Safedem world record official…

Guinness World Records acknowledges Abu Dhabi mega blast.

Within hours of the Meena Plaza complex in Abu Dhabi coming down, the project has been inducted into the Guinness World Records.

The project takes the crown as the world’s tallest building destroyed by explosives. It is a record that had stood for more than 22 years since CDI demolished the 133 metre tall Hudson Building in Detroit back in 1998.

The Meena Plaza complex project shattered that record and set a new explosive demolition benchmark at 165.032 metres, confirming Safedem’s place in the record books.

Massive Midlands merger…

In a move that will send shockwaves through the UK demolition industry, Total Reclaims Demolition (TRD) and CMEC Demolition have announced that the two established and widely-respected Nottingham-based companies are to merge with immediate effect.

The merged company will operate under the Total Reclaims name, retaining but will now be able to compete for larger and more prestigious work on a nationwide basis.

“This merger gives us a bigger team, a broader range of equipment, a wider level of experience and a larger turnover that will allow us to compete for larger contracts,” explains Total Reclaims’ Melvyn Cross who will be managing director of the new company.

CMEC’s Antony Hopkinson will become technical director of the merged operation. “We have spent more than 20 years competing against each other,” Hopkinson says. “But our late fathers worked together in the past and we have always had a mutual respect and admiration for each other. This merger makes sense on every level.”

Both men insist that the merger has not been prompted by COVID-19 or by the current economic climate. This is reinforced by the fact that all current staff are to be retained within the new company. CMEC staff are currently undergoing TRD inductions to ensure consistent standards across the newly-merged operation.

That will be vital. Speaking exclusively to DemolitionNews, Melvyn Cross reveals that the joint company currently has more than 30 projects under its belt and a healthy forward order book that will take the company into the New Year.

The Nottingham head offices of both CMEC and Total Reclaims will be retained for now, although the TRD HQ will be the company’s home. But there are already plans to move to a new, larger location at some point in the future.

For now, the two companies go into 2021 with a larger and stronger team. “This merger will allow us to compete head-to-head with both local and national companies for larger contacts than ever before,” says Antony Hopkinson.

Melvyn Cross is equally bullish. “We’re coming for the big boys,” he concludes.

Safedem blasts into record books…

Massive Meena Plaza complex falls in successful explosive demolition.

Sir Alex Ferguson in football. Stephen Hendry in snooker. Andy Murray in tennis. Sir Chris Hoy in cycling. And now Safedem in demolition has joined the ranks of the Scottish world beaters.

The Dundee-based company has carried out the successful implosion of the infamous Meena Plaza complex in Abu Dhabi to claim its lace in the Guinness Book or Records for the tallest building demolished by explosives.

We are currently awaiting the official footage of the blast. But for now, we have some amateur footage that shows the scale of the project.

Cawarden tackles A52 bridge…

Derby City Council has released a new film detailing the demolition of an old footbridge across the A52 as part of the wider A52 Transport Improvement Scheme.

And local demolition contractor – Cawarden – takes centre stage.

Heading for the record books…

Safedem makes ready for record-breaking blast.

Abu Dhabi residents will witness a new world record this weekend as Scottish demolition company Safedem carries out the explosive demolition of the Meena Plaza complex.

Comprising 144 storeys across four towers, the complex stands at 165.032 metres making this a record breaking project for the tallest building demolished by explosives. The complex consists of three residential towers, and one designed as a hospital), constructed on top of a 9 storey podium. The tallest tower is 47 storeys; two are 33 storeys in height; and the final one is 27 storeys.

The entire complex is constructed in reinforced concrete (consisting columns and shear walls) with pre stressed floor slabs. The 246,500 square metre complex was constructed between 2008 and 2015 at a cost believed to be in excess of $400 million. But construction was abandoned in 2015 and the structures were never occupied.

Tower 1 (47 storeys) has been surveyed by Guinness World Records and confirmed as an official World Record attempt for the tallest concrete building demolished by explosives at 165.7 metres (543 feet)

Former World Demolition Award winner Safedem has been appointed specialist Explosives engineering contractor by Modon on behalf of DMT (Department of Municipalities and Transport)

The BIG Giveaway…

Just in time for Christmas, we are giving away a HUGE amount of branded goodies from the likes of Bobcat, JCB, Kinshofer, Liebherr and LiuGong together with an exclusive “Wreck the Halls” Christmas t-shirt from DemolitionNews.

The show takes place at 6.30 pm tonight. It is FREE to watch and FREE to enter, with no sign-up process or difficult questions.

We’d love to see you there. Just click THIS LINK at 6.30pm (UK time) tonight.

There goes the judge…

After 12 years, John Woodward is stepping down as a World Demolition Awards judge. During his time as a judge, the former Institute of Demolition Engineers’ (IDE) president has seen many changes as the awards have gone global.

In this exclusive interview, we look back at more than a decade of World Demolition Awards, and he is full of praise for companies including Erith Contractors, Liberty Industrial, Kocurek, Safedem and Despe.

We also discuss some of the high profile projects in which he was involved, and we look ahead to the appointment of a new IDE president.

Massive bridge blast

The Northern part of the Eisern Viaduct in Siegen, Germany has been felled in a controlled blast.

According to reports, 61 kg of explosives was used to bring down the motorway bridge, which was up to 50 metres high and weighed 12,300 tons. The bridge will be replaced by a new building that can cope with the current volume of traffic.

Richard Liesegang GmbH & Co. KG was responsible for the demolition.

Call for clampdown on drugs and alcohol…

Trade association proposes loss of competence card for drug and alcohol abuse.

The Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA) has called for stakeholders from across the industry to come together to tackle the widespread problem of plant operators failing drug and alcohol tests without any impact on their competence cards.

Currently, if a plant operator fails a drug or alcohol test there is no penalty except from being banned from that particular site or dismissed by the employer. In the short term, operators are sent home and will not be allowed to work that day but there is no long-term penalty as they can apply to work for a new employer or be sent to work on a different site. SPOA is therefore calling for a system similar to that operated by the rail industry where card holders have their cards either temporarily suspended or permanently revoked.

This is an issue that was covered in a recent DemolitionNews podcast entitled Testing Time.

Following a successful initial meeting where the National Plant Operators Registration Scheme (NPORS) and the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) gave their full support for the proposal, SPOA has now sent a letter to all stakeholders asking them to come together to support the initiative.

Stakeholders include the Health and Safety Executive, Construction Leadership Council (CLC), National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC), Build UK, Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), Construction Plant Hire Association (CPA), Federation Piling Specialists (FPS), Scottish Building Federation (SBF) and Home Builders Federation (HBF).

Callum Mackintosh, Vice President of the Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA), explained: “For too long we have turned a blind eye to the failure of our industry to tackle the prevalence of failed drug and alcohol tests. This failure substantially increases the risk of accidents or death on site for the operator and those working around them.

“Construction projects across the UK require plant operators to hold NPORS or CPCS cards. The fact that you can still retain your card and continue to operate plant after failing an on-site drug and alcohol test makes a mockery of both our system and our industry. I can’t think of any other sector where this is allowed to happen. It is time for change.

“While we recognise that there may be other issues facing those in the industry who turn to drugs or alcohol, and we aim to support them wherever we can, this is ultimately about making the industry safer and more professional. By working collectively, we can ensure this happens.”

Costly cloud…

Failure to control dust leads to settlement.

More than seven months after an implosion covered Little Village in a cloud of dust, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has settled a lawsuit against Hilco Redevelopment Partners and its contractors.

Raoul announced the settlement Thursday, which will require Hilco to pay $370,000 into a fund to support the community’s “long term health and wellness.” The money will go toward ACCESS’ Little Village Community Health and Wellness Program, which works to address asthma, diabetes and hypertension. The settlement will also require the developer and its contractors to comply with dust mitigation plans for the remainder of the demolition project.

The city-approved implosion sent a cloud of dust into the air and covered the streets of Little Village, causing neighbours to worry about the contents of the dust.

“The companies responsible for the demolition of the Crawford Power Generating Station’s smokestack failed to take steps to protect the community from air pollution and compromised air quality at a time when we are urging residents to remain in their communities to minimise the spread of a deadly respiratory disease,” Raoul said in a press release at the time.

In a statement, Raoul said the settlement held Hilco and its contractors “accountable for their failure to adequately protect residents from air pollution during demolition at the site. It also represents a step toward environmental justice for residents of the Little Village community,” Raoul said.

In the lawsuit filed in May, Raoul alleged Hilco and its contractors, MCM Management Corp and Controlled Demolition, violated the state’s air pollution regulations when it demolished a 115 metre smokestack at the nearly century-old Crawford site April 11.