UK first as Glasgow multi-storeys are demolished using ‘TopDownWay’ technology

Tenant Marion Copeland with GHA chair Gordon Sloan and Tracy Sinclair of Safedem
Tenant Marion Copeland with GHA chair Gordon Sloan and Tracy Sinclair of Safedem

Scotland’s tallest residential multi-storeys have been brought down in a first for the UK demolition industry.

GHA’s Whitevale and Bluevale flats in Glasgow’s Gallowgate area were reduced from 31-storeys using a brand new deconstruction method.

The ‘TopDownWay’ technology – which had been previously used only in France – avoided the need for full-height scaffolding on the 85-metre tall buildings.

A platform on top of the building allowed demolition staff to remove walls and floors piece by piece while keeping dust, noise and vibration to a minimum.

Once work on each floor was complete, the platform descended to the next storey until it reached the lower levels. The remaining storeys will be demolished using traditional demolition machinery.

GHA, Scotland’s biggest social landlord, demolition specialist Safedem, Italian-based Despe and C&D Consultancy were recognised at the World Demolition Awards for their work at the Gallowgate, picking up the Collaboration Award.

Gallowgate is one of the areas identified as a priority for regeneration by Transforming Communities: Glasgow (TC:G), a partnership between GHA, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government. GHA is currently in discussions with strategic partners and the community to agree future plans for the area.

Bluevale and Whitevale were regarded as Scotland’s tallest residential buildings when they were built in 1969.

GHA chair Gordon Sloan said: “We’re delighted to be pioneers for the demolition industry in the UK. The deconstruction was safe, quick and clean. The deconstruction also minimised any disruption to the community.”

Safedem managing director, William Sinclair, added: “We carefully assess every project before developing the safest and most appropriate method of demolition. The ‘TopDownWay’ is an innovative system designed for the deconstruction of high-rise structures in close proximity to nearby properties.

“This really has been a huge team effort to bring this new and exciting system to the UK and to the Gallowgate. We are delighted the exceptional teamwork on this project has resulted in winning the Collaboration Award.”

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