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Old Trafford Diamond Drilling Project

North West
Buckingham Group

The project brief

One of our larger projects was our involvement in the recent 11 million pound refurbishment of Old Trafford, home to Manchester United Football Club. We were chosen to work on “Project Olivia” for Buckinghams Group and had a number of different jobs to complete for this 9-month project. These involved: creating core holes for services, demolition, reducing lift shaft heights, cutting wall chases and levelling the floors among other jobs. This project allowed us to use a variety of our skills as a team to achieve the desired outcome for our client. 

Throughout the project, we were often required to work to tight deadlines but continued to remain reliable, punctual and tidy to meet our client’s needs. Providing our customers with excellent, reliable service is always our top priority, and has been since we began in 1992. 

The large scale of this project meant that we provided a wide range of services including diamond drilling, floor sawing, brokk demolition, floor grinding and sealing and wall and wire sawing. 

Diamond Drilling

Diamond drilling is an incredibly precise way of cutting through tough surfaces including concrete and brick. Commonly used in construction to cut through walls, floors, slabs and panels, the process is a form of core drilling that uses diamond-tipped drill bits. Being the hardest naturally occurring material available makes diamonds an excellent cutting tool, as they can get through most surfaces cleanly and accurately, making them the ideal choice for this job. 

This particular project at Old Trafford involved using diamond drilling to create the precise, clean-cut holes required for new cables and pipes to go through the walls. Our work caused minimal disruption and allowed new electrical wires and utility pipes and plumbing to be installed throughout the area. Unlike other forms of drilling and cutting, diamond drilling produces less dust, vibrations and noise, meaning that a clean-cut job can be achieved whilst maintaining the structural integrity of a building. This was necessary for the requirements of this large project.

Core drilling was also used to cut through manholes. This process involved using a larger, hollow drill of cylindrical shape with diamond tips to accurately remove the core from a tough surface. 

Brokk Demolition

With any large-scale construction project, it is likely that demolition will be required at some point. We used Brokk demolition robots for this project as they are efficient, easy to manoeuvre and safe for the operator due to their remote-control function. Whilst Brokk demolition robots are more compact than alternatives available, they are actually incredibly powerful and suited to “Project Olivia” well as they are easy to transport, can work in compact spaces and can climb stairs when required. This worked well for the requirements of our client and made for safe and speedy demolition. 

Floor Sawing

For this project, floor sawing was used to create trenches in the yard area of the site,

which would then be used for plumbing and other services to run through. Our floor sawing machine uses a spinning motion and a diamond-tipped blade which can cut accurate, straight lines through various tough materials.

This process involved first marking the area where the cuts were needed and using strong water supply to ensure that minimal dust was produced, which is key for the safety of the team and the general cleanliness of the area. The usage of water kept the blades of the machine cool when large amounts of friction occurred, which helps to reduce damage to the tools and keeps them strong. Once the area was marked and dampened, initial shallow cuts were then made to ensure accuracy, before we proceeded with the deeper cuts to achieve the trench depth required for the services to run through.

Hand sawing equipment was also used during this project to level the floor ready for new tiles to be put down, again to achieve an accurate and polished finish for our client ready for the next stage of the process.

Floor Grinding and Scabbling

Though some hand sawing was used to help level the floor ready for the new tiling, floor grinding and scabbling were also used to prep the floor further. Tiles placed on uneven floors are more likely to crack and wear, and this could prove to be a safety hazard for those visiting the venue. Ensuring that this met regulation was of extreme importance for guest safety.


The grinding process was to lower any remaining high spots left on the flooring to the same level, and this was achieved using our diamond floor grinder. This machine has discs that rotate at speed to buff away any bumps on the floor and achieve an even surface. Floor scabbling was also used to safely remove all paints, rust, contaminants and adhesives from the area before the new flooring was installed. 

Wall Sawing

Various types of wall sawing were used throughout this project to reduce the heights of various walls, fit barriers for the disability-accessible area and to fit the brackets for the new lift. 

We used track sawing to alter wall heights throughout the area, and these tools achieved the smooth, accurate cuts desired for the project. Our track saws have circular, diamond-tipped blades which run on a track to get the desired cuts quickly and precisely, making them an effective tool for the job.

A combination of hand and track sawing was then used to fit the barriers needed for the new disabled area, and to secure the brackets for the lift to access the area. This area was all installed with accessibility and comfort in mind for Old Trafford’s disabled guests. 

So, what did the client think?

Buckinghams Group were extremely impressed with our work as we were reliable, tidy and efficient throughout our work on the project and achieved the desired outcome. This was a fantastic experience for the entire team at DP Diamond Drilling, and it was great to know that our work would have a positive impact on Old Trafford’s disabled guests as we assisted with the construction of the newly accessible area.