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Square Mile sweeps the board…

Demolition specialist wins big at insurance industry awards.

Croydon-based Square Mile Broking has swept up at the UK Broker Awards. The team were crowned Insurance Broker of the Year and collected the awards for Customer Service and Best Employer.

The awards are the leading platform for national recognition within the insurance broker market. They represent some 3,500 brokers across the nation and are now in their 24th year.

For the Broker of the Year and Customer Service awards the judges were looking for excellent delivery and a continually improving level of customer service evidenced by consistent levels of service and customer satisfaction. Square Mile Broking needed to show how they had responded innovatively to the changing demands of the market backed by clear standards and validated by performance monitoring. In the Best Employer category, independent surveys of staff were conducted by Best Companies Group.

“These accolades are a reward for the effort and excellence of the team of people we are privileged to work with at Square Mile Broking,” says David Garrad, Director, Square Mile Broking. “I am delighted that their desire to deliver exceptional levels of service has been recognised by the industry.”


Video – Giant goes to work…

World’s largest demolition machine starts to earn a living.

The world’s largest demolition machine – a specially-modified Komatsu PC4000 owned and operated by McMahon Services in Australia – has gone to work. And while the video footage of it in action is a bit “blink and you’ll miss it”, the sheer scale of the machine just boggles the mind.

Hats off also to the video editor that – appropriately – selected the Darude song Sandstorm for the soundtrack.

TCB1 Demolition from Riaan Moolman on Vimeo.

Liverpool demolition raises safety fears…

Rubble falls into road as crowds flock to see Beatles mural.

Fears have been raised about safety around the demolition of a former grain silo in Liverpool.

The building on Great Howard Street is in the process of being knocked down by Harcourt Developments – the firm behind the transformation of the nearby Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock. DemolitionNews understands that the demolition work is being carried out by the Hancock Group.

The company says “everything was going to plan”. But one nearby business expressed concerns about the amount of rubble falling into the road; while a team working on roadworks near the site said they had had to move further down the road because of the danger of falling debris.

Photographs published by the Liverpool Echo appear to show painfully inadequate protective measures constructed from wood.

A spokesperson for the Five Star Car Wash: “Someone is going to be killed – there is rubble all falling into the road.”

However Paul Manning, of Harcourt Developments, said that any road closures have been put in place by the council and demolition work is “going to plan”. “There are sheets up to try and stop rubble going on the road but we will look at this,” he says. “We are aiming to have finished the work in one week however we have to be conscious as there have been a lot of people coming to see The Beatles ‘Fixing a Hole’ artwork and there were 1,500 people at a conference in the Titanic Hotel too.”

Read more here.


Video – Bronto rears its head…

Largest high reach in US goes to work in Vegas.

Demolition in Las Vegas usually means huge explosions and spectacular events.

While there are no explosions in the demolition of the Las Vegas Club, the works are no less spectacular as the tallest high reach excavator in the US – nicknamed Bronto – goes to work.

Audio – Pies and pilgrimage…

The latest episode of Demolition News Radio features a trip down memory lane.

When Downwell Demolition invited me to visit one of their sites close to my father’s childhood home, I seized the opportunity.

The following audio is, therefore, part site visit and part trip down memory lane. It features a well-orchestrated and smooth-running site and – quite possibly – the meal I would choose to be my last should I ever find myself on Death Row.

If you’re looking for hard-hitting tales of demolition and derring-do, this one is not for you. But if you grew up in London, have ever visited a pie and mash shop, or if you have an enduring bond with your own father, you might just like this:


Firm fined over site crush incident…

Worker suffered fractures to legs and pelvis, as well as punctured lungs and liver injuries.

A Wolverhampton-based company, Sterry Lane Limited, trading as LPD Demolition, has been fined after a 39-year old-employee was crushed by a reversing excavator.

Newcastle under Lyme Magistrates’ Court heard that on 3 May 2016 employees of Sterry Lane Limited, had been contracted to complete demolition work on a site in Stafford. The employees were moving debris around the excavator when it began to reverse, crushing the man and leaving him with serious injuries to his leg and torso.

The worker suffered multiple fractures to his legs and pelvis, as well as punctured lungs and liver injuries. He requires assistance to move around his home and he has not returned to work more than 16 months after the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to implement a suitable management system to segregate pedestrians and vehicles on site.

The investigation also found the company failed to adequately plan the demolition work on site and failed to highlight the risks of workers and machinery operating in the same areas without clear communication between the driver and workers on the ground.

Sterry Lane Limited of Hickman Avenue, Eastfield, Wolverhampton pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

The company has been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,726.88.

Read more here.


Infamous nail house finally demolished…

90 minutes to demolish house that had halted progress for 14 years.

It is a house that is famous the world over for standing – stubbornly and symbolically – in the face of Chinese progress. But this infamous “nail house” has finally been demolished.

Obstinate property owners in Shanghai had for years refused to allow their home to be demolished to make way for a road-widening scheme. Instead, four lanes of traffic had to squeeze into two in order to bypass the inconveniently located property.

But it eventually took around 90 minutes to demolish the “nail house” during the middle of the night, according to local media reports.

“Nail houses” refer to when stubborn homeowners refuse to move to make way for larger construction projects.

When the homeowners refuse monetary compensation, developers must come up with imaginative ways to build around the homes.

Read more here.


To blast or not to blast…

Confusion reigns over nuclear plant demolition methodology.

Will explosives be used to demolish radioactive structures at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant? It depends on who you ask.

State officials have filed testimony claiming NorthStar Group Services, which wants to buy and decommission the idled nuclear plant, plans to use explosives on “at least one” contaminated building. The department is raising concerns about the spread of radioactivity.

But NorthStar’s chief executive officer says his company has no such plans. And there seem to be no public documents available to back up the state’s contention.

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission also has no record of any blasting plans at Vermont Yankee. Federal regulators keep a tight rein on the use of any explosives at nuclear plants, NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said.

“We would not allow the use of explosives for buildings with significant radiological contamination,” Sheehan said. “Our concerns in this area would center on the ability to control any airborne radioactivity/contamination.”

NorthStar is seeking federal and state permission to buy Vermont Yankee by the end of next year. The demolition contractor says it can clean up most of the Vernon site as early as 2026, several decades sooner than current owner Entergy had planned.

That would make the property available for redevelopment much sooner than had been expected. But some are skeptical that NorthStar can follow through on its plans.

Vermont officials have not been shy about expressing their reservations about NorthStar’s financial wherewithal and planning. But the use of explosives is a new concern emerging in testimony submitted by the state Public Service Department.

Read more here.


Video – Putting an end to 50 years of power…

Georgia power plant imploded in spectacular fashion.

The power plant at Lake Sinclair is no more. Georgia Power demolished the plant Saturday after 50 years of providing successful service to the community.

Georgia Power shut down the plant two years ago, and since then they have already demolished a smoke stack, but Saturday they demolished the whole building.

Holly Crawford a spokesman for Georgia Power said the building was outdated. “We’re doing the demolition of plant branch boilers, for those of you who don’t know what boilers are, they help turn water into steam to help create electricity,” she said.

Video – Rosebank razed…

Former Times Media building felled in implosion.

The building that used to house Times Media at Rosebank, Johannesburg in South Africa has been imploded.

The building was imploded to make space for The Galleria, a 90,000 square metre development that will consist of offices, a hotel and apartments, among other things.

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