Bexley Hospital

Demolition project background

Following an intensive tender period, DDS were awarded the demolition of the former Mental Hospital at Bexley. The notorious asylum was one of the largest of it’s kind. However declining patient numbers and increasing maintenance costs lead to its sale, and eventual redevelopment.

The main hospital had 18 wards with a further 3 external villas, 32 medium and long stay wards in the main hospital and 6 acute admission wards. The Heath Asylum, like others throughout the country, was designed to be as self sufficient as possible, a self contained community. Up until 1961 the hospital had within its grounds a fully functional farm, complete with livestock including cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens and ducks, and a generous market garden supplying fresh vegetables. A large Chapel, designed to seat 850 people, was commissioned soon after the hospital opened.


  • Liaising with the clients, isolate/disconnect all services to the building.
  • De-commission Boiler/Heater System
  • High volumes of Asbestos Containing Materials to be removed from all buildings.
  • Excavate and remove all asbestos from service ducts and remediate subsequent voids back up to existing site levels.
  • In a safe and environmentally friendly manner, demolish all structures down to existing slab level.
  • Break out all hard standings and foundations to a depth of 1.5m
  • Coordinate to blowdown of a 120ft Water Tower.

Achievements and Successes

  • Successfully coordinated the blowdown of the Water Tower while managing to keep an electrical substation in close proximity live throughout the works. DDS carefully liaised with the specialist to ensure the sequencing design brought down the structure in a safe direction.
  • The site was situated in close proximity to a live school, a live hospital and a residential estate. DDS managed to complete all works, including the blowdown, with zero complaints, and without having to evacuate any occupants.
  • DDS maximised the site recycling rate by capitalising on reclamation opportunities. DDS salvaged roof tiles, timber, numerous spot items and 1.2million bricks. In addition to the benefits to the Environment and sustainability, this also increased the financial efficiency of the project to the benefit of the client.
  • Project delivered to programme and to budget
  • Complete Client Satisfaction