Hughes and Salvidge have been engaged in Airport projects since the early 1990s, providing specialist demolition, dismantling and strip out services to both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. We are the only demolition contractor to have a permanent on-site presence at Heathrow Airport.

We have worked on a wide range of Airport projects, both airside and landside, and have an extensive portfolio of successfully completed projects. Our success in this sector is down to our experience, outstanding main contractor relationships and meeting client expectations. Our clients value our expert management of service clearances, traffic logistics, waste management, health and safety and environmental controls.

Heathrow airport demolition

A small strip out in a gate room for Heathrow Airport Ltd led to the award of our first significant airport project – the demolition of Tristar House. This high-profile project elevated Hughes and Salvidge’s profile at Heathrow and a £3.2million contract from BAA/Mace soon followed. This involved the demolition of several buildings and structures, including a 12-storey administration building. Adhering to a strict project programme, we allocated extra resources of demolition plant to accelerate the project and achieved a net gain of 5 weeks. This reduced project timescale also heightened our approach to waste streaming and demolition arisings were sorted and recycled at a rate of 97%.

Flagship projects at Heathrow for Hughes and Salvidge now include the demolition of the Old Control Tower and the demolition of the Europier. The Old Control Tower was an iconic 9-storey building and was demolished to make way for the Terminal 2 redevelopment. The building had HTHW (high temperature hot water) mains running in ducts under the entire structure, including the footprint of the tower which added an extra area for protection to the project.

We illustrated our innovation in the demolition of the Europier as we devised an alternative method of deconstruction. Instead of dismantling the pier section by section we lifted the entire roof section by crane at night, for processing on the apron level during the day. We identified that working at night was a quicker and more cost-effective option. The result was a programme saving of 2 weeks on a 20-week programme.

Airport demolition experience

Our vast experience at the Airports means we understand the stringent controls and constraints that apply in this environment. We know that Foreign Object Debris (FOD) control is a primary concern. The public and other contractors are protected from our demolition works by barriers/site boundaries and Heras fencing fixed with debris netting to minimise the escape of any FOD. The works vicinity and compound are cleaned by operatives daily and frequent inspections are carried out, preventing the release of any debris. Any waste produced is kept strictly within skips, with covers placed over.

All demolition and construction programmes for Airport projects are time and cost critical. Hughes and Salvidge regularly adapt our ways of working to accommodate this and surpass client needs.