Having worked at the Guardian Print Center just next-door, the Financial Times team in Stratford was familiar with our work and invited us to quote for decommissioning and dilapidation works at their Stratford site in London.
We were invited to work with the client on their lease-end negotiations and were able to help them navigate the process with significant savings against what their landlord would have otherwise charged them for dilapidation and making-good. In practical terms, we were able to shave off in-excess of £400,000 from their landlord’s original request of £625,000 to leave the site. This was achieved by a direct negotiation with the landlord over the original condition of the site.
We challenged their landlord on who was responsible for a variety of aspects of making good — agreeing that some of the modifications made by FT were improvements, and if not accepted at zero-cost to the dilapidation schedule would be removed by us directly. We also carried out any works we saw as over-valued by the landlord, giving our client far more control over the negotiation process.
In order to hand the building back, our client required the removal of all of their printing equipment as well as all pre and post press machinery and any associated manufacturing-specific services. In addition to the removal of process equipment: We conducted the drainage and disposal of residual inks and the cleaning and disposal of the ink tanks in advance, removed the goods-lifts and cleared out all their offices.
The presses on site were situated on a large concrete “bridge” which required careful demolition so as not to damage the floor or fabric of the building. This also required the removal of the vertical steel bridge supports and the making good to the factory floor. This also included the demolition of internal buildings housing offices, staff facilities, workshops, control rooms and CTP.
The FT having outsourced pricing, we agreed to make available certain assets to support this process with their partner-printers. The equipment was successfully removed and installed to support this agreement. We also managed the process of handing back leased or rented items on site to relevant parties.
Having printed on the site for nearly twenty years, significant modifications had been made inside the building. These included internal blockwork structures housing workshops, staff facilities and a sound-booth control room — all of which had to be safely removed before the building could be handed back.
The removal of the site services including the electrical distribution system, we then re-installed a new LV kiosk in the carpark, with a new armoured underground cable and fitted a new MCCB board to the landlords specification to support the new tenants requirement, communicating with the utility and metering companies to manage the process and documentation ensuring the new system was live and legal at the end of works.
In addition to the above, as part of our project we also capped the existing gas main, flushing and removing any associated redundant pipework. A process we repeated for the chilled-water and compressed air. We removed the high-level gas heating system, replacing the flues which penetrated the main factory roof.
In 2020 we worked with Scapa to close a major production facility in Dunstable. They were looking to pivot manufacturing away from the product families made at that location.
Early on in the project we provided a detailed reading of the client’s lease and advised them on their obligation for the dilapidations, costing out the works and allowing for a better settlement figure to be agreed with the landlords.
A significant quantity of equipment on the site were earmarked for retention by the client for use at other facilities both in the UK and Europe. To facilitate this we provided sympathetic dismantling and packaging, as well as organised logistics including loading, transport and export documentation.
For the equipment not on our client’s retention list, where we took on the site and all it’s content as part of our contract we were able to use some of the salable equipment to offset the price of the project. Everything else we stripped out and sorted for recyclable scrap.
Assets we decommissioned at Scapa included (but were not limited to) air handling and refrigeration systems, steam boilers, thermal oil systems, chemical scrubbing plant, underground hazardous-chemical tanks as well as the HV and LV supply and distribution equipment.
Having leased the factory for over 15 years, there was a large number of internal additions and changes to the building that needed to be removed prior to handing the building back to the client’s landlord. These included mezzanine floors, internal blockwork buildings, high-level walkways and the demolition of any additional out-buildings.
In addition to the above, we were able to offer the removal of all hazardous chemicals from site, working alongside the client’s existing waste-stream. We also conducted the removal of all non-licensed asbestos from the building.
Groundworks required included the removal of all built-up concrete slab structures, removal of bunded chemical storage areas, and back-filling of any voids after.
Our operation at Cowley Hill Works is the largest of a number of projects Hidden Assets are currently undertaking for the multinational glassmaker NSG Pilkington. Having won tender for the project in 2016, the 100 acre site is to be cleared to make way for a landmark development of 800 new homes. It is currently amongst the largest demolition projects in the UK.
Cowley Hill Works included, amongst other aspects, a major glassmaking furnace, laminating and cutting lines and facilities for stacking and storing glass.
Production at Cowley Hill was housed across multiple large-scale warehouses with offices and amenities in number of smaller brick-built structures. Whilst most were scheduled for demolition, we are also working with NSG to relocate one of their steel-portal buildings to a new location.
Cowley Hill Works was a truly historic site, with a heritage of glass production that extends back over a century. As such, it had accumulated a variety of hazardous waste including asbestos which we removed safely and effectively.
Due to the scale of the site, one aspect of our work at Cowley Hill is the removal and processing of over a million tonnes of concrete slab.
Ground manufacture produces a number of waste materials that can contaminate its location. With a residential use planned in the future, an important aspect of the job is to test and remediate land for its planned purpose. Under this service bracket, our work here has also involved de-foresting areas of site, draining lakes and disposing of fish in line with Government guidelines. In addition, our scope of ground works includes the grading of deep voids where an underground conveyor line had been.
In our second project for the pharmaceutical company BTG, we were tasked with the decommissioning of a their research and manufacturing operation in Alzenau, Germany — the functions of which were being relocated to the UK.
Based on the successful completion of an earlier project for the client, we were invited to tender (and won the contract) in 2017. The contract required the sensitive extraction of the client’s plant and facilities from a building which, housing other companies beside BTG, remained in use throughout our works.
The main aspect of this job was the decommissioning of a large, multi-chamber cleanroom on the ground floor of the facility alongside ancillary plant housed above it on the first floor. In addition to this we safely packaged and transfer a significant quantity of equipment to the UK for the client, even storing some of it temporarily on their behalf at our own UK warehouse.
By working alongside the site’s landlord from the outset, we were able to massively reduce the back-end cost of BTGs ‘full repairs’ lease by developing a scope of works with all parties which prepared the premises for its next use.
With an annual revenue of £45 billion, INEOS ranks amongst the largest petrochemical corporations in the world. In 2015, the company was preparing to move out of a PVC manufacturing facility in Swindon. Due to the nature and use of the site, the project was especially complex with specialised equipment needing to be moved securely to a new location in Durham.
Having been invited to tender, Hidden Assets proposed a time and cost-effective solution for the safe removal of equipment, systems and chemical waste — and won the contract by a wide margin. We subsequently completed works well within our deadline leaving the site empty and swept-clean in time for INEOS’s handover of the premises back to its landlord.
Early on, we sought to negotiate with the site’s landlord to understand their requirements of the site once INEOS vacated. Our schedule of works was then designed not only to extract INEOS’s operation from site, but also fulfil the repairs aspect of their lease.
A significant quantity of the equipment at the Swindon Site required moving to a new facility. As such, we decommissioned, dismantled, packaged and transported a range of large and high-value assets to the client’s new location.
As the site was scheduled for reuse rather than demolition, we conducted a soft strip of all the remaining plant and equipment whilst maintaining essential services to the building.
We removed areas of concrete slab and foundation to allow remediation to take place underneath as contamination is localised.
We carried out schedule of remediation works which included: Digging out contaminated substructures, testing and disposing of contaminated materials, retesting to establish acceptable levels and backfilling to make-good concrete floors.