy, into the world on the 4th November 2016.  However, the family received the devastating news that Nancy had Niemann-Pick Type C, a rare, life limiting, genetic disorder that mostly affects children.  To this day there remains no cure or effective treatment.

Taking action, Erith Contractors sought out NPUK, a UK registered Charity to show their support to the outstanding work they put in to help families of those affected by this heart-breaking disease.  In an effort to drive forward awareness of NPUK they held a fundraising ball in honour of the Charity.

Erith invited family, friends and many valued business colleagues to attend the event, all united in the fight against Niemann-Pick Type C.  They were overwhelmed by the turnout and support shown on the night.  A spokesperson for Erith said “we are extremely thankful to the Institute of Demolition Engineers who donated a heart-warming donation of £10,000 to the cause.  The night was a huge success and we, at Erith Contractors, donated a further £80,000 to NPUK, helping them to remain a driving force for the Niemann-Pick community”.

NPUK displayed their sincere gratitude for the tremendous donations received at the charity ball commenting “your generosity will help us to provide much needed care and support for the families affected by Niemann-Pick disease and to facilitate research into this devastating condition in the hope of finding effective treatments and ultimately a cure”.

Erith Contractors would like to reiterate their immense gratitude to all attendees and donors.  In addition to the £90,000 raised by the IDE and Erith Contractors, over £60,000 was raised on the night through ticket sales, table sales and auctions.  The final account is still to be determined with many people still sending very appreciated donations.



This is Demolition and Scifest

The Institute of Demolition Engineers (IDE) has recently been represented at two events organised and hosted by the Wolverhampton University Faculty of Science and Engineering in partnership with Environment Technologies and Resource Efficiency Support Service (EnTRESS).

On Friday 29th June 2018 “This is Demolition” was held at Wolverhampton University ECMS Springfield Campus.  Dr Paul Hampton (Head of the Built Environment, University of Wolverhampton) introduced the event.

The event was well attended by over 70 delegates interested in learning more about Demolition and the two new degree courses currently available: The Foundation Degree in Demolition Management and the current MSc Demolition Management.

University of Wolverhamptons Jackie Dunne (Deputy Vice-Chancellor Access & Lifelong Learning) and IDE President, David Darsey FIDE, FRSA signed the agreement for the new ground-breaking Foundation Degree.

On Saturday the 7th July 2018 the sun was shining in the courtyard at Wolverhampton University for the annual “Scifest” event.  The day was extremely well attended by young people and their families.  The IDE was again represented by IDE Council of Management member Richard Dolman FIDE at the Education Day.  Richard was able to pass on his passion for all things Demolition to the next generation.  The Demolition Simulator was a great hit with the young people attending and some of the Mums and Dads! A great atmospher topped off with a great result for the England Football team.


‘Oar-inspiring’ effort sees Erith and others raise over £35k for local charity

The Erith Group were delighted to support Greenwich-based charity, The Ahoy Centre, in their annual ‘50km in a day’ challenge.

This past Saturday’s event saw nine nautical newcomers to rowing take to the River Thames and race each other from the Meridian line to the QE2 Bridge and back again. After a gruelling four hours, one minute and twenty-eight seconds, our formerly fresh-faced rowers were almost too tired to celebrate their hard-fought victory, (judging by Warren’s face the in picture below), but most did manage a smile!

All this friendly competition saw the event raise over £35,000 for the Ahoy Centre. Such a sizable contribution will enable the group to continue their worthy work; helping disadvantaged children, vulnerable youngsters and those with disabilities gain access educational courses, qualifications and life-skills training.

The Erith Group thanks ‘Up Ship Creek’, (Mark, Lee, Chris, Warren, Guy, Natalie and Rob), for continuing our portfolio of charitable causes, as well as their winning effort!

An exhausted Mark Jack commented: “It was a great team effort and a fantastic day. Even though we ended up with a few blisters and some sore backs, we got a huge sense of achievement knowing that we have been able to help this great charity that works with disadvantaged, vulnerable and disabled young people. The whole team was thrilled to support the charity and the day was topped off by our unexpected win.”

Author: John Rasch, Erith Group

 The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.