Carlton House, Putney (Top-Down Demolition)

Demolition of a seven storey former office block

Top Down Demolition Putney

We were appointed by Ardmore to demolish the 7 storey former office building (Carlton House) down to and including the basement. Due to space restrictions we adopted the top down demolition method to reduce the building floor by floor. Structural investigations were completed to ascertain the  Once this method had reduced the building to the 1st floor standard height demolition equipment was used to take down the remaining building. All this was completed whilst still retaining a live access road passing directly underneath the building.

Scope of Works

  • We attended numerous residents meetings at the start of and at regular intervals throughout the project with Ardmore to assist with communicating the programme and methodology to the local residents.
  • There was no soft strip to complete throughout the building as this had already been completed during a different phase.
  • There was a single storey section to the rear of Carlton House that needed to be demolished first so that the site could be opened up. This section was demolished using standard height demolition excavators with hydraulic munching attachments.
  • The building was positioned above an entrance to an office building behind the site. This entrance had to be retained throughout the demolition works. This was achieved by setting up a designated entrance/exit for the office building and protecting it with debris fans in the scaffolding and having a full time Traffic Marshall monitoring the entrance.
  • The building was entirely encapsulated with scaffolding by Inner City Scaffolding. This included installing debris fans and encapsulating the scaffolding with flame-retardant Monarflex. Bridging sections had to be installed across the entrance and the exit to car park so that it could continue to be used.
  • Carlton House was reduced using the top-down demolition method which involved lifting mini excavators and Bobcats onto the building and reducing the building a floor at a time. All of the arisings created during the demolition were progressively deposited down the lift shaft using the Bobcat. A second Bobcat positioned on the ground floor would then clear the bottom of the lift shaft and the arisings would be stockpiled for crushing.
  • Once Carlton House was reduced to the first floor slab the plant was lifted off the building and standard height demolition excavator proceeded to munch through the remaining structure. This had to be completed in a particular sequence so that the access to the office building could be retained.
  • All of the basement was removed and the piles broken off down to the required height so that the new piles could be installed without any obstructions.
  • All of the concrete and masonry arisings on site were crushed to a certified 6F2 and then stockpiled on site to be used during the construction phase.

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Project Name:
Carlton House

Upper Richmond Rd, Putney, SW15 2BS


Project Dates:
December 2016 - June 2017

Project Value:

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.