Late 2015 and early 2016 Hawthorn Estates were commissioned to complete some renovations works on a grade II listed building on princess street in Manchester City Centre.
This grade II listed building is an old warehouse construction, with four floors of office space of these 3 floors were chosen to have renovations.
The work that was commissioned consisted of reducing sound transfer between floors, removal of utilities and to media blast timber, brick and steal features. Sitting tenants cause an issue between floors that could not move.
Health and Safety
With much of the works being on an elevated level, precautions had to be made. A scissor lift was used for the process of delivering the acoustic floor boards. Open windows where accessed to get grit blast equipment up to the correct floors, with staff wearing full harness and PPE.
The high pressure of the grit blasting nozzle requires protective clothing to be worn to limit the risk of damage to skin, eyes and lungs. Due to the danger of sand, that exposes the operator to copious quantities of dust which has the potential to cause silicosis. We chose to use recycled ground glass, not only is it safer for the operator but can also be softer on the materials that needed cleaning. There is a range of media available e.g. walnut shell, baking soda.
While the grit blasting was being carried out, the fire brigade where notified and extractors where installed to reduce the dust within the building. Fire alarm/smoke detectors where disabled throughout.
The problem we faced while grit blasting was the occupation on the first and half of the third floor in the building by tenants.
The tenants did not wish to be relocated so precaution where then put in place to ensure that little or no damage would be cause to the tenant’s equipment while the works where undertaken.
During the scheduled grit blasting work, we had to arrange out of hour access to the offices, knowledge and use of codes and keys where kept to a minimum number of staff. This allowed us to place protective dust sheets over the equipment and servers to reduce the possible risk of damage. Staff was also positioned in the offices during the process to check for leaks of dust, and seal accordingly.
The grit blasting work was arranged for consecutive weekends to limit disruption for the tenants, 10 in total.
Once the work was complete for that session a cleaning team was arranged to remove and collect any dust that settled over night, leaving the offices in the state (or better than) they were found.