Featured Project // Rathbone Place – Great Portland Estates


Prior to the strip out works, an R&D asbestos survey was carried out to ascertain if any asbestos containing materials were present. These were safely removed and works progressed to the strip out phase, comprising the removal of all the existing partitioning, ceilings, floor coverings, M&E systems and plant back to the existing core of the structure.

The demolition methodology saw the 45 tonne excavators munch the slabs onto the -oor below, where bobcats periodically dropped material down the internal well hole. Breaking was carried out in a limited manner to reduce the beams into manageable sizes. These were then moved to the West elevation, where the beams were lifted down to the processing area on the ground floor by the crawler crane situated in the Newman Street car park, in order to reduce noise levels.


The third parties in immediate vicinity to the works meant that noise and dust pollution were of a particular concern to Erith. Before the main structural demolition commenced, Erith undertook floor load testing to establish that 45 tonne excavators with cracker attachments could be safely used for the works, which reduced the need for breaking and the resultant noise pollution.

Erith’s Environmental department also undertook dust noise and vibration monitoring throughout the works, based upon safe baseline figures to ensure minimal disruption. Detailed monthly reports were then produced to assess any means of improving the environmental impact of the works, in line with our commitment to continuous improvement.

Rathbone Place, London

Erith were appointed by Great Portland Estates to carry out the soft strip and demolition of 35-50 Rathbone Place, London W1, which had previously been a major London sorting office for Royal Mail.

The site was part occupied by a 1950’s concrete building, with the remainder housing a ground level car park. The superstructure was generally a reinforced concrete frame on a 12m x 12m grid, with 5 stories above ground floor level and 4 levels below. Floor slabs spanned around 3m between secondary beams in orthogonal directions back to primary beams spanning between columns. There were two cores at the front corners of the building and one central smaller core at the back. The 4th basement level housed the mail rail platform and tunnel system, which remained in place during the demolition works down to basement level 3.

  • Erith’s work was delivered within budget and in line with the desired programme, with no reportable health and safety incidents.