R Collard’s demolition team is rewarded for exemplary community relations during the demolition of Bristol’s iconic Frenchay Hospital

Demolition contractor, R Collard Ltd collected a Gold award at the Considerate Constructors National Site Awards held at Plaisterers Hall in London in April this year for its work at the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.  It was reward for a carefully thought-out and implemented strategy to carry out the demolition of the iconic Hospital in Bristol while respecting the concerns and environment of those living in the immediate vicinity.

The former Second World War hospital was decommissioned in 2015 ready for demolition in 2016 with planning permission granted to North Bristol NHS Trust to build 490 homes, a school and a clinic on the site. Well known by the local population as the home of American forces during the Second World War, for its work in neuroscience and brain injuries and the Intensive Care Unit it was important that the concerns of the local community were met with every consideration.

R Collard won a competitive tender largely for its sympathetic demolition specification and its proposed approach to working with those who live and work in the immediate areas surrounding the 82-acre site.  The tender itemised procedures that the company would incorporate during the work which included installing information centres around the site, displaying posters with company contact numbers should passers-by wish to comment and a four-weekly look ahead letter to local residents keeping them up to speed with progress onsite.  

Systems were set up to measure ground vibrations and air quality linked to a text alert system to the residents’ association and school should they exceed acceptable limits, which they never did.  Dust emissions were minimised by dust suppression systems onsite during the works.  Additionally, roads were swept every day and an offer was put out to residents that R Collard would pay for their car to be washed by the local car wash should it get dusty from the works.  Again, no one needed to take them up on this offer.

“You can use your imagination and come up with ideas to make best use of the unique situation created by a demolition project of this size,” said Martin Hurley, R Collard’s Demolition Contracts Manager.  “We offered up the site to Special Forces teams for training – with 82 acres available there was always going to be plenty of space where we were not working that could be used for one-off exercises.  We had 400 armed police officers, 60 of the urban search teams and 60 counter terrorism personnel’s running various training operations over the duration of the scheme.”

“We also offered the site to the HSE for training after their safety inspection of the operation.  Although they didn’t take us up on that offer they were hugely impressed by our approach to health and safety which was acknowledged by the Considerate Constructors Scheme.”

Managing Director, Robert Collard had nothing but praise for the site team Messrs Evans, Hurley and Bettles: “I had complete confidence in the team, Frenchay was one of the biggest demolition projects R Collard has ever undertaken but it was approached with our usual attention to every element, following a plan that methodically identified tasks and timelines in precise detail. That plan also prioritised how we could benefit the local community and the wider population and I am pleased that Considerate Constructors recognised that.”

The Considerate Constructors Scheme was created in the 1990s to improve the image of the construction industry by encouraging construction sites and companies to present an image of competence, efficiency, awareness of environmental issues and neighbourliness becoming a positive advertisement for themselves and the industry. The National Site Awards are one of the highlights of the industry year and an annual opportunity for the Scheme to celebrate and reward the UK’s most considerate sites.



8th May 2017

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