S.S Great Britain

The S.S Great Britain Trust have been awarded £4.78m by the Heritage Lottery Fund and are in the process of constructing a new museum exhibit for visitors within the trusts site at Gas Ferry Rd Bristol, BS1 6TY.

A priced tender document was returned to the Trust in late December 2015 and after a subsequent interview with the Trust the contract was awarded to R.M. Penny (Plant Hire and Demolition) Ltd to carry out the demolition and associated works to the North Range Building on the dry dock area over a 6 week programme commencing on the 18th of January 2016.

The Dry dock area is Grade 2 listed and is in close proximity to the Historic ship The S.S Great Britain. As a major tourist attraction the demolition works were carried out to ensure that the daily operation of the trust’s activities and adjacent residents and businesses were not compromised. Working times and deliveries were tailored around the opening hours with no deliveries between 10 am and 3.30 pm. Protection of surfaces and structures were of major importance when planning the works along with the equipment used to ensure that the maximum weight limit on the dry dock was not exceeded. The 2 storey North Range Building was a warehouse structure constructed with a structural steel frame with wood and brick panelling and clad with corrugated tin sheeting. As part of the works items of historic interest were carefully salvaged a set aside for the trust on commencement of work on site. Works were carried out carefully by operatives adopting a dismantling demolition technique with items systematically removed. With the demolition of the structure complete and in accordance with the structural engineers design the staged controlled removal of the ground floor slabs and foundations was carried out with agreed method statements in place to control measures to mitigate and limit the impact of the works on site and to the surrounding environment. Excessive noise, vibration and water ingress to the listed dry dock had to be overcome with the use of specialist saw cutting equipment to cut the larger items of concrete prior to removal rather than the application of percussive breakers as is the usual method. A letchlate geotextile membrane was then laid over the completed surface area to prevent water percolating through the ground into the dry dock with drainage runs and silt traps installed to ensure surface water is diverted away from the dry dock and not allowed to discharge contaminates into the harbour.