Moor Lane Flats, Preston

Location: Preston City Centre
Client: Preston City Council
CDM Coordinator: Richard Vann Consulting Engineers
Principal Contractor: Forshaw Demolition
Value: £1,400,000
Timescale: August 2000 to March 2001
Scope: The asbestos removal, demolition and site clearance of 3 no 16-storey residential tower blocks and remedial landscaping works on completion. The building was of a No-Fines Concrete Frame. Demolition was performed using controlled explosives.

Building Construction

The three structures were condemned as dangerous due to spalling brickwork. They were evacuated in 48 hours and demolished via controlled explosion within 4 months of being declared as dangerous.

Adding to the difficulties on site was a railway tunnel that ran underneath the middle of the site between two of the tower blocks and a listed windmill (the only one in Preston), situated less than 10m away from the third tower block.

Demolition Method

The flats were soft-stripped of fixtures and fittings and the asbestos containing materials removed prior to the pre-weakening of the structure. The structures were then demolished using controlled explosives and the super-structure crushed on site. The slab and foundations were broken out to a depth of 4m and the materials crushed on site. The resultant void was back-filled with crushed material and the site levelled.

Despite the difficulties of the contract, on blow down day, the tower blocks collapsed exactly as planned and the project was completed on time with no problems.