Manchester Arena Basement Demolition, Mansford LLP, Manchester

The Client

Mansford LLP

The Challenge

Although the Manchester Arena is the largest indoor arena in Europe and attracts over one million visitors each year, our client wishes to further develop its asset by transforming the currently unused lower level of basement into a lettable space.
Sounds easy enough…However, there was no natural access to the space, other than the goods lift. The new tenant of the space requires the floor plate to be largely uninterrupted by columns, existing services or changes in level. The Arena is to remain fully operation throughout the demolition and strip out.

The Solution

As we had planned, our only option for access to the Arena, was to cut a 3mx 7m hole in the NCP car park ground level deck. All necessary plant and materials were lifted down via cranes and forklift.

The basement was divided, via a change in level, between an unused storage area and an office complex. We began to merge the two spaces by decommissioning existing services, without compromising the live parts of the Arena. This included a live server room within our demolition area. We then fully demolished the office complex. This included cutting approximately 575sqm of concrete, insulation and reinforcement forming a raised slab out, so that the new space was on one level and removing 140mm dense concrete block walls over 3m high. Additionally, we installed new structural steelwork, so that 3no. existing reinforced concrete columns supporting the seven storey NCP car park above could be removed to open sections of the space for the new go-kart track.

All our demolition waste was lifted, on pallets via a fork lift, out of the hole in the basement up to the car park deck, where another forklift tracked the waste to a large skip near to the entrance of the car park. We were unable to allow access for the skip wagons into the main car park due to limited head height and the bearing capacity of the ground level car park deck. The basement forklift had to be fully dismantled to be transported via a goods lift into and out of the basement.

Our waste included:

  • 149tonnes of general building waste, or which 96tonnes were recycled, 50tonnes were recovered and only 3tonnes went to landfill
  • 560tonnes of reinforced concrete which was all recycled

The Result

As we had carefully considered all logistical aspects of the project before we began, the project progressed very smoothly.
Our calculation on the amount of waste to be disposed of was 700tonnes and our estimate of how long it would take to complete the work was accurate.
We completed on time, on budget and left the space as required by the client.


“Urbanise are organised, responsive and professional. They have worked with us to initially undertake investigations to determine existing structural configurations and have helped develop structural solutions that are buildable and practical within the restrictions of existing tenanted buildings. They communicate well with their subcontractors to develop good quality construction level information and have undertaken complex structural works accurately, in line with the specifications and with minimal snagging.”  Paul Matthewman, Acies Group Ltd

The Urbanise team performed well on a technically difficult project carried out in very restrictive working conditions. The property has multi-occupants and is in use in some fashion almost 24 hours a day. They carried out the works with respect to other users and communicating throughout with occupiers, visitors and the on-site FM team. The works, which included some major structural aspects were completed on time and on budget. We were very impressed with their ability to work with us and respond to the challenges the scheme presented.”  Michael J Robinson, Director, In4m Property Consultants Ltd

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