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What happens when asbestos is found during a large-scale demolition project?

Case Study: Asbestos Removal to support large-scale demolition project in Derby

If you are wondering what happens when companies find asbestos during a large-scale demolition project, read on to find out.

Before any work is planned, an asbestos survey must be done. This will show where the asbestos is located, if any. As most demolition projects are in older buildings, the chances of asbestos is very high.

Usually, a demolition company will look to hire a sub-contractor who has an HSE License to Remove Asbestos. As we are a licensed firm, we work alongside many demolition companies.

Download our HSE license here. HSE LICENSE 04.09.22

Demolition project in Derby - Asbestos Removal

The Former Pennine Hotel and Syn Nightclub (formerly Brannighan’s) in the heart of Derby City Centre is part of a large-scale demolition project. Some aspects have already been knocked down, including the former Debenhams.

E4 Environmental has been contracted to assist with all asbestos removal across the site in preparation for demolishing the buildings.

The large site consists of multiple Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) throughout the buildings.

  • Asbestos insulation board
  • Thermal insulation
  • Asbestos loose fill
  • Asbestos fire doors
  • Toilet cisterns
  • Uplights
  • Boiler room ducting & pipes
asbestos fire doors to be removed

Asbestos-containing fire doors

As licensed asbestos removal specialists, our job is to help you to plan and remove all asbestos materials in controlled and suitable atmospheres.

How is asbestos removed from multiple areas of large projects?

Each section of the property is broken down into multiple working areas. Then each type of Asbestos has its own removal method that must be applied.

Both non-licensed materials (chrysotile-containing) and licensed materials (amosite-containing) need carefully controlled removal methods to ensure no fibres are released into the atmosphere. More about this here Licensed Asbestos Removal vs Non-Licensed Asbestos Removal

However, with licensed asbestos materials, a fully-controlled asbestos enclosure (or ‘tent’) must be built.

Each enclosure is set up to HSE regulations, using 1000-gauge polythene to create a ‘tent’ and Negative Pressure Units (NPU’s) to allow clean air to flow through the tent. When working in an enclosure, employees must wear Coveralls and Full-face masks that circulate clean air.

To ensure the integrity of the tent, where possible they are built to cover small areas, so it may be that 1 room of the building has multiple enclosures at different times.

Work is done in different phases, and each time an enclosure is built an independent UKAS-accredited analyst must confirm the area is clear of asbestos before it can be deconstructed. This means that the air inside the enclosure is safe to breathe before works are complete. More information on how we work with analyst companies.

If you are not an asbestos operative wearing the correct PPE, you would not go into the area for risk of asbestos fibre exposure before this stage.

Working with demolition companies to remove asbestos

Working to remove asbestos in demolition projects requires extensive planning. Multiple contractors working simultaneously on-site increases the risk factor to the job so must be planned to run like a well-oiled machine.

This project will be ongoing for many weeks, and as we are sub-contractors alongside AR Demolition our works are determined by progress across the site. A synchronized working relationship allows for maximum productivity to get the work done quickly.

E4 Environmental has been working with demolition companies on site for asbestos removals since we established in 2006.

Current progress – what asbestos has already been removed?

A visit to the site in the first 6 weeks showcases asbestos materials removed from various locations across the site already. This includes asbestos-containing; heaters, toilet cisterns, insulation board to beams, debris, and other asbestos-containing materials such as fire doors.

The team was working in a live enclosure, whilst another team was soft-stripping the large nightclub area in preparation.

asbestos enclosure in demolition site hotel

Live enclosure to remove asbestos

Two weeks later, another site visit shows the AIB to the beams removed and areas cleared. The nightclub was fully set up and ready to go live the next day. Another article will follow to showcase this.

where previous asbestos enclosure was, now all gone ready for demolition

Area where enclosure was previously located, asbestos has now been removed.

Progress is quick but there are still many areas to finish before the building can be demolished.

Examples of before and after asbestos removal

  • A small panel of AIB was located within a small void in the building.
asbestos insulation board before removal

The asbestos insulation panel was removed within an enclosure.

asbestos insulation board now gone after removal
  • Asbestos located in beams has been removed.
asbestos removed from beams of building demolition

There will be further updates to this project, but in the meantime, if you want to know more about any of our services please do get in touch.

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Asbestos Removal Services

Asbestos removal comes in many forms. These are categorised into four main areas, and we offer free advice on any aspect of Asbestos Removal and Encapsulation. Click on the service...

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About e4 Environmental - Fully Licensed Asbestos Removal Company

Founded in 2006, we help people like you to remove asbestos in a regulated and safe manner. HSE certified, we are a fully-licensed asbestos removal contractor.


Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions we get asked are answered below for you! For further information give us a...

Q: What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occuring mineral, which was produced through mining. It has incredibly strong, heat-resistant properties which is why it was used for so many things. To learn more about what is asbestos, read our blog post here

Q: Where can asbestos be found?

Asbestos can be found in many places. Any buildings pre 1999 could potentially have asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) present. For a full list of potential places asbestos can be found in the home, head over to our blog

Q: Why is asbestos hazardous to my health?

The fibres of the asbestos materials are long, thin strands that are very small. When inhaled, these fibres latch on to your lungs and organs and when built up over time can cause Asbestosis or Mesothelioma, both fatal and incurable diseases. For further information on why asbestos can be dangerous, read our blog.

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