buildings, including a historic church, helped verify their pre- and post-blast
conditions. Area businesses and churches also were notified in advance to make
sure their buildings would be vacant during demolition.
The team took careful steps to identify—and overcome—several obstacles.
For instance, the project team quickly determined the demolition site was too
small to crush rubble on-site. It was the preferred approach, because some
rubble would be reused during construction. So the team scooped into its contingency budget to cover costs to recycle the rubble off-site—then bring it back.
The blast was designed so that exerted energy and debris would push north
and south into open air rather than into structures that sat just 5 meters ( 16
feet) east and west of the building. Neighboring buildings also were also covered
to minimize any potential damage from possible debris and reduce shock to surrounding windows. Vibration monitors were set up to measure the impact of
the blast and assess any potential damage to surrounding buildings. Crews also
inspected all surrounding abandoned buildings a few hours before the implosion
to evacuate any homeless people using the spaces for shelter.
“Constant communication and interaction with your direct site
management are key to completing demolition projects safely and
on time so the space is ready for the next phase,” Mr. Piper says.
Early engagement with contractors and deeply researched planning drive project success, says Ian Beaumont, project director
for the £ 6 million demolition of the Milburngate House building
in Durham City, England. “We undertake extensive contractor
engagement early in the process, with the contractor in effect
joining the design team,” Mr. Beaumont says.
Mr. Beaumont said his team’s work began with surveys of the
site’s conditions, noise and air quality, as well as a detailed investigation of how the building was constructed. All of this knowledge
helps guide the demolition plans and ensures the building will be
removed safely by the scheduled January 2018 completion date.
The team found archival photos of the construction site and supplemented that with its own investigation of the site “to develop
the optimum way to demolish the building,” he says.
Demolition projects typically have a complex range of stakeholders beyond
engagement early in the
—Ian Beaumont, project director of the
demolition of the Milburngate House building in
Durham City, England, below