PM1 Papermill

Demolition project background

Our Clients’ paper mill produces approximately 250,000 tonnes of paper products per year and employ 170 staff from the local area.

As part of an improvement programme, DDS were awarded the contract to demolish the PM1 paper machine buildings to facilitate the construction of the state-of-the-art PM9 paper mill.


  • Set up site welfare and demarcate the working area from the rest of the live mill environment.
  • Remove all asbestos containing materials within the Cutter House, Coater House, Preparation plant House and Machine House structures.
  • Soft strip buildings of all rubbish, plasterboard, fixtures fitting and non-load bearing structures to enable the more efficient processing of demolition concrete and hardcore (all combustible materials are removed and contamination of the hardcore is minimised).
  • Using mechanical methods, progressively demolish:
    • The Cutter House
    • The Coater House
    • The Machine Hall
    • Preparation Plant House
  • Erect monarflex enclosed working scaffold to encapsulate external high-level pipe gantry.
  • Strip all asbestos lagging to external high-level steam pipes.
  • Using piece meal methods, progressively dismantle:
    • High level steam pipes and supporting gantry structures.
    • Multiple Storage Tanks.
    • Starch Silo.
  • Break out suspended ground floor slab.
  • Remove pile caps, crop piles and excavate site to +3.1m OD.
  • Remediate identified area of soil known to be contaminated with hydrocarbons.
  • Backfill voids with crushed demolition arisings to an engineered specification.
  • Regulated levels to formation levels +3.9m OD using site won made ground.

Achievements and Successes

  • Prior to commencing on site, DDS were required to undertake risk reviews meeting to satisfy the client of the suitability and effectiveness of DDS Demolition’s safe systems of working within a mill environment.
  • Working in a live mill environment placed additional considerations on the DDS team; a bespoke traffic management plan was installed which had to integrate with the mills existing traffic management system.
  • When excavating the soil underneath the ground floor slab, area’s containing suspected unidentified contamination were discovered in three separate areas. DDS quarantined each area while testing was carried out, and subsequently worked with the client to determine the most suitable remediation strategy.
  • Background air monitoring was carried out while the asbestos cement sheeting was removed to confirm that airborne asbestos particles were not placing DDS or Paper Mill operatives at risk.
  • DDS reused 6500m3 of crushed demolition arisings in the new development, vastly improving the site recycling rate and carbon footprint (through the reduction of waste vehicle movements).
  • Due to a change in the Mills production programme a large amount of plant remained live within the structures to be demolished, DDS had had to co-ordinate the works to enable the Mills personnel to access various areas throughout the demolition progress 24/7, this involved installation of additional protective scaffold systems and site control management systems to insure that both the demolition program and the Mill’s production could be maintained throughout.
  • Following successful completion of the original demolition package, DDS were awarded the contract to form the piling matt to the following specification:
    • 8500m2 of piling platform at 550mm
    • Two layers of TX160 Geo-grid, one at the base and one at 300mm.
    • Compacted to a highways specification.
    • Sand replacement density tests on all levels, all exceeding 95%.
    • Plate bearing tests on the final compacted level.