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D-Drill sheds light on shopping centre windows
A team of skilled engineers have successfully removed 40 tonnes of concrete from a shopping centre in Slough – without disturbing shoppers, diners or nearby cinema goers!



RGB-Slough

D-Drill, which has offices around the UK, was called in by the main contractor, RGB Group, to remove the 40m long, 1.2m high and 325mm thick concrete wall at the Queensmere Shopping Centre.

And such was the success of the work, the company landed five further projects with RGB Group.

The wall had, unusually, been constructed in front of stock room windows so no natural light was available to the rooms which were 30 feet above the ground floor.

John Barber, who runs the company’s Hampshire office in Alton, said: “Ideally, we would have carried out a series of diamond saw-cuts to work the wall into manageable sections and hoist away with a mobile crane.

“However, the amount of slurry that would have created would not have been conducive to allowing the businesses – such as shops and restaurants – to continue trading.

“Also, the sections would need to be removable by hand as no crane or hoisting facility could be accessed to the location, particularly as the street had to remain live and open.”

John devised a method where D-Drill’s engineers would use a silent, non-percussive method of controlled demolition that would see a series of holes drilled strategically to then allow a hydraulic burster to break-up and reduce the wall to rubble.

It could then be removed systematically to prevent overloading the temporary scaffolding.

John added: “There was heavy steel reinforcement contained within the concrete so it was necessary to increase the amount of holes we drilled and we introduced a diamond saw-cut which helped to increase the efficiency of the hydraulic burster.

“The method proved to be extremely successful and a team of two were removing two to three square metres of concrete per shift.

“All of this took place while the busy shopping centre remained open and live and caused no disturbance to the shops or restaurants – there was more noise in the cinema from people chewing their popcorn than there was from the work we were doing!”

Following the work by D-Drill, the residential apartments have been completed and are now fully occupied.

Further to that, RGB Group selected D-Drill to work on five major projects.

John said: “It’s a great testament to the team that we landed further work with RGB on the back of Slough. We devised a bespoke method to ensure we completed the job in the best possible way at the Queensmere Shopping Centre and we are delighted that it proved so successful.”

We devised a bespoke method to ensure we completed the job in the best possible way at the Queensmere Shopping Centre and we are delighted that it proved so successful.