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Enabling Works for Construction

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DDS Contracting offer a full turnkey enabling solution, inclusive of all below ground works, handing over sites de-risked in full readiness for the incoming construction contractors

Turnkey Enabling Works

As a Group, we are able to offer so much more when the sum of our individual divisions come together. Because of our wide set of services, we are able to offer enabling works for construction sites that cover everything from soft strip out, asbestos removal, demolition, and more. 

What are enabling works?

Enabling works are the activities that take place to get a site ready for the main phase of a construction project to begin. This could be completely demolishing a building and clearing the debris in order for contractors to begin work on a new one, a soft strip out, asbestos removal, part demolition and more.

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To discuss the potential value enabling works can bring, please get in touch with DDS Demolition.

Why are enablings works necessary in construction?

Deadlines are tight when it comes to construction, so having a blank canvas on which to build is essential for works to be completed on time. There are also many safety considerations to make, both for the teams working onsite now and in the future, and for the environment, which is something that an enabling works contractor like DDS can handle.

What does enablings works cover?

A variety of preparatory activities are covered by ‘enabling works’. These include:

Site clearance

This involves removing waste and debris caused by demolition or otherwise; this can include hazardous materials.

Asbestos surveying and removal

Asbestos specialists determine what areas contain asbestos and what type it is, before removing it safely.

Temporary works

Safety and access measures put in place, such as scaffolding and road diversions, come under the enabling works construction umbrella.

Facade retention

This involves supporting existing façades and/or party walls whilst works are being completed, and can include scaffolding and bracing.


Extra support can be added to a building’s structure whilst construction is happening, and this is known as propping.

Opening up works

Buildings are essentially layers of material, and when one of those layers needs to be exposed for inspection, repair or replacement, opening up works makes it possible.

Strip outs

This takes a building down to the bare bones by stripping out fixtures and fittings to leave a shell that can then be refitted.

Dismantling of old machinery

When redundant equipment and machinery is no longer used or wanted, enabling works contractors can safely dismantle it and dispose of it.


The preparation of the ground and the layers below are key to a successful construction project, and are often included in enabling works.

Partial or full demolition of buildings and structures

If you’re building something new, there may well be the small matter of an existing structure in the way - partial or full demolition, plus the clearance works, is often a big part of enabling works.

What is the role of a surveyor in enabling works?

Knowing what you're working with is, of course, essential to the enabling works process. A surveyor can carry out land and/or building surveys, telling us the size of the area, the materials included in existing structures, and assessing structural integrity.

What safety measures are used during enabling works?

A number of safety considerations need to be made during any type of enabling works, which usually include the appropriate PPE, safety signage, road closures and swift hazardous waste removal. Site boundaries and access points also need to be respected during enabling works

Legal and regulatory requirements for enabling works

The legal requirements for enabling works are the adherence to Government legislation, as you’d expect with any other area of construction. The legalities often include:

  • Health and safety legislation
  • Building regulations
  • Planning permission
  • Environmental regulations, such as preserving natural habitats
  • Employment law and working conditions

Advantages of enabling works

Better construction quality

Good preparation of the site means a higher quality of construction, as the main project team will have a better base to work with.

Improved safety

The isolation of enabling works means that safety regulations can be adhered to strictly, particularly in the case of specialist waste removal.


Breaking the project down into phases, including this preparatory one, is ideal for deadline management, and that of expectations too.

Enabling works projects

Hyleford Hostel

Preparation for construction on a block of high rise homes has been undertaken by DDS, and has involved securing the site, clearing it of trees, vegetation and fly-tipped waste, soft stripping the buildings, and then demolishing them. We then segregated and disposed of all waste, diverted all recyclable materials and handled groundwork preparations.

Sheerness Steel Mill

Stripping and demolition have been the main phases of the enabling works carried out by DDS at Sheerness Steel Mill, with a large amount of dust mitigated by careful measures such as sprayed water, large scale encapsulations, sealing of internal spaces, specialist vacuum, negative pressure enclosures and more.

Risborough Barracks

Shorncliffe Garrison in Folkestone is transforming into Shorncliffe Heights, and DDS has been onboard as the principal contractor to undertake enabling works on the project. This has included demolition, groundworks, and hazardous material removal, with a focus on  sustainability and cradle-to-cradle concepts.

HMP Canterbury

At this former prison, all divisions of DDS were utilised, including for the demolition of the building, remediation of contaminated hotspots as part of the bulk excavation works, and the rigorous testing that took place to identify and separate inert soils from non-hazardous.

Areas we cover


If you have a project in the central or greater London areas, DDS is an enabling works contractor that can ensure that the site is prepared for construction to begin: from Wandsworth and Lambeth to Enfield and Barnet.


The county of Kent is one that we’re proud to undertake enabling works in, handling preparatory work in Margate, Canterbury, Gravesend, Dover and more.


Our enabling works extend to south of London in leafy Surrey, where we can take on everything from demolition to groundworks in areas such as Woking, Epsom, Dorking, Reigate and Ashford.


DDS Group covers both East and West Sussex, including areas such as Bognor, Crawley and Horsham in the west, and Brighton, Hassocks and Rye to the east.


In Essex, we’re on hand to make your construction project go smoothly, taking on enabling works in areas such as Braintree, Colchester, Epping and Basildon.

Why choose DDS for your enabling works?

With core values that reflect our dedication to environmental, safety and sustainability, DDS Group is a family-run business that has striven to be a leader in construction in the south east of England since 1977. Our working divisions cover demolition, civil engineering and reclamation services, with each arm of DDS honouring quality, safety and efficiency above all else in our construction enabling works.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you budget and plan for enabling works?

Through project analysis and thorough planning, each area of enabling works can be budgeted for and planned accordingly; occasionally it’s possible for enabling work and construction to happen alongside each other.

How are utilities relocated during enabling works?

By working in sections, utilities can be relocated around the enabling works, so that disruption is kept to a minimum for that site and those around it.

What is the importance of soil testing during enabling works?

The testing of soil is important for determining the foundations that need to be laid, and the structure of the building constructed above it.

What machinery is commonly used during enabling works?

Depending on the type of enabling work being carried out, anything from demolition explosives and equipment to scaffolding and diggers.

How long does enabling works take?

The time taken on enabling works will entirely depend on the size of the project - it could be weeks or months.

How do you ensure compliance with environmental regulations?

Thorough and regular training is undertaken by all DDS staff to ensure compliance with the latest environmental regulations, which goes hand in hand with close liaison with local authorities to ensure the surrounding ecology is preserved.

How does weather impact enabling works?

Whilst some enabling works can continue in moderately unpleasant weather, high winds, strong rain, and snow can all delay a project.

Highlighting our
Project Experience

Other Projects

Former Prison Enabling

Canterbury, Kent
Project Summary

DDS Group undertook the turnkey project at the former Canterbury prison site for the expansion of neighbouring Canterbury Christchurch University. The turnkey solution was managed with an open book approach, involving all divisions of DDS Group to provide seamless integration between packages and an efficient management solution. The successes and efficiencies shown by engaging DDS […]

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At DDS Group Ltd, our mission is to provide our clients with the highest quality turnkey solution in an ever-changing environment, defined by safety, integrity, honesty and trust, whilst promoting a healthy work environment for all employees, where a respect for diversity and room for growth culminates in exceptional service and company spirit.

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