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Risborough Barracks

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Folkestone, Kent
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The transformation of historic barracks

Work has been ongoing for several years at Taylor Wimpey's Shorncliffe Heights development in Cheriton, Folkestone. It has resulted in a dramatic transformation of Shorncliffe Garrison, which was first established in 1794.

The army camp played a vital role in British history, where soldiers were trained to fight under the Duke of Wellington against Napoleon, and which housed troops on their way to the Western Front during the First World War, as well as the original war horses.

But since 2015, when planning permission for 1,200 homes was approved by Folkestone and Hythe District Council, the barracks have been steadily demolished, with newly built homes arising in their place.

In 2022, DDS Group took on the role of Principal Contractor for the area of the site known as Risborough Barracks. The project comprised of varying demolition works to the buildings on site and groundworks, enabling the site for construction. Some of the existing structures however, such as a library and an officers' mess, were preserved as listed buildings of historical significance.

Both licenced and non-licenced asbestos materials had been identified on the site through an R&D Asbestos Survey. Once the site was secured, DDS’ operatives began removing the hazardous materials from the buildings, along with a specialist licenced contractor, and disposing of them safely before beginning the strip out of internal fixtures and fittings.

The buildings to be demolished were a mixture of single and two-storey load bearing brick construction with timber first floors. The roofs were pitched, timber framed and clad with slates. A bat EPS licence was required to remove the roof finishes and these works were supervised by a consultant licensed by Natural England, to recover any bats found.

Prior to demolition, DDS were primarily focused on sustainability and cradle-to-cradle concepts. By segregating waste into ‘waste streams’ and removing salvageable, recyclable, and reusable materials with minimal damage to them, DDS are contributing to the circular economy and minimising waste to landfill. Salvage work is carefully undertaken by their experienced operatives, supported by telescopic forklifts and excavators fitted with selector grabs, before progressing to heavier demolition methods.

Initially demolition works involved the use of telescopic forklifts to facilitate the removal and salvage of the roof slates and timber components. Once all the salvageable materials were removed, demolition works were undertaken using a range of heavy-duty excavators from 20-tonne up to 49-tonne, each fitted with a variety of hydraulic attachments, including selector grabs, breakers, and pulveriser’s, which enabled DDS to demolish, salvage and process the arising’s safely and efficiently.

Once the demolition was complete down to ground level, DDS proceeded to break out the slabs, foundations, pads, hard standings, drives and paths. Using their 50-tonne concrete crusher, all hard arising’s were crushed to a 6F2 specification for re-use on site during the construction phase. The final processes involved identifying and managing areas of contaminated ground below the slab, before grading the site to leave a level, hazard-free surface, and finally carrying out a topographical and photographic survey by drone.

DDS always endeavour to recycle the majority of materials arising from a demolition project. In this case, they achieved a recycling volume of 97%. Bricks of suitable quality were transferred to a stockpile away from the demolition zone, then cleaned of mortar and stacked on pallets. Timber was sent off site for reuse or pulping, metals loaded into skips and removed from site to a recycling facility, and the concrete/hardcore materials crushed on site and stockpiled.

Much of the salvaged items were delivered to DDS’ specialist reclamation yard in Margate, which was considered when pricing the demolition work, the commercial benefit of their sale being passed on to the client through heavily discounting the work.

Due to the historic nature of this site, there was also a high volume of building materials, features and fittings which were retained for posterity. DDS worked with Taylor Wimpey and other concerned stakeholders to salvage these items of significant historical value.

DDS Demolition

DDS Demolition forms the specialist demolition division of DDS Group, providing industry leading excellence nationally. Often operating as a natural extension to DDS Contracting, we are able to offer our clients a complete turnkey enabling works solution.

Service Used
  • Asbestos Removal
  • Conventional
  • Enabling Works
  • Licenced Removal
  • Non-Licenced Removal
  • Site Remediation
  • Soft Strip
  • Traditional
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