2019 Year Review

Welcome to our 2019 review. It has been an outstanding year for the Downwell Group of Companies who have all worked together to deliver successful projects to a wide range of clients.

The Downwell Group operate primarily in London, and the South East and our group companies, Downwell Demolition, Inner City Environmental and Inner City Scaffolding enjoyed a busy year separately and as a group working together on some high profile projects.

Here is a brief summary of what we have been up to.

THE DOWNWELL GROUP PROJECTS

Wates working on Havering Council’s 12 Estates framework

Our business development director Rob Young worked very hard in 2018 to introduce new clients to our portfolio. Wates was one of these and we were delighted to be awarded our first project with them towards the end of 2018 with the demolition of an old recording studio at Shuttleworth Road, Battersea.

As a result we were appointed to work with Wates on the London Borough of Havering regeneration framework for the demolition of the former Solar, Serena and Sunrise Courts in South Hornchurch in 2019. This site is being redeveloped into a modern retirement village for local people who have reached retirement age.

Our works included extensive asbestos removal which was carried out by our group company Inner City Environmental.

The project has just been completed to programme and budget.

The Downwell Group are also working with Wates in the London Boroughs of Brent and Barking and Dagenham.

As part of our work with Wates in Havering we have been part of various employment initiatives aimed and getting Havering residents back into work.

Heathside & Lethbridge Estate

Towards the end of 2018 were appointed by Ardmore Construction to carry out the demolition of six large Tower Blocks on the Heathside and Lethbridge estate in Lewisham. Downwell had previously completed the other phases of this regeneration scheme.

The buildings contained substantial asbestos, and Inner City Environmental started on-site first with the strip out and demolition following on as each block was cleared.

A video of our work on site can be viewed by following this link.
Downwell worked to support Ardmores resident liaison team by attending regular residents meetings and setting up several initiatives to involve the community. This included working with the Charity Divert and the Lewisham Construction Hub to give young offenders a chance to work. We were ablate give an opportunity to two operatives.

We were working with Ardmore on the enabling works at the Nestle Tower in Croydon which was a contract valued at 3 million. This project included substantial asbestos removal work to the exterior of the building by Inner City Environmental. The developer subsequently put the work on hold and may now demolish the building completely. We are waiting for further instructions.

Willmott Dixon in Havering

We also carried out some work at Hornchurch High School site which involved demolishing a former teaching block with extensive asbestos and bitumen removal. Inner City Environmental won a monthly health and safety award from Willmott Dixon during the works.  

New Covent Garden Market

Our works finished at New Covent Garden for Vinci construction. The works involved carrying out various elements of asbestos works within the market to offices and units, demolition of the old Irish dock, partial demolition of a cantilevered canopy and removal of several high mast lighting towers to clear the way for the main works.

 Additionally, we carried out a 23,000m2 ground stabilization and road formation project.

An Antigo breaker was used to break the vast slab area ready for lifting and processing then completed a bulk dig to over 5m in places. All materials had to be screened, which resulted in 85,000m3 of arisings going through the screener Plus around 12,000 – 15,000m3 of concrete went through the crushers. 

Additionally, the works included

• Full obstruction removal and replacement of the materials to allow CMC piling to commence.

• Chemical testing to achieve the requirements under the material management plan. This was a requirement out as part of the planning consent.

• Relaying the ground back in place to perform ground bearing to check for suitability to become permanent work. 

 A large portion of the site was designated a medium risk UXO area, which had to be subject to careful excavation. The subsequent clearance to maximum bomb penetration depth meant the project was very challenging with a wide array of multi-layered activities undertaken at any one time. 

Our original contract was digging to 2m, but a considerable quantity of large underground obstructions was below the 2m and removed to our works programme.

Downwell deployed up to 25 items of plant including excavators, screeners, crushers, rollers and dumpers working in tandem to achieve this project.

A project with a bit of fizz

We were delighted to be appointed to carry out demolition at a well know soft drinks manufacturers factory for new client Magrock in West London in October. Half the demolition has been completed and groundworks have already commenced.

The project is on programme and work has continued over the Christmas period.

Inner City Scaffolding have been involved in installing protection scaffolding on this project as the site was very tight oval sides.

Local Authorities

The Downwell Group have been delighted to work with BeFirst on a couple of projects in The London Borough of Barking. We have been confirmed as the Demolition Contractor for works in Hillingdon to start in the New Year. We continue to Tender for local authority projects through the portals and recommendations.

Inner City Scaffolding keep on track at Christmas

In the lead in period to Christmas preparation for demolition work at began at Ilford Station. The demolition work will commence at the end of January.

Inner City Scaffolding working with Downwell Demolition completed the installation of a complex internal bespoke ladder beamed scaffold frame.

The works involved cantilever beams splayed out through the windows to build external edge protection for the 2nd phase Christmas Day blockade works.

The key focus was ensuring maximum amount of pedestrian walkways and head heights. This allowed the station to remain fully operational.

On Christmas Day Downwell and Inner City returned to complete the 2nd phase external works.

These works included cutting holes in the roof and erecting a full protection scaffold to the external elevations above the footbridge.

NEW PLANT

We continue to invest in Plant and Equipment. 2019 saw the arrival of the EX1200. A real beast of a machine in terms of power and reach. It has a 55m long reach arm but fitted with the short arm is a real powerhouse on low level work.

It is available for hire and can be seen in action here with short arm

EVENTS

The Surveyors Cup

In June the Downwell Group hosted the 5th Surveyors Cup at Play Football Romford. It was the biggest event so far and and 40 teams from the construction industry took part. See link to event post below.

London Build

For the second year the Downwell Group exhibited at The London Build Exhibition at Olympia. The exhibition is growing in popularity and the foot fall consists of Surveyors, Contractors and Developers so it was an ideal opportunity to promote our services.

We also attended some local business exhibitions which was an opportunity to raise our profile.

MIPIM

For the second year running the Downwell team headed out to MIPIM.

We met some old faces were able to introduce ourselves to some very good potential prospects. A thoroughly enjoyable three days of networking was spent in the South of France. The weather was not bad either.

IN THE COMMUNITY

Charity donations

The Downwell group have continued our work to support communities and charities where we can. Locally we have continued to support the Thurrock foodbank with donations at Easter and Christmas. The importance of the foodbanks is becoming essential for those families living on the breadline.

We have also supported Ardmore with donations to the Lewisham Foodbank.

The Surveyors Cup raised over £3000 for the Jermain Defoe Foundation

We hosted the ‘Demolition Challenge’ to East London Charity ‘The Docklands Settlement’ on December 18th at their centre in Stratford. The challenge involved young people from the age of 7 upwards using radio controlled models of excavators to move demolition debris to a recycling centre to score points. Prizes were given to the two young people scoring the highest points. See Video

The centre also serves as a homeless charity over Christmas so we will be donating sleeping backs, socks, gloves and hats.

Sponsorship

This year we have once again sponsored our local football team Grays Athletic.

The Downwell group also signed up for advertising with Eleven Sports Media at the London Stadium for the 2019/20 season. Our advert can be seen on the big screen and around the stadium at every West Ham home game.

The group have a also sponsored some junior football teams and various boxing events.

Sean Phillips in the Ultimate Boxer

Our very own Sean Phillips took to the ring at the O2 in the Ultimate Boxer in May. The Downwell Group were all very proud of him as he reached the semi-final.

Sean Phillips running The London Marathon for Charlie Wynn

Sean Phillips will be running the London Marathon in 2020 for his friend and fellow professional boxer Charlie Wynn who suffered a brain bleed while preparing for his third professional bout.

He was rushed to King’s College Hospital before being transferred to Putney’s Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability in May.

Sean is raising money for his rehabilitation costs and it is probably one of the toughest fights Charlie has had to face.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can follow this link

The Peacock Gym used their Annual Charity Boxing Event to raise money for Charlie and a total of £15,244.32 was raised.

AWARDS

The Downwell Group were delighted to attend the second British Demolition Awards in Manchester. We picked up an award for ‘Tender Submission of the Year’.

In recognition of our work with Tier 1 contractor Willmott Dixon we were highly commended in their supply chain awards for Safety.

Congratulations were also in order to Mark Featherstone and the team from Inner City Environmental working at Bracknell on the Fujitsu Building. Contracts Director Nick Greenfield received some high praise in an email from the client.

‘Just a quick email to let you know that our client is very impressed with Inner City Environmental with regard to how clean and organised your site teams have been to date”

ACCREDITATIONS

Both Inner City Environmental and Downwell Demolition achieved Constructionline Gold accreditations. Inner City also were given an ARCA Gold training award.

The Downwell Group on television

Downwell were on television with a second appearance on ‘DIY SOS’ helping a family in Chislehurst and on the Quest TV series’ Scrap Kings’

2019 has been a great year for the Downwell Group of companies and we look forward to working with you in 2020

Happy New Year

100 years of demolition experience

Contact

Please select the division you wish to connect with:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement - Wednesday 25th March

The Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday evening signalled the introduction of more stringent restrictions on us all and has specifically indicated that members of the public should only leave their home for very limited purposes. The message indicates that we should travel to and from work, only where this is absolutely necessary.

The management of the Downwell Group of companies which includes: Downwell Demolition, Inner City Environmental and Inner City Scaffolding has very carefully considered both the meaning and the spirit of the Prime Minister’s statement and whilst there has been some clarification from government subsequently that building sites could continue to operate, we came to the very clear decision yesterday that it was necessary for us, as a responsible contractor, to safely and securely close down our operational sites as soon as reasonably possible. Doing so will assist in maintaining the wellbeing of our customers, employees, sub-contractors, suppliers and the wider communities within which we build.

All sites have been closed down in a safe and secure manner and will remain closed until further notice.

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking all the key workers on the frontline who are continiung working for the good of us all.