Client: Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust

Location: London SE18

Duration: 6 months

Clifford Devlin was commissioned to facilitate access to the Hospital's underground service tunnels which were contaminated with damaged asbestos-containing insulation and debris. The Trust's maintenance team needed to have 24-hour access for inspections and emergencies.

The project was organised into two distinct phases. Firstly, we were appointed to establish visibility of the ducting system to the Facilities Dept. We installed an air-tight enclosure fitted with airlocks to allow CCTV equipment to be set-up to allow inspections of the area to be carried out remotely.

We were retained to devise and deliver a semi-permanent solution to allow access to the tunnels. This involved remediating 500 linear metres of ducting and basement below the Hospital under fully-controlled conditions. Specialist removal operatives cleaned and repaired over 7000 metres of pipework insulation and 1100 metres of cable bundles.

Following this 3,300 sqm of walls and floors of the tunnels and basements were environmentally cleaned to remove dust or debris and encapsulated. Seals were installed to close any openings to ancillary corridors and unsealed brickwork surfaces were encapsulated with ET150 sealant. All operatives had confined-space training and enhanced air-management was used during removal operations to mitigate heat-stress with damaged insulation to steam pipes being the first items for repair.

As Principal Contractor, Clifford Devlin was responsible for managing and implementing service isolations and disconnections which were planned in liaison with the Hospital's Facilities  Department. The works were conducted while the Hospital remained fully operational at all times.

A central compound was created to locate our decontamination units, lockable skip, welfare facilities and vehicles. Transit routes to allow our operatives to access the underground ducts via the various ground level access points were planned and agreed in advance with the Facilities Team always maintaining operations outside the operational clinical areas of the hospital.