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The Ugly Brown Building

The Ugly Brown Building

Project Name: The Ugly Brown Building
Client: Reef Estates
Value: £400,000

Global: Built in the 1980s, and originally a Royal Mail facility close to King’s Cross station the St Pancras Way block – which backed on to the Regent’s Canal was affectionately known as the Ugly Brown Building. The structure was a concrete frame with external cladding, and the work formed Phase 1 which required approximately half of the building to be demolished, while the other half remained in use.

Specific: Installation of temporary fire escapes Saw cutting to separate the Phase 1 and Phase 2 works Scaffold installation to form a protection barrier along the Regent’s Canal elevation Demolition of the building using high-reach machinery fitted with dust suppressant equipment

Challenges: Works commenced in May 2020 at the height of the Covid pandemic, and as such we needed to convince both our delivery team members, and the client/client’s team, that we were able to attend site and to deliver the works in a manner that ensured full compliance with the published Covid guidelines. As such, project meetings that would have been undertaken face-to-face were changed to virtual meetings, signage was installed reinforcing the need for distance management, sanitation stations were implemented around the site, delivery personnel travelled to, and from site in separate company vehicles, and welfare areas were equipped with pods/screens so that individuals remained separated. As a result of the control measures that we implemented at the pre-construction phase, we were able to complete the works without delay to the programme, and lessons learnt that were as a result of this re-thinking requirement were rolled-out across all subsequent projects to ensure that all associated stakeholders remained safe.

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