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Geographical Regions Covered by Squibb Group

Runwell Hospital

  • Project Status: Complete
  • Location: Basildon, Essex
  • Client: Homes and Communities Agency


Squibb Group won a competitive tender to demolish the defunct 1940s Runwell Mental Institution occupying a 200 acre site. Working in close collaboration with the Client, Mott MacDonald, we developed a comprehensive and technically capable demolition strategy which was a requisite because of the sensitive ecological nature of the site.

Because of this, there was a substantial ecological consultation process as the site lies within a densely landscaped area.

Before the demolition phase of the works could begin, there was a need to identify and remove all residual Asbestos from the condemned buildings. The quantity of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) to be handled and eventually removed was measured at 315 tonnes. With the Asbestos removed and clearance certificates obtained, the buildings were stripped of their interior fixtures and fittings.

An in-depth demolition survey was commissioned and this informed the production of the demolition plan and numerous method statements as well as associated risk assessments. This analytical approach facilitated a highly technical response, meeting all of the environmental and commercial objectives presented by the project.


  • ‘hap-hazard’ nature of the hospital’s growth presented randomly placed structures from different eras that required varied demolition approach.
  • Works executed over live electric and water services supplying new adjacent hospital.
  • Substantial ecological assessments needed

How we made a difference

Strict rules were enforced for the control of noise pollution whereby machines were unable to start their engines until 8am and were terminated at 6pm. Ten noise level monitoring points were set up around the perimeter site as agreed with the Client and were checked every day at various times.

All of the high reach excavators were equipped with dust suppression water jets to minimise air pollution and a sprinkler system installed at each of the process loading areas. Operatives were constantly employed to wash and sweep the roadway, keeping the areas as clean as possible. Three phased electric robotic Brokk machines fitted with both Hydraulic breaker & cracker attachments were used, thus overcoming the issues of times and noise pollution within the various confined spaces.