St James Centre
Location Icon Edinburgh
  • Client
    Dem-Master and DSM
  • Date
  • Role
    Demolition Consultant and Health and Safety Advisor
  • Team
    Stephen McCann – Mateusz Szablan
The Site

The demolition of the former St James’ Centre and New St. Andrew's House office and the hotel were part of an £850m redevelopment by its owners, Nuveen Real Estate, to create a new three-storey, glass-roofed, crescent-shaped shopping building.

We worked for Dem-Master and DSM on the demolition of the former St. James' Centre. This project involved the safe removal of all internal fixtures and fittings, the removal of Asbestos Containing Materials, and the safe demolition of the former St. James' Shopping Centre, adjoining car parks and the former King James hotel using a mixture of a piecemeal method using remote-controlled Brokk in conjunction with a tower crane, and progressive fragmentation using a super-high-reach demolition rig from a safe working distance.

There was a significant degree of hand demolition (cut and carve) as the John Lewis building was to remain live at all times.

The buildings: King James Hotel was approximately 94 metres long x 12 metres wide; St. James Shopping Mall was approximately 4,000 squared metres; The Scottish Offices were approximately 300 metres long x 10 metres wide (combined), and the car parks were around 81 metres long x 14 metres wide (combined).

The outer walls of the buildings were predominantly constructed of concrete panels and the inner walls with a mixture of concrete block/brick and some timber stud and plasterboard inner walls and reinforced concrete flooring.

Our Scope

PERSES was selected by Dem-Master Demolition to give demolition engineering assistance and health and safety support on a full-time basis at what was at the time the largest demolition contract in Scotland.

The contract was awarded to the Birmingham-based demolition contractor DSM who subcontracted Dem-Master to carry out the demolition works as they were more local to the location.

We initially attended the pre-start meetings with the client Laing O’Rourke and the demolition contractors to discuss the management roles and actual specifications of the contract including our roles and responsibilities.

Our team had a full-time on-site presence up to the final weeks of the project when there was no longer a requirement due to the reduced risks.

What we did
  • Provided a full-time on-site member to oversee the following:
  • Assist in the facilitation and approval of the RAMS.
  • Carry out daily activity briefings (DABs).
  • Carry out daily inspections.
  • Carry out temporary works checks.
  • Deliver weekly tool-box-talks.
  • Assist in the management of subcontractors as well as plant and equipment.
  • Progress reports communicated directly to Dem-Master directors.
  • Assist with the dilapidation survey.
  • Provided a secondary consultant to carry out monthly site audits and issue a report on the progress.

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