Enabling Works – What does it really mean?

Enabling Works are preparations to make a building or site ready for construction or redevelopment

The term Enabling Works covers activities including:

  • Site clearance including removing underground obstructions
  • Asbestos surveying and removal
  • Temporary works including haul roads, scaffolding, hoarding and diversion of services
  • Opening up works and strip outs
  • Facade retention
  • Propping
  • Full and part demolition of buildings and structures
  • Dismantling of old machinery

The result is a site that enables not only construction teams and materials to enter and begin work safely and efficiently, but neighbouring buildings and infrastructure to keep functioning safely and without impediment.

Enabling works are carried out by civil engineering and Demolition Contractors like Downwell Demolition and Enabling Services in London and the South East

Demolition contractors are particularly involved when there is an obvious continuum between site clearance work and site preparation, for example with the retention of facades of previous buildings, or with bulk excavation work during the removal of structures.

Land and engineering surveying form part of a range of services required for enabling works and can be handled by the Demolition and Enabling Contractor

  • Logistics
  • Hazardous material removal
  • Archaeological and heritage investigations
  • Environmental approvals
  • Utilities isolations
  • Security

Surveyors Role in Enabling Works

Surveyors are obviously an essential part of any enabling works, performing land surveys of the site and then engineering and construction surveying. To properly plan the enabling works for future construction, a surveyor may even be involved from the demolition of the previous building. Some typical roles of surveyors in enabling works are:

  • Topographic surveys
  • Building and boundary control
  • Grid setouts for earthworks eg. retaining walls
  • Grid setouts for access works eg. ramps, hard-stand areas
  • Building facade surveys

The surveyor’s role is also to consider other important aspects of the project such as:

  • Preserving heritage and property values of the site, of retained buildings and of neighbouring sites
  • Environmental values of the same
  • Sustainability issues such as material reclamation, re-use and safe disposal of site materials, and the minimisation of land-fill and waste

Enabling Works

We provide a wide range of Enabling Works at Downwell

100 years of demolition experience


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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.