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Erith bags brownfield award…

Kent contractor recognised for conceptual design.

Erith attended the Brownfield Briefing Awards last night and came away with the prestigious ‘best conceptual design’ award. The brownfield communities’ flagship event is recognised as one of the highest industry accolades and rewards technical and conceptual excellence in on-going projects over the last 12 months.

The night was judged by an expert panel from an array of specialities and hosted pioneering contractors from across the UK to celebrate the event’s tenth anniversary.

Erith’s award focused on the conceptual design and build contract at Beckton gasworks in East London, which saw Erith work in collaboration with designers Parsons Brinckerhoff for client National Grid.

Video – Incredible footage…

Stunning film captures brutal effects of chimney implosion.

To be honest, they had us at 120 metre chimney exploded in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. But, on closer inspection, there is way more to this film than initially meets the eye.

Thanks to the multiple camera angles and, more importantly, the use of high defintion slow motion, the dramatic after effects of 2,000 tonnes of chimney hitting the Earth are there for all to see.

Check out the windows being blown out of the long, low building at the bottom of the frame at the 0.49 mark; then see how the air pressure rocks the crane boom in the foreground.

Video – Demolition worker accused of firing rifle on site…

Those days when demolition itself isn’t quite dangerous enough.

Only in America! An unnamed demolition worker stands accused of firing a volley of rounds from an AR-15 assault rifle on a site in Orlando, having been filmed doing so – presumably – by fellow workers.

The video allegedly shows the rifle being fired repeatedly inside a building being demolished as part of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts project in downtown Orlando.

Orlando police officials said they have seen the cellphone video and are trying to determine where the rifle might have been fired inside the iconic round building that sits across from City Hall.

A city spokesperson said the construction worker seen in the video is no longer allowed on the construction site.

Someone sent the video to the Channel 9 newsroom and sent copies to city officials. Crusader Demolition – a company whose motto, ironically, is “safe, fast and clean demolition” – from Lakeland, is the company that was hired to take down the building.

Read more here or view the video below:

Kingsnorth blast scheduled for this week…

Brown and Mason make ready for power station implosion.

Part of a mothballed power station is set to be knocked down this week as work continues to demolish the landmark.

Kingsnorth Power Station closed in March last year because it did not meet EU standards on pollution. The whole structure is set to be demolished and work began on site earlier this year.

Five small buildings and structures, which were part of the system to move coal from the stockpile towards the heart of the station, will be demolished on Thursday evening, at around 6.30pm.

The tallest of the buildings is around 41m. The main infrastructure of the plant, including the 650ft chimney stack, is still to be demolished over the next two years and the plant’s owner’s E.ON will be updating local residents on the next stages.

The demolition process began on the 2000MW coal-fired power station in April 2014. Since then, E.ON and its primary contractor, Brown and Mason, have been preparing the site for the ongoing demolition work and have already removed some of the smaller structures, including the fuel oil tanks and all of the coal conveyor systems, through non-explosive methods.

Neil Wright, civil team leader at E.ON, said: “We’re now on schedule to conduct our first controlled demolition event, which is one of several that we have planned during the project.

Read more here.

Video – Tower topples excavator…

Unplanned collapse causes excavator to flip.

We can’t be sure where this was shot – although, to our untrained eye, the captions look vaguely Turkish – but regardless of the location, this film is a perfect illustration of at least two safety shortcomings: Make sure your machine has sufficient reach; and make sure you have a suitable escape route.

Check it out:

Outcry over tower that fell the wrong way…

Fury as dust cloud engulfs residents.

The final phase of the demolition of the Sunoco 10 Plant on Saturday did not go as expected and township commissioners are furious.

At Monday night’s board of commissioners meeting, commissioners Vince McCormick and Dave D’Angelo expressed disgust with the process, stating that residents were unnecessarily put at risk.

When a tower fell, it hit the ground with such force that a huge plume of dust rose into the sky and travelled from the plant into Trainer.

D’Angelo said commissioners were told that the tower was going to fall in the direction of Hewes Avenue, toward Delaware. But, at the last minute, D’Angelo said, a decision was made by “somebody in charge” to change the direction of how the tower would fall.

“We had everything ready for that tower to fall in the direction we were told,” said D’Angelo. “And a fire policeman was on the Trainer side just to deal with a traffic issue if it occurred. That man and everybody else living in the line of that plume was put at risk and we are not happy about this.”

The DEP came under heavy fire from commissioners, who accused the agency of not following through with promises. D’Angelo said representatives of DEP vowed to be at every demolition, and that did not occur.

D’Angelo also said when the plume occurred on Saturday, he called DEP repeatedly and requested someone come to the scene, and his request was refused.

Read more here.

Woodward helps safeguard the future…

Former IDE president seeks to engage next generation of demolition men and women.

Primary FuturesTraining in the UK construction and demolition industries is generally reactive; training those that we already have and hoping against hope there will be enough skilled workers to go around. Little wonder then that the industry is regularly beset with a skills shortage that impedes growth and prevents it from maximising its potential while simultaneously failing to grow the pool of talent from which to draw the leaders of the future.

Former IDE president and training evangelist John Woodward, however, sees things differently. Having already toured a number of secondary schools to spread the demolition message to school leavers, Woodward has just taken that message even further down to grass roots level, working with primary school children as part of the Government- backed Primary Futures programme.

Primary Futures seeks to help children understand the link between what they learn at school and their futures by bringing in employers and local businesspeople to talk about the world of work.

Hundreds of schools nationwide took part in the national launch last week. Within John Woodward’s native Wolverhampton, Oak Meadow Primary School in Wednesfield held an event where Woodward joined Wolverhampton North East MP Emma Reynolds, Beano illustrator Laura Howell, journalist Peter Madeley and author Paul Dowswell who each spoke to pupils.

“John Woodward has been involved with the project from its conception. He had originally volunteered to work in secondary schools within the Inspiring Futures project. I first contacted him back in February 2014 when we were piloting the project in Tipton and Wolverhampton. He was hugely supportive and went out of his way, moving dates in his diary to support it and in addition, encouraging business associates of his to support it too,” explains Primary Futures co-ordinator Tish Keech. “When we organised the regional launch in May in Birmingham, John was ready, willing and as usual superbly organised and inspiring. He has adapted his talk for primary chidren and is open and honest with the children giving them a clear understanding of how important English and Maths are to him in his every day work whilst also showing them that hard work and determination can help you in finding your dream job. This has been a really successful pilot. The children have been inspired by the speakers and in turn, the professionals have been thrilled by the engagement of the children and their insightful questions. We are keen to recruit more volunteers from many types of professions who are happy to give up their valuable time to share some of their experiences with young people – and hopefully inspire them about the world of work. I would urge interested employers and employees to look at the website,, or contact me via for more details.”

Comment – Exclusive, but not in a good way…

Reprinted – by public demand – from today’s edition of This Week in Demolition.

My youngest daughter recently introduced me to a friend about whom she had been talking for about six months. He was a nice guy and they clearly shared a passion for the same kind of music and fashion that tends to draw young people together.

After he’d left, I said – like the sorry, unintentional racist that my 1970s London upbringing made me – “You didn’t tell me he was black”. And, like the right-minded, liberal that I hoped she would be, my daughter responded: “Why would I?”

It is an object lesson that the demolition industry would do well to heed.

As part of my job, I attend countless meetings, conferences, seminars and exhibitions in both the construction and demolition sectors. And, almost without fail, they each look like a cross between a meeting at the Muirfield golf course and a rally for the British National Party (BNP); almost exclusively male, almost exclusively white, and – as far as anyone can tell – exclusively straight.

In the past, I have heard this phenomenon explained by highlighting the strong family traditions that exist in the UK demolition industry. That is certainly the case and, even today, goes some way to explaining why the boardrooms of most UK demolition companies remain exclusively white. But there is way more to demolition than the oak-panelled boardrooms. Demolition is a multi-disciplined industry that requires equipment operators, site and contract managers, engineers, health and safety advisors, estimators, risk assessors and a whole heap of administrative staff.

If demolition really is a meritocracy in which people are selected and their progression is based upon their individual merit, why is it still so unrepresentative? Are we absolutely certain that straight, white males are best suited to ALL the disciplines this industry has to offer?

If that is the case, then this industry is even more out of touch than I had previously feared.

Video – I blame the parents…

Child tours potentially dangerous demolition site; dad kindly uploads the video.

Once upon a time there was a young boy with a video camera who liked to film stuff.

One day, when no-one was looking, he went onto a demolition site that he wasn’t supposed to be on. While there, he filmed a sign that said that children were forbidden from the site and another that said Danger Demolition in big scary letters.

When the little boy went home, he showed the film to his dad. And do you know what the little boy’s dad did next? Did he send him to his room? Did he explain the dangers of demolition sites and the importance of heeding warning signs? Did he give the little sod a clip round the ear?

Did he Hell. Instead, his dad put the video on YouTube and described it as “urban exploration”.

Video – Gone in 30 seconds…

Time-lapse film captures Canadian bridge demolition.

The work to demolish a bridge over the 401 highway in Montreal might have taken a weekend possession that worked through the night, but – thanks to some time lapse footage and some very nifty editing – the meat of the contract is captured here in a stunning 38 seconds.


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