Large Panel System (LPS) Deconstruction of Allen Court
Downwell have been appointed by Linden Homes to de-construct the Allen Court tower in Ealing. The building was built using the LPS system meaning that traditional demolition techniques and machinery cannot be used. The building will have to be taken apart a section at a time in the reverse order to what it was constructed in.
The building is built using pre-fabricated concrete panels that are brought to site and stacked together in a “house of cards” style. This means that each panel is supporting each other and if you remove one there is a great chance of collapse. There was an incident (Ronan Point) involving a similarly designed block that suffered a gas explosion causing a major collapse. This incident sadly resulted in the death of 4 people and injuring 17 others.
Following the enquiry into the incident this design of building was not permitted to be used again and there was major changes in the building regulations.
Since this tragic disaster the panels in Allen Court have had additional supports added to secure the panels together to help avoid a similar incident.
To demolish such a structure will require the building to be encapsulated with scaffold and Monarflex. Temporary propping will have to be installed which will retain the stability of the panels as they are removed. The panels will then be broken free at the joins and lifted to the ground for processing and recycling by a mobile crane.
This method of deconstruction will continue down through the floors of the building until the ground floor is reached.
This project is part of a major regeneration of the area with Linden Homes constructing large quantities of residential properties. We will be posting regular updates on progress of the project on our website and social media sites.
"A set of prefabricated concrete parts are transported to the site, where they are lifted into place with a crane and joined together. This is the type of structure that Ronan Point used. It is thought that a failure to join the panels correctly contributed to the Ronan Point collapse. The structure of Ronan Point and other LPS buildings of the time relied on gravity holding everything together."