The Shell Centre was constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine between 1957 and 1962 with Gardiner & Theobald LLP as the QS — a design by Sir Howard Robertson. The tower stands at 107 metres (351 ft), 27 storeys with 3 storeys below ground, and it was the first London office tower to exceed the height of the Victoria Tower of the Palace of Westminster.
In July 2011, Shell announced that a joint venture of Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar had bought a virtual freehold (a 999-year lease) on the Shell Centre for £300m, including a plan to redevelop the site. The tower was to be left in place with the rest of the site replaced by a new scheme of offices, shops and restaurants. The new development is called ‘Southbank Place’.
The £1.4m project for Overbury brought specific challenges such as undertaking the abatement of asbestos in a 25-storey building whilst 75% of the building remained occupied. Key to the success of delivery was our management of stakeholders allowing the unhindered progress of our work.
Part of its major refurbishment, as the building was undergoing a split phase that included the full refurbishment of services, wall finishes, internal layout fixtures and fittings, was to tackle the asbestos-containing material within ceiling voids and in risers. Decontaminate delivered all asbestos-containing material removal works under fully controlled conditions requiring in excess of 80 operatives working across 20 live enclosures at any one time.