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Inspirational result…

AR Demolition named among “1,000 companies to inspire Britain”.

AR Demolition been named in a prestigious report celebrating the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The ‘1000 Companies To Inspire Britain’ report is released annually by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and 2018 is the fifth year it has been published.

To qualify this year, companies had to have revenue of between £6 million and £250 million, be operating for at least three years and be among the fastest-growing in their industry sector.

Calculations were weighted to favour latest-year growth and any company with more than 20 per cent deterioration in net assets over the past three years was excluded.

With growth at AR Demolition escalating turnover to £16 million in 2017, managing director Richard Dolman said he was proud for his company to be included.

“It’s a great feather in the cap for the company and a real fillip for all at AR Demolition to see us included in such a prestigious list. We’ve worked hard over the past few years to set ourselves apart from our competition, creating something different from the typical demolition company and trying to build a business for the future. So it’s great to see that being officially marked by those outside the business,” Dolman says. “Turnover this year is looking to be at record levels for us and we’ll know more on that soon. In the meantime, we also have some exciting initiatives in the pipeline, as well as some significant investments, which will further develop the foundation for our future.”

AR Demolition was congratulated for its appearance in the report by David Tredinnick, MP for Bosworth, who visited the company in 2016 and said he was delighted to see evidence of its progress since then. “It is fantastic news that AR Demolition, a local company and employer, has been included on the LSEG’s flagship Companies to Inspire Britain list. “AR Demolition is an innovative company and it has been a pleasure to visit them in the past and see at first hand their approach to developing young people’s skills through apprenticeships,” Tredinnick concludes. “I congratulate AR Demolition on this prestigious achievement and it is really beneficial for the region to have such inspirational, dynamic and growing companies in our area.”

Video – Ignore the commentary…

DSM’s redrawing of the Grimsby skyline continues.

First rule of journalism – When you’re reporting on a company, try to the their name right, particularly if it only comprises three letters!

That said, while the voice-over appears to have been read (not too well) from this local newspaper report, the footage of DSM’s might Hitachi EX1200 is actually very good:

Bridge demolition delayed by barge…

Dismantling of Johnson St. Bridge postponed until June.

Work on the old Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria, Vancouver Island has been pushed back until June.

The Dynamic Beast crane barge was supposed to return to Victoria’s Inner Harbour in mid-May to remove the old blue steel.

The project manager Jonathan Huggett says changes had to be made to the schedule because the crane is in high demand. It’s now scheduled to arrive in the capital city on June 8th and will work that weekend to remove four pieces of steel, including the counterweight truss, the tower truss as well as the east and west span.

According to Huggett, the dynamic beast could arrive on June 7th if it completes its other project early.

This week crews will saw and cut the concrete deck off the east side approach and that will take about two weeks.

Read more here.

Giving ex-offenders a (prison) break…

Businesses urged to give ex-offenders a ‘leg up’ by employing them.

Businesses are to be offered financial incentives if they employ ex-offenders under ambitious new plans being unveiled by the justice secretary.

According to a report from Sky News, the inmate education and employment strategy will give individual prison governors full autonomy to tailor their programmes to meet the needs of employers in their local area.

Prison officers have voiced concerns that recent staffing cuts will make it extremely difficult to supervise the programme in some jails.

At the Standford Hill prison in Kent, the prison governor James Padley has determined that construction work is one of the main areas crying out for new recruits.

The inmates at Standford Hill are put through an intensive course, giving them certified qualifications to enter that work sector.

“If you give a man employment, you give him the ability to support himself, to clean himself, to look after his family,” adley says. “But you also give him self-esteem and you make him part of the society that he’s been away from.”

You can read the full report here.

Oar Inspiring…

Erith sets sail to raise funds for charity.

A team from the Erith Group has helped raise more than £35,000 by supporting the Greenwich-based charity, The Ahoy Centre, in its annual ‘50km in a day’ challenge.

The event saw nine nautical newcomers to rowing take to the River Thames and race each other from the Meridian line to the QE2 Bridge and back again. After a gruelling four hours, one minute and twenty-eight seconds, the Erith team emerged victorious.

The event raised over £35,000 for the Ahoy Centre, a contribution that will enable the group to continue their worthy work; helping disadvantaged children, vulnerable youngsters and those with disabilities gain access educational courses, qualifications and life-skills training.

An exhausted Mark Jack commented: “It was a great team effort and a fantastic day. Even though we ended up with a few blisters and some sore backs, we got a huge sense of achievement knowing that we have been able to help this great charity that works with disadvantaged, vulnerable and disabled young people. The whole team was thrilled to support the charity and the day was topped off by our unexpected win.”

Video – Turf Moor upgrade underway…

Demolition crew tackles Burnley stadium control room.

Under the expert and gruff tutelage of manager Sean Dyche, Burnely FC over-achieved this past season, claiming seventh spot in the English Premier League and thereby qualifying for the Europa League.

Ahead of this unforeseen European adventure, the company’s famous Turf Moor stadium is undergoing soehtig of a face-lift; and a key part of that renovation is the demolition of the stadium control room.

If you fast-forward to the 3.30 mark on the video below, you can see that demolition in progress.


DemolitionNews is now the biggest demolition-dedicated account on Instagram.

About a year ago, my youngest son was mocking my social media aptitude. “You’re doing it all wrong. Twitter is dead, and Facebook is for children and for mums wanting to snoop on their children,” he insisted. “Instagram is the place to be if you want to be relevant.”

Of course, part of this was to have a sly dig at my advancing years in much the same way that he talks about bands (many of which I swear he has invented) just to demonstrate how out of touch I have fallen. But his comments regarding Instagram resonated.

At the time, we had less than 2,000 followers on the photo/video-focused platform. We’d only been on Instagram for about six months and – if I am being entirely honest – I didn’t really get it.

It was also daunting. There were several demolition-related Instagram accounts that had 10,000 followers and one in particular that had 15,000+; surely we had arrived at the party too late; surely we had missed the boat.

Apparently not.

We focused a considerable amount of time and energy onto raising our Instagram game. We uploaded daily, seven days a week. We edited and enhanced photos to within an inch of their lives, and we used exclusive video content wherever possible. And we started to see some growth.

We quickly passed several long-standing and well-respected accounts as if they were standing still; and we started to close in on the big names in demolition which by now had grown to 20,000 followers or more.

Along the way, our growing Instagram profile has afforded us the opportunity to work with brands such as Dr Martens; brands that would likely have been entirely uninterested in a traditional demolition website.

Last week, we passed the 20,000 followers milestone which pushed us into second position in the global demolition Instagram league. Our growth continued right through the weekend (and is still climbing), allowing us to surge into first place and to claim the crown as the world’s biggest demolition-dedicated account on Instagram.

To ensure that we retain our crown, we are stepping things up still further. We are going to be producing more Instagram-only content; we are going to make greater use of Instagram Stories to deliver news, views, polls and a host of other industry-related content; and we are going to be working with our fellow Instagram users to help them reach a wider audience.

And so we have produced a new Social Media Kit to allow other companies to access our reach, engagement and leverage. All the prices are based on our Social Blade profile. You can access that kit here.

“Instagram is now a key part of our strategy and has allowed us to access an entirely new demographic,” says DemolitionNews’ founder Mark Anthony. “While LinkedIn is excellent for engaging with business leaders, Instagram tends to attract a younger audience. Most of our followers (90 percent) are male and the vast majority are in the 25 to 35 year old age bracket.”

You can learn more here.

AECC future in question…

Councillors to discuss demolition of Aberdeen exhibition centre.

Plans to demolish the current Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) to build almost 500 homes are going back before councillors.

Councillors voted to approve an application to demolish the Bridge of Don concert venue in December 2015.

The plans also involve the creation of a mixed-use development on the site including 498 homes, commercial and business space, a recycling centre and park and ride facility.

Members of Aberdeen City Council’s planning committee will reconsider the application due to a change in the developer obligations due.

Henry Boot Developments is now required to make a contribution of £509,738 towards healthcare provision.

Planning officers are again urging councillors to approve the plans conditionally with permission to be withheld until a legal agreement has been signed to secure developer obligations relating to primary education, community facilities, sports and recreation, transportation and now healthcare.

A new £333 million exhibition centre is being built at Bucksburn to replace the Bridge of Don venue.

Read more here.

Video – Ohio power plant popped…

Crowd watches partial demolition of AEP Ohio power plant in Beverly.

Dozens of people watched the demolition of a water cooling tower and a smoke stack on Friday at the former AEP Muskingum River Power Plant in Beverly, Ohio.

The coal-fired power plant was in operation for more than 60 years, until it closed in 2015.

A final demolition at the site is scheduled for June 2, 2018, when the remaining smokestacks and buildings will be torn down.

Comment – Where are our thought leaders…?

In search of the left-field, outside the box, blue sky thinkers that will shape the sector.

Sci-fi writer and author of 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke – is widely credited as having first conceived the notion of what we now know as a “space station”. Although it was a subject he would revisit in his 1952 novel “Islands in the sky”, Clarke first expounded the notion in a paper he wrote in 1945 during the latter days of the Second World War, a full 24 years before mankind took its giant leap and set foot on the moon.

In his book The Road Ahead, Microsoft founder Bill Gates envisioned a world in which people would carry what he described as “wallet PCs”; wallet-sized personal computers that could connect to the Internet, take photos, take the place of personal ID documents such as a driving license, and which would contain “digital money” that would – at least partially – replace cash. That book was published in 1995, more than a decade before the first iPhone was released.

It is possible that fact was created to mirror fiction. But there is no question that both Clarke and Gates are exceptional minds with an innate ability to perceive future challenges and imagine future solutions. They are thought leaders in the very truest sense of the term.

So where are ours? Where are the forward-thinkers of the demolition industry; the smart minds that are solving today the problems of tomorrow? Sadly, I am not sure we have any.

Of course, it helps that Arthur C. Clarke was a writer of fiction and who, therefore, spent a large part of his time imagining and thinking. And Bill Gates – the on/off richest man in the world – could take time out to ruminate about a possible future, safe in the knowledge that the millions would continue to roll into his back account regardless.

But so much of our time in this industry is spent dealing with the challenges and pitfalls of today that we barely have a moment to plan next week or next month, let alone conceive wildly ambitious plans for 10 or 20 years’ hence.

Yet, if we are to have any hope of meeting the looming challenges of tomorrow, we need to start work today.

We all know that the world today no longer has a tolerance for accidents of any kind, and we have already seen man moved further and further from the demolition work face. So should we not be gathering together the best minds of the industry and imagining a world in which demolition sites are a human-free zone (you might like to check out my book Demolition 2051 if this is something you’re into).

We are each surrounded by increasingly tall megastructures that sooner or later will need to be demolished and dismantled. While some of these buildings – like The Shard in London or the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – will be granted a degree of exemption because of their iconic status, many commercial buildings in the world’s big cities now have a life expectancy of just 25 to 30 years. Using those maths, there is probably a young demolition worker out there today who, at some point in his or her working life, will find themselves tasked with taking down The Shard, The Gherkin or any one of the ludicrously-named towers that loom large over London today.

And thanks to the advent of Building Information Modelling (BIM), we can now see precisely how a structure of today was erected, fixed and fastened and what materials were used in its construction. So rather than bitching and whining about the inappropriate use of composite materials that will be difficult to process and recycle, how about we spend the next 20 or so years devising a viable solution so we’re actually ready when the need arises?

Many moons ago, quite possibly in the last century, I interviewed attachments pioneer Toni Verachtert who had helped create and develop many of the tools we now take for granted. During that interview, he envisaged the demolition and recycling landscape of the future; a future of modular buildings that could be assembled, disassembled and reassembled mechanically; a future of attachments designed not to break and destroy but to manipulate and safeguard.

It is precisely that kind of left-field, outside the box, blue sky, spit-balling imagination that we need right now.

If this article has resonated with you, you might also like to check out our latest audio podcast – Forging a new path – in which I explain why there has never been a better time to develop new equipment, techniques and methodologies. You can listen to that show here.

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