The IDE Foundation Degree in Demolition Management

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For the second year running Dylan Lovelock MIDE has put together a team to raise money for the Gurkha Trust. Dylan who has been a member of the IDE since 2012 has been dedicating his time to this very worthwhile challenge which involves a team of four people hiking 100km across the South Downs within 30 hours. It is a very physically and mentally demanding event. If you would like to support him please click on the following links for more information:

Spring Seminar 23rd February 2018: Royal Armouries Leeds

The Institute of Demolition Engineers returned to their traditional Spring Seminar location of the Leeds Royal Armouries for yet another sell out event.  Both in terms of companies wanting to show off their products and industry professionals attending for the excellent range of speakers, the venue was packed yet again.

President David Darsey welcomed everyone to Leeds before thanking them for their tremendous generosity in raising funds for his chosen charity; Niemann Pick UK. During the last AGM in London, the kindness of both IDE and NFDC members had jointly raised £20,000 to help children and adults with this debilitating disease. David welcomed NPUK Chief Executive Toni Mathieson to give the audience a brief overview of the charity and its work before presenting her with a cheque for £10,000.

The first speaker of the day was Andrew Dyson who gave a talk on Erith’s project to demolish Hull PowerStation. The extremely detailed talk took in the need for the company’s care and consideration for the demolition process as this was the first power station with hanging boilers to be demolished since the Didcot disaster. Thanks to the massive resources available to the company in both technical engineering, plant and experience, the project went off without a hitch. What was surprising to both the Erith team and the audience was the lack of interest paid to the project by the HSE considering its nature and similarities to Didcot.   

Curtins’ Russell Bowman took to the stage to speak about the issues faced by demolition contractors when it comes to UXO (Un-exploded Ordnance). Curtins Presentation UXO Apart from the usual hazards taken into account when excavating land such as services and voids, the probability of exposing UXO is extremely high, particularly in inner city locations. Whilst the UK still maintains a zero casualty record when exposing ordnance, the patchy hazard assessment and risk assessing of UXO still remains. According to official figures, there are over 40 calls per month for the military to deal with varying types of UXO.    

Stephen Andrew, ABB Ltd.’s Demolition and Decommissioning Manager arrived to speak about the issues faced by his organisation when awarded a contract to demolish a series of petrol stations. The small number of contracts soon ballooned to over 500 locations around the country. Stephen spoke about the issues faced with the organisation and logistics involved in delivering extremely tight programs in often highly urbanised locations. “Dealing with the proximity of the public is always a difficult situation but more so was the garage operator who, once the forecourt was closed to commence the work, would be placing orders for items to be delivered in a few weeks’ time with no thought of issues arising with the works.” During the contracts over 2000 tanks were removed, 100km of bore holes drilled and 2 million tonnes of hazardous material treated.   

As market leader in their particular sector of the demolition industry, Able UK’s Neil Etherington was on hand to describe how his company undertake some of the largest projects in the country. Talking specifically about their work on the Shell Brent oilfield, Neil spoke about the huge infrastructure operations involved in preparing their docks at Seaton to receive some of the largest top decks ever made. Where rigs where once broken down at sea into smaller component parts, recent innovations in lifting and cargo carrying saw the Shell Brent platforms being dismantled in a single piece at sea and barged to Seaton for full decommissioning and dismantling. The work undertaken at Seaton includes a 306m long quay with a capacity of 60t/m2.   

The issue of noise, dust and vibration monitoring was discussed by Casella’s Shaun Knott.  Shaun spoke about the way in measurement of these hazards has been made easier by the introduction and development of easier monitoring methods. Whilst measuring these hazards is far easier, there is still the requirement to inform employees about the issues and protect them with the appropriate PPE at all times.

Following the break for lunch, Comedian John Ryan spoke about the often taboo subject of mental health. Often the subject of ridicule, John spoke about the need for the issue to be brought out into the open and spoken about. “Talking can make things easier for anyone involved with mental health.” With some very good audience participation, John spoke about the need for everyone to look out for their own and others mental health. “We  can all see a physical issue with colleagues, it is the unseen mental issues that we must also look out for.”

Regular IDE Seminar speaker, Wayne Bagnall was next to the stage to talk about the hidden issues of asbestos within reinforced concrete. Wayne Bagnall Ltd_Asbestos in RC for IDE Leeds rev01_ 23.2.18 While surveys can identify asbestos which can be seen or sampled, there are serious issues with asbestos being hidden within concrete structures. Wayne first faced this issue when a survey he was undertaking found that the mesh reinforcement chairs within a concrete slab were manufactured from asbestos. Whilst later resin or plastic chairs are clear, the smaller versions had fallen over during the pour and were just about visible at ceiling level. Standard demolition methods would have processed the chair into the concrete in the slab resulting in a contaminated product. The demolition team therefore had to find and mark as many of these chairs and process around them which became excessively time consuming.

Closing the busy day Dr John Henry Looney and Kris Atkins from Gloucestershire based consultancy, Sustainable Solutions Ltd who were on hand to talk about the use of BIM, Building Information Modelling, in deconstruction projects. Sustainable Direction DRIM Presentation The use of BIM in designing and building virtually all major projects in the UK has been prevalent over the last decade but its use in assisting with the latter stages of a building’s life has never been brought to attention. With the drive towards recycling and reuse, the belief is that BIM should be used to create buildings which are able to be recycled, rather than simply demolished.

The day was rounded off with David Darsey thanking everyone for their attendance, the great speakers and reminding everyone of the IDE Scottish Seminar on the 6th of July at The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Author and Photographs 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.


IDE Christmas Closure

IDE AGM and Annual Luncheon 2017

Eight Northumberland Avenue in central London was the prestigious venue chosen to host the 2017 Institute of Demolition Engineers AGM, Luncheon and Awards Ceremony.

As is now the norm, the sell out event was well attended and saw IDE President, David Darsey enter his second term at the helm of the Institute. The past 12 months has seen great changes taking place with a huge step forward with the introduction of the World’s first Demolition Degree.

Mr Darsey opened the morning’s proceedings by announcing an increase in membership over the past 12 months taking the membership to over 400 individuals. Moving on to the Demolition Degree, Mr Darsey was extremely proud to announce that over 20 applications have been made for the first part of the course which was due to start in January but had been postponed until September. Thanking the members for their charitable donations during the past year and successfully supporting the Helen Allison School, Mr Darsey reported the Institute, its members and the NFDC had jointly raised over £30,000 for their cause. Mr Darsey announced his chosen charity for this year will be one closer to his heart, the Niemann-Pick Type C Charity which help both children and adults cope with the disease which causes the build up of toxic materials in the body.

Regional meetings have been very well attended over the past year as were the Spring and Autumn Seminars, both bringing in well received revenue and feedback from all who attended. Mr Darsey commented briefly on DemoExpo 2017 stating the event, although lighter on footfall, was attended by the right people and hopes that changes for the proposed 2019 event will be beneficial for this show. Closing his address with huge thanks to the Council of Management and staff at the IDE, Mr Darsey announced a small increase in subscription fees across the board for 2018.

Reporting on the accounts for the Institute, Stuart Accleton spoke about a decrease in income over the past 12 months mainly down to hosting the 40th Anniversary event. “This will not be replicated and an increase in membership costs along with forward booking from sponsors for the upcoming seminars will see the financial status of the Institute regained.”

Both Dr Terry Quarmby and Richard Dolman have been instrumental in the setting up of the Demolition Degree with Wolverhampton University. Further to David Darsey announcing a delay for the inaugural course to commence, Dr Quarmby started by offering an apology for the delay in commencing the Diploma course before saying the Institute were extremely disappointed not be starting in January as planned. The MSc course has already been started with 17 students in place. Further meetings have taken place with the University now coming back and offering to award a Foundation Degree should certain criteria be met. The awarding of a Foundation Degree will see the level of the Demolition degree be increased and means the modules can now be delivered in-house over a 2-year period, one per month. Although the modules will incur an extra amount of work to be undertaken, it will not be excessive and will be, in the main, work based. “We have come a long way in such a short space of time and hope that members will support the Institute in every way possible to make this World first a success.” commented Dr Quarmby. “This is something everyone of our clients will have to sit up and take notice of. There is a huge gap in what we are now able to offer as opposed to what we were able to offer previously.” Richard Dolman added; “40 hours of contact time is now included, which is essentially doing your day job before taking the 8-hour paper, but the end result is a globally recognised degree.”

Election results for council members were next with a disappointingly low return of votes being questioned. Despite the low return, Howard Button, Richard Dolman and Mark Jack were re-elected with Mike Kehoe and Grant Styles running very close. Stuart Accleton was again voted in as Treasurer.

Rounding off the AGM came a plea from our armed forces. With the increase in terror threat to our country, the need to train on a variety of scenarios is now of utmost importance. Staff Sergeant Dino Dallat asked the members for their assistance in locating suitable structures, buildings and locations on which to practice their methods of operation. The services have a dedicated training centre at which they can undertake a certain amount of practice session but the ability to undertake real life scenarios in different locations means the service is expertly prepared to defend our country. “The good will of demolition companies assisting in offering structures, buildings and locations for our use will mean we can undertake a wide range of training scenarios. We will be fully insured and work with you to minimise any disruption to your site.”

Following lunch, David Darsey hosted a charity auction to raise funds for his charity and thanks to the huge generosity of both the providers of some extremely generous prizes and the kindness of the guests at putting their hands in their pockets, almost £20,000 was raised on the day. Mr Darsey took the time to thank everyone for their generosity saying “Despite our commercial differences, we are all family and it is good to see that any differences are put aside to help those less fortunate than ourselves.”

The day was suitably completed by Mr Darsey handing out certificates to new and progressing members of the institute.

Congratulations to the following members who received a certificate of recognition:

Associates (AMIDE): Oliver Barby, Sean Coleman, Ross Craig, Gary Cross, Thomas Egerton, Scott Exell, Derek Feely, Ernesto Flores, David Foley, Michael Freeley, Jonathan Gill, David Jennings, Simon King, Peter Lilburn, Daniel MacKInlay, Mark Mates, Stuart McGregor, Paul Millar, Mathew Mowat, Bjorn Parker, Trevor Parratt, Damien Pick, Ian Skillings, Iain Sneddon, Richard Speake, Richard Taylor, Razvan Tibil, Fernando Vinagre, Daniel Wheeler, David Willcott and Peter Williams.

Full Members (MIDE):  Andrew Barnes, Tim Coppin, Andrew Crawford, Aiden Healy, Dylan Lovelock, Stephen McAleenan, David Murray, Thomas O’Connell, Carl Payne, Edward Pugh and Nicholas Ward.

 A copy of the minutes taken at the AGM can be downloaded here AGM-minutes-2017

An Evening with George Clarke

On Monday 16th October Council of Management member Mark Jack was invited to represent the IDE at Wolverhampton University where he attended an Evening with George Clarke.

The Event was held in the University of Wolverhampton’s newly refurbished Chancellor’s Hall, within the iconic Wulfruna Building.  Attending the event were Architectural firms, education providers, Local Government and various businesses.
The evening was opened by Professor Nazira Karrodia (Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering) who spoke about the New Springfield Campus. The new campus which is being constructed on the former Springfield brewery site is being transformed into Europe’s largest specialist construction and built environment campus bringing together businesses and the education sector to maximise impact on the economy. Since its purchase in 2014, the derelict site has been rejuvenated into a centre of excellence for construction and the built environment, delivering an unbeatable skills pathway for construction education and training from the age of 14 to senior professionals all designed to address the national skills shortage of engineers and construction workers.

George Clarke was next on stage and spoke about how he became an architect, his apprenticeship, his current architectural businesses and how he got into TV. George also spoke about his educational, research and development organisation MOBI (Ministry of Building Innovation), MOBI’s mission is to inspire new generations in to the building profession and fundamentally transform the way we think, design and construct homes both in the UK and abroad.

Mark commented “I spent the evening chatting with some Architects from BM3 who were sat on my table discussing modern architecture and trying to convince them that there is a need to consider demolition when designing buildings of the future, the evening was both informative and enjoyable.”

The IDE would like to thank Wolverhampton University for their kind invitation to this event.

Demolition Degree: Second Intake

Wolverhampton University have announced that they are currently taking enquiries for the second intake of this popular course

For more information click here
and to register your interest please contact the following:
David Oloke –
Neelam Padda –
Paul Hampton –


Autumn Seminar 2017

IDE President, David Darsey FIDE FRSA

The Royal Institute of Civil Engineers, at One Great George Street, again hosted the Autumn Seminar for the Institute of Demolition Engineers.

The venue hosted a full day of interesting speakers combined with networking opportunities and stands from leaders in the supply of equipment, attachments and services to the industry

Opening a sell-out event, IDE President David Darsey welcomed almost 200 guests to the prestigious venue.

First speaker of the day was Terry Madden, Project Manager for Erith Contractors. Well versed in delivering complicated projects throughout London, Madden spoke about the company’s project to deliver the demolition and enabling works at the new Great Portland Estates development which involved the demolition of multiple buildings adjacent to the new Crossrail Bond Street Eastern Ticket Hall at Hanover Square.

Terry Madden, Erith Contractors

Throughout the works Erith were faced with working hours and crane restrictions along with the usual traffic and access limitations, they were also tasked with having to work above the recently completed Crossrail tunnelling operations whilst still working to tight deadlines. The demolition of twelve structures completed with a façade retention system installed to 8 of the structures due to them being in a conservation area. The scheme was completed to the total satisfaction of all parties involved which included various neighbouring properties under party wall awards and the neighbouring Crossrail.

Christina Wallace HS2 Ltd

One of the largest construction projects to be undertaken in recent years will be HS2. Christina Wallace, Senior Project Manager for the development spoke about the opportunities available for demolition contractors to work alongside the construction teams to help deliver this project. Whilst the first three phases have been appointed to main contractor JV’s the initial enabling works and route clearance work will not commence until mid-2018 at the very earliest with Wallace explaining that experienced IDE and NFDC members and companies should be the only ones considered for the projects. With complicated works especially around existing infrastructure such as Euston Station and Birmingham Interchange. The HS2 project is being vaunted with delivering a high level of health and well-being for its workers and is being said to promote innovation and delivery a legacy for the country.

Council Member and former President John Woodward took to the stage to ask “if we had a plan B?” The art of crisis management is not one to be overlooked and according to Woodward, something that is often underestimated when it comes to project planning. Whilst projects are meticulously planned from start to finish, the possibility of things going wrong or accidents happening are never taken into consideration. Woodward spoke about various projects C&D Consultancy had assisted with and how they dealt with the distribution of information to the media. “As facts never get in the way of a good story” Woodward spoke about the necessity to understand how your company needs to react in an emergency, the chain of command for investigating it and the honest and open way in which media enquiries need to be handled. Mike Kehoe then took the stage to divulge a particular project in Liverpool where the company assisted the demolition contractor after a failed blow down and how the emergency procedures put in place helped smooth the process. Kehoe completed his talk by saying that it is vital to have that plan B, but also a plan C, D and E! Before closing their slot, Woodward announced he will be retiring from both IDE Council along with transferring the running of C&D Consultancy over to Mike Kehoe.

Immediate Past President Duncan Rudall was next to the stage to speak about the major project he was involved in with Rye Demolition and their demolition of the Boleyn Stadium, the former home of West Ham United football club. The company had been employed to demolish the stadium for new housing and Rudall spoke about the issues and processes associated with the demolition works. Traffic and road closure issues along with overhanging structures close to neighbouring properties and an adjacent school requiring access through the middle of the site were just some of the issues faced by the team. Whilst the demolition works were relatively straightforward, Rudall spoke about the initial work of stabilising the existing playing surface to give a stable base to work from and the work associated with dismantling the large trusses which were covering three of the four stands. Security issues including the theft of security cameras and working with some of the largest mobile cranes in the UK has led to the project being nominated for the World Demolition Awards. 

Paul Hampton from the University of Wolverhampton spoke about the recently commenced Demolition Degree and how the university was delighted to be pioneering this degree and working to give the industry the same recognition as similar trades have.

Dr Terry Quarmby also spoke about the need for personal development in the form of CPD. Without maintaining a record of CPD to prove your competency you cannot prove you regularly seek to find information and knowledge to improve your ability to do your job. Quarmby went on to inform the audience that if they require any information on CPD to ask Maureen at the IDE. Rounding off his session Quarmby announced the latest courses for Demolition Engineers in the shape of a certificate in demolition engineering and a diploma in demolition engineering. With 8 and 12 modules respectively, the courses will be ratified by the University of Wolverhampton.

Paul Sayer Beroa Bierrum

Paul Sayer from Beroa Bierrum took to the stage to speak about his company’s methodology of demolishing tall chimneys and cooling towers and the requirement to design their own specialist equipment in which to undertake these tasks safely. Both access and demolition issues were talked through along with the development of mechanical and robotic demolition techniques including concept drawings of new technology being developed by the company.

Sarah Fox from 500 Words was next to the stage to talk about the issue of contracts. Commenting that, for the majority of contracts we agree to, we very rarely read past the first sentence before agreeing to abide by it. Whilst there are companies out there trying to buck the trend, the majority of modern day contracts are extremely long and irrelevant. A visual contract is far more readable and understandable and will put people at ease with the form as opposed to a wordy document. With over 20 year’s experience dealing with construction contracts, Fox believes there are two types, carrot or stick and that the easier a contract is to read and understand, the more trustworthy a company or individual is deemed to be.

Sarah Fox 500 Words

Rounding off the event was comedian John Ryan from Serious Glee, . The pertinent matter of mental health has been brought to the fore recently and Ryan brought a light hearted yet extremely detailed slant to the subject. Focussing on the need to speak about problems. Stating that social or financial status is not a barrier to suffering with mental health issues, the need for everyone to understand the trigger points and to avoid them as much as possible. “We need to move away from statistics and concentrate on individuals”. Finishing off with some audience participation, Ryan reiterated the fact that in a male dominated industry, we should take heed of the females in our lives and learn to speak to each other about our problems.

President David Darsey closed the day thanking everyone for their attendance.

Author and Photographs 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.

IDE and NFDC London & Southern Counties Golf Day 2017

Mike Anderton (Swanton Consulting) (2nd from left) Individual Winner with 4 Pts

Over 30 keen Golfers attended this year’s Golf Day on 15th September 2017. This is the first time the IDE have organised a joint Golf Day with the NFDC with a mixture of handicaps taking to the beautiful greens at the prestigious international London Golf Club near Brands Hatch.

As with previous years, the weather was pretty good for a day outdoors competing for a variety of prizes and awards. A huge thank you must go to our sponsors: Worsley Plant, Swanton Consulting and Erith Contractors whose support ensured the success of this event.

Runner up: Tony Guerrier (Erith Contractors) (3rd from left)

Gary Burman (Erith Contractors) 3rd Place overall and winner of the Erith Group Silver Salver for the NFDC Corporate Member highest score. (2nd from left)

The day ended with a 3 course meal and presentations to the winners who were as follows:
Individual Winner: Mike Anderton (Better Back 9 19 Pts) 40 Pts
Runner Up: Tony Guerrier (Better Back 9 18 Pts) 40 Pts
3rd Place: Gary Burman 38 Pts
Team Winners: David Darsey, Paul Allen, Graham Taylor, Grant Styles
Nearest the Pin 8th: Tony Guerrier
Longest Drive 18th: Michael Louth
Ladies Prize: Sarah Clarke

Congratulations to all of the winners!
A great day was had by all!

IDE Elections Start Today!