Case Studies

Demolition of Islay Wharf, London

LOCATION Islay Wharf,
Lochnagar Street,
Poplar, London
E14 0LA

Demolition of Islay Wharf, Lochnagar Street, Poplar, London E14 0LA within London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH)

Looking over the river Lea near Canary Wharf, and offering breathtaking views across London, Islay Wharf promises to be a landmark development.

Figure 1 Lochnagar Street, looking east towards Islay Wharf – Photo taken 1970s (The Underground

Islay Wharf

Figure 2 Lochnagar Street, looking east towards Islay Wharf – Photo taken in 2021 (Diamond Geezer)

Islay Wharf

Figure 3 Lochnagar Street, looking east towards Islay Wharf – Future vision (SN

Islay Wharf is located on the western bank of the river Lea, within an area of primarily industrial brown-site use. The site is currently occupied predominantly by a two-storey high steel framed warehouse type building which covers most of the site footprint. The front part of the building is a two-storey office block which was last used as a place of worship.

Dorton Demolition & Excavation Limited (Dde) was appointed by the client for the enabling works phase which included the clearance of the site and the demolition of the existing building in preparation for the future redevelopment of the site.

Figure 1 Existing site as at 2021

Figure 2 Proposed future vision (Constructing London)

Site constraints and challenges

  1. The site had been used as a dumping ground over several years. Site clearance was undertaken to enable safe access to undertake surveys. The enabling works were split into two phases:
    • Site clearance which included clearance of the loose rubbish and disposal, disconnection of services and utilities, asbestos refurbishment and demolition survey, and the discharge of planning conditions with the aid of a demolition logistics plan, site waste management plan, and a construction environmental management plan.
    • Soft strip and demolition which included the removal of asbestos contaminated materials, demolition including breaking out and grubbing up ground floor slabs and foundations, backfilling voids and excavations with pulverised recycled hardcore material, removal of surplus hardcore arisings and waste arisings from site, and the supply, and erection of timber hoarding to site boundaries.

Figure 6 Pre-commencement site conditions

  1. Dust, noise, and vibration. The following site measures and actions were taken: –
    • Dust, noise, and vibration monitors, with add-on enabling devices to record data in real time, and preset site action levels, were installed in key and sensitive locations. Automatic alerts were directed to the site manager so that when dust levels breached the acceptable limits, actions were taken swiftly and effectively.
    • Daily inspections were carried out throughout the working day to identify potential sources of dust.
    • Dust suppression was carried out using mister sprays aimed specifically at the local works areas.
    • Noisy works were reduced to an acceptable decimal level by use of modern and noise dampened demolition rigs and equipment.
    • Appropriate plant and equipment for the task was selected and the correct procedures were followed to ensure the plant was used effectively and efficiently.
    • Regular reporting of noise and vibration monitoring levels and any exceedances of the site action levels were provided to LBTH.

Figure 3 Approximate location of the monitoring equipment

  1. A section of wall belonging to the East Riverside site to the southern boundary had a roosting bat. The bat wall was very close to the south eastern corner of Islay Wharf and a decision was made to retain the corner building and in so doing prevent any disturbance to the bat wall. East Riverside was being developed by Taylor Wimpey, who had applied for a bat licence and were awaiting approval. The bat licence was granted in early November 2023. Taylor Wimpey’s bat wall and corner building to Islay Wharf were ‘softly demolished’ by Dde under a watching brief.

Figure 7 Retained corner of Islay Wharf and adjoining wall with a roosting bat

  1. Pile probing for obstructions and/or voids uncovered two large concrete obstructions. The obstructions were, in our opinion due to their appearance, historic machine bases. Prior to breaking out the obstructions, extreme caution was taken to establish that they did not have any fixings suggesting that they could potentially be anchors to the river wall.

Figure 8 Ground obstructions

An underground fuel tank was also uncovered during the probing works. The tank was decommissioned and found to be empty and clean. The surrounding area was inspected for any risk of soil or groundwater pollution.

Figure 9 Site at handover

Demolition was completed on time, within budget, and with no health and safety incidents.

Waste products were processed and removed from site for recycling wherever possible. Concrete – Aggregate inert arisings were crushed and laid on site to backfill voids and excavations.

Bricks – Salvaged to Dde- reclamation yard in Nailards Wood, Bolney, Haywards Heath.

Ceramics, concrete (surplus), bricks (broken), cement (mortar) – Co-mingled and crushed for recycling off site.

Metals – All metal scrap sent to The Metal Recycling Group for recycling.

Construction & Demolition Waste – Packaging, plastics, furniture, insulation, plasterboard – sent to Cory Barking Operations Ltd. t/a Cory for recycling.

Timber – Some doors and joists were salvaged and delivered to Dde- reclamation yard, the remainder clean non-treated timber was sent to Stobart at Shoreham Harbour for chipping and recycling.

Asbestos – Sent to accredited landfill sites – Biffa at Redhill and Hills at Swindon

(volumes accepted depended on capacity at that time).

In total 99.76% of arisings were recycled, with 0.24% sent to landfill.