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A bank vault, that once stored money and other precious items, needed diamond cutting technology to see its safe removal.
Simply Wines, a Reading-based wine merchant, purchased a property on Pangbourne High Street that was formerly a branch of NatWest Bank.
The purchase was part of the wine merchant’s planned expansion but in order to turn the property into a retail unit, the company needed to remove the existing bank vault.
Experts from D-Drill’s London and South office were called in to discuss the options to ensure minimal disruption – including to other businesses along the busy High Street.
John Barber, of D-Drill, said: “The vault was constructed of 700mm thick heavily reinforced concrete and was designed to be impregnable!
“It also fronted the busy High Street which meant there were going to be other constraints when it came to removing the vault, not least making it a sensitive, safe working environment.”
After carrying out a full site survey, John advised that a 415v 3 Phase Electric Diamond wire saw was combined with a remote controlled robotic demolition machine, Brokk 90, to remove the vault.
“That meant no fumes or health risk,” he said. “The wire saw offers many advantages as compared with a traditional track saw, especially as the rate of cutting can be as quick as one metre squared per hour.
“Overcutting was prohibited to ensure that the remaining structural integrity was maintained and the whole job was powered by our own, independent 415v 3 Phase temporary power supply.”
Thanks to D-Drill’s expertise, the vault was removed in three sections in the space of just a week.
Simply Wines now has a valuable retail sales space with direct access from the High Street.
John said: “We were absolutely delighted to carry out such a complex task on time and on budget, especially when there were so many constraints.
“The client also implemented a total recycling ethos so a large percentage of the waste was removed by licensed carriers to minimise the impact on the environment.”
He added: “We had hoped that we might find one or two jewels or gems that had been left behind in the vault but the only diamonds on show were inside our specialist cutting equipment!”
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