St Thomas' hospital, London

Essential works to leading hospital building included removing asbestos
With a tight schedule and a successful working partnership over several years, GRS was contracted to undertake essential work to the east wing tower block of St Thomas’, the world-renowned hospital.

For many years, the facade of the building had been encapsulated with monoflex sheeting secured onto fixed scaffolding to stop water ingress – this problem had even been debated in the House of Lords.

The contract, valued at over £100,000, spanned three months and was completed by GRS two weeks ahead of schedule. The project required the removal and replacement of dilapidated sealant to the perimeter of the window frames located in the tower, for both opening and fixed lights, expansion joints, spandrel panels and joints in between slate panelling.  

Asbestos surveyed and removed
A pre-project survey had highlighted the presence of Chrysotile asbestos in the slate-to-slate panel sealant, which required careful treatment and removal. With many years’ experience of sourcing the presence of asbestos and subsequent safe removal, GRS  removed and disposed of the potentially lethal asbestos to a licensed land-fill site. The GRS asbestos team are fully trained and worked under guidance from the ‘Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006’, HSE Guidance note 37 ‘asbestos essentials’, and the ‘Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005’. to ensure the safety of all personnel.   

GRS supplied all the man-power, products and sealants, as well as access power cradles and pre-fabricated scaffolding landing decks to gain access to the 12 storey building. The location of air conditioning ducting and fans to the exterior of the building required the erection of protective scaffolding around these essential items without disturbing operations. Additionally, GRS provided fully trained cradle operators to allow the building to be externally surveyed by the client’s representatives.

The GRS team also ensured the east wing was safe-guarded against lightning strikes by removing and re-fitting the lightning conductor strip, positioned along the perimeter of the roof, to gain access to the copings so they could be re-secured and sealed with mastic.  

Completing the project required re-fixing stainless steel flashings to the facade between the repaired windows and replacing missing slate panelling.  

This complicated, multi-disciplinary project required a high level of project management to ensure it complied with all health and safety regulations - completing the works two weeks before schedule provided an  unexpected bonus, allowing the hospital to finally remove the ‘much debated’ monoflex sheeting and provide patients and staff with the glorious views of Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament and the River Thames, for which they had been deprived of for many years.


Services provided

St. Thomas Hospital, London

Contract value:

February to April 2009