Sir Thomas Fairchild School

Demolition project background

Following a major fire, Sir Thomas Fairchild School was deemed structurally unsafe. McLaren Construction was awarded the contract to build a replacement facility, following the demolition of the existing building.


  • Adapt existing supporting scaffolding to comply with regulations for a working scaffold.
  • Erect independent scaffold to end of Caretaker’s House and music block
  • Enclose scaffolding with debris netting
  • Soft strip buildings
  • Carefully demolish structures – Main Building, Caretaker’s House, Music School down to underside of lowest slab level and remove foundations to 1.5m in depth
  • Board up and temporary weatherproof openings into Children’s Centre
  • Protect and temporary weatherproof transformer room
  • Salvage items where detailed (i.e. stonework, top of fencing)
  • Break out basements level slabs to a depth 0.2m and foundations to 1.5m in depth
  • Remove all demolition, rubbish and soft strip materials arising

Achievements & Successes

  • Due to a short lead in period for McLaren Construction, a quick tender process was required from all demolition contractors followed by quick site mobilisation. DDS identified a key cost saving initiative in purchasing the existing scaffold and getting out own key supply chain partners to strike it. No other demolition contractor applied this solution, enabling us to provide a more commercially benefitting solution to McLaren Construction.
  • The structural instability of the building required a completely bespoke approach to the contract. Numerous area’s had to be segregated, and a carefully thought out programme and demolition sequence was developed to disassemble the structure without compromising the identified high risk area’s collapse.
  • Despite extensive fire damage, DDS managed to reclaim over 200,000 bricks which were recycled back into the industry.
  • The tight overall programme meant the time allocated to the demolition phase was short; DDS still managed to deliver the project within the agreed timescales, much to the client’s satisfaction.