- February 19, 2024
Westwood Cross Shopping Centre is a large retail outlet based near Broadstairs in Kent. Debenhams was an anchor store for the 411,000 sq ft site.
AW Construction were approached by our valued client Landsec and asked to tender for the strip out / demolition works of the 82,000 sq ft store, along with some minor alterations ready for Phase 2 of the refurbishment of the unit into smaller retail spaces.
Having successfully been awarded the tender to strip out the store, working with our knowledgeable project teams and the Westwood Cross Centre Management, we put together a detailed plan of works, so when we started on site, all parties were as fully prepared as possible.
Acting as principal contractor, AW Construction were able to show the client our strengths at being able to offer a one stop strip out service. Supplying in the first instance a team of suitably qualified tradesmen to undertake various M&E works to make the site safe, ready for our demolition operatives to commence work. We are experienced in appointing and managing our clients’ incumbent contractors for the safe removal, reconfiguration and re-instatement of fire, smoke, security, and sprinkler systems to achieve compliance and our clients’ requirements, exactly as was needed on this project.
The removal of all furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) at the start of the project was also aided by the sale at auction of over 170 items reducing landfill and helping our carbon net zero pathway. Many of these items going to local businesses for repurposing. As with all our projects across the UK we source local contractors for skip hire, waste removal, procurement of materials and plant, reducing our carbon footprint even more.
As this store had lain vacant for some time, retesting of the service and goods lifts had to be undertaken so that we could be assured of the safe transportation of materials from one floor to another. Various external works had to be undertaken outside of the shopping centre opening hours to minimise the disruption to the public. This store is sited opposite a major bus stop route and is also connected to several high-profile retail food outlets. The logistical requirements of entering and exiting the service area also had to be considered as several major road routes encompass the site – all covered well in advance of starting on site with a detailed logistics plan.
As this unit was being reduced in size to make up several smaller units, all of the HVAC components had to be removed, our trained IPAF and PASMA operatives using scissor lifts and small scaffold towers utilised their skill and experience in dismantling this.
The removal of several 7 metre long steel “I” Beams and other associated steel works from the dismantling of a mezzanine floor, meant specialist contractors were brought in to cut these to make the removal as safe and easy as possible.
At all times during the strip out we maintained a well-lit site in all areas, requiring the installation of a new temporary lighting system. Several voids presented themselves during the strip out stages, all of which were securely barriered and then partitioned off, with warning signs posted where necessary.
When the onsite WC facilities were stripped out mobile Welfare Units had to be brought in to cater for the 20 plus site operatives each day.
The final handover was completed on 1st June 2022.