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News: 1 July 2024

Innovate UK project with HTS+: testing concrete-encased steel from the 1950s for direct reuse

Our in-house innovation and research team HTS+ have published a report on ‘testing concrete-encased steel from the 1950s for direct reuse’. This project was supported by Innovate UK in the Circular Economy for SMEs – innovating with the NICER Programme.

This is the product of our first collaboration with Innovate UK, the UK’s leading innovation agency driving productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas.

It is estimated that half the steel in London’s buildings is encased in concrete. The HTS+ team set out to understand the possibilities of justifying the encased steel for reclamation and reuse on site, with Grosvenor and John F Hunt.

It was a novel process on site, with important lessons learnt, given the work involved and the resulting quality of the steel once extracted. Whilst difficult to justify for reclamation and reuse, we hope as the steel reuse environment matures, reclaiming elements from such conditions could become more realistic in future.

Of ten beams reclaimed, three were damaged beyond reuse during reclamation, and four had non-critical damage but still beyond what is permitted in design codes for new steel. These beams could still be reusable for a specific function following evaluation from a structural engineer. Three of ten were undamaged, highlighting the importance of careful handling.

Thank you to Innovate UK for the funding and to the redevelopment team for the support:

Client: Grosvenor 

Project Manager: Gardiner & Theobald

Demolition Contractor: John F Hunt

If you’d like to receive a copy of the full report, please send an email to:




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