Wheelhouse Stockport – Facade Retention

Demolition sequencing and facade retention design to enable the restoration of a historic grade II listed riverside wheelhouse in Stockport, with significant access and sequencing constraints.

Principal Contractor: John Sisk

Demolition Contractor: Forshaw Demolition

Project Scope

AEC provided the demolition sequencing, facade retention and associated temporary works designs and engineering support that allowed for the restoration of a historic grade II listed riverside wheelhouse in Stockport with significant access and sequencing constraints.

Project Constraints

There were a number of constraints that impacted the design and sequencing of the facade restraint:

  • The structure sits partially in the river, meaning that access to install temporary works is heavily restricted. It also dictates the type of facade retention.
  • The poor condition of the existing structure meant that safe access inside the structure to install any propping was not possible.
  • The existing roof structure had partially collapsed, damaging a section of the exterior wall and posing a hazard for the roof removal sequence.
  • Access was only possible via man-riding baskets from cranes or MEWPs, which sat on the adjacent bridge. This meant that the restraint system had to use man handleable components.

Demolition Methodology

The facade retention methodology for this project was to use the existing shear walls within the structure to transfer the load down to the ground. RMD superslim props were used to clamp the exterior walls – internal braces were used to achieve this.

In order to install the system safely, the installation was phased with the demolition works. The first phase of the sequence was to strap all cracks that were present on the exterior wall and to install the exterior facade members. 

Once these were installed, additional ties and restraints were added to the damaged roof trusses to minimise the chance of failure. 

The roof was then removed, allowing the top level of internal restraint to be installed fully. The next floor was then removed, allowing for the next level of restraint to be fully installed. This was then repeated down the structure.

The demolition was completed by a man-riding basket with the exception of the trusses that were to be removed by a crane.

3D image of Facade Retention from the scheme drawings:

Typical Plan View of Facade Retention from the scheme drawings:

Project Outcome

The facade retention and demolition of this scheme has now been completed. The structure is now braced up for restoration. 

Once completed, the space is set to be home to the resident’s lounge with a co-working space and gym. There’s no doubt it will be packed with original character and charm.⁠