Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey

Careys was awarded a package of works for the asbestos removal, demolition and enabling works at the Johnson Matthey 3CR speciality chemicals and sustainable technologies company in Royston.


Johnson Matthey Chemical Products



Principal Contractor


The site is classified as COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) Upper Tier, meaning it houses a large hazardous inventory. The industrial facility remained live and operational throughout the duration of our works in 2019 to demolish the Western Building on the site.

Safe demolition of laboratories connected to live work spaces

Following the refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey and removal of any hazardous material, we commenced demolition and enabling works, including removal of the ground floor slab and foundations. We safely demolished a series of laboratories which were connected to live laboratory workspaces and offices.

To complicate the works further, a pipe bridge containing numerous pressurised and hazardous substances ran across the roof of the structure needed to be demolished and had to be re-supported on temporary works through the demolition zone. The temporary works were designed by our in-house design team - in conjunction with the client’s engineers - to become part of the new building structure, minimising both cost and the need for re-supporting the bridge later.

Hand demolition required to safely remove structures

A floor saw was used to cut a slot through the existing slab next to the building to be retained to minimise noise and vibration transmission. Water sprays from a jet wash and a fog cannon were used at all times to control dust emissions. In the rooms under the pipe bridge, sections of concrete slab were cut out at designed locations, again using a powered floor saw to minimise transmission of vibration and noise.

By working to our permits system, using hand demolition and closely coordinating the installation of the temporary works with the demolition, we safely removed the structures with no loss of service from any of the service lines on the roof, maintaining uninterrupted supply for the facilities’ production lines.

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