Dallas bank downed…

Controlled blast drops Texan bank building.

A controlled explosion has brought down the former Republic National Bank of Dallas.

More details to follow as they arrive:

Alabama boilers blown…

CDI continues trail of controlled destruction.

Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI), acting as explosives subcontractor to Jackson Demolition Service, Inc has performed the successful explosives felling of one recovery boiler, one recovery chimney, one power boiler and one power chimney in Alabama on Saturday, August 31, 2019.

Onward and upward…

C&D Consultancy maintains upward trajectory with service expansion.

Following a successful 12 months of major project awards and a shortlisting again this year in two categories at the World Demolition Awards C&D Demolition Consultants Limited has announced additional services to strengthen their portfolio of demolition related services.

Mike Kehoe says “This year has seen an increase in the number of projects where our clients have initially employed us to carry out demolition consultancy and then have added to our scope of work by requesting structural engineering services, temporary works services and asbestos removal advice and I now think the time is right to offer those key services as part of our consultancy at all times”

“We have taken the bold step of employing two structural engineers (both of whom are demolition engineers as well) to cover the increase in demand as well as a fully qualified asbestos surveyor to carry out R&D Asbestos surveys for our clients at the outset”

“We feel that the additional services will strengthen our offering to clients as they will be able to go to a “one stop shop” for all of their demolition concerns”

Further details of the additional services can be found at www.canddconsultants.com or by emailing Mike at mike@canddconsultants.co.uk

Bracing for blast…

Ironbridge residents ready themselves ahead of cooling tower implosion.

Residents of Ironbridge will have just 48 hours notice before the iconic Ironbridge cooling towers are imploded, it has been revealed.

Developer Harworth Group said it was hoping to avoid turning the demolition into an attraction, bringing in people from across the country, so that a 350-metre exclusion zone could be safely maintained.

But areas to view the towers coming down will be put in place a safe distance away for locals who would like to see the landmark moment.

Although no date has been selected, Harworth recommitted to trying to get the demolition done before the end of the year.

Iain Thomson, head of communications at Harworth, said: “Forty-eight hours is fairly typical based on what we’ve done elsewhere. Some people might say that’s not a lot of time, and I can understand that to a degree. We don’t want to create a huge free-for-all of people descending on Ironbridge. We have to protect the integrity of the 350-metre exclusion zone.”

Read more here.

Terrifying top down…

Imagination, innovation and ingenuity harnessed to tackle massive tower.

Necessity is the mother of invention, or so they say. And nowhere is that more true than in the field of demolition, and industry in which each new challenge is met with out-of-the-box-thinking and a large helping of innovation.

Take this video, for example. Because a blast was out of the question, the 162 meters high cooling tower of the former Mülheim-Kärlich nuclear power plant was cleared from above with a remote-controlled excavator piece by piece. Once the tower was below a height of 80 metres, a high reach demolition excavator finished the works from the ground.

Churchill flyovers falling…

Work underway on removal of Liverpool landmark.

Footbridges have been dismantled as work gets under way on demolition work to bring down Liverpool’s Churchill Way flyovers.

Three work compounds were put in place around the site last week from Monday, August 26, with the first phase due to begin today. But by Sunday lunchtime part of a footbridge on the Birkenhead tunnel side – one of three sitting underneath the two flyovers – had already been partly reduced to rubble.

The flyovers, which connect Lime Street to Dale Street and Tithebarn Street, will be brought down in 25-metre sections.

Downing more than a pint…

PP O’Connor taking down famous Thwaites Brewery.

It is the point of origin for more pints of beer than anyone might care to count. But the Thwaites Brewery in Blackburn, Lancashire is coming down. And UK demolition contractor PP O’Connor is spearheading the works.

Starting young…

14-year old starts his own demolition company.

When I was 14 years old, I wanted to be a footballer. Tell the truth, I wanted to play for West Ham United. OK, I admit it – I wanted des[erately to be Alan Devonshire.

Fourteen-year-old Lance Matheson, meanwhile, runs his own demolition company, Sage Demolition and Land Clearing, and operates his equipment near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Watch the inspiring story of how Lance got it all started and what he sees for the future of his demolition company.

Power plant downed…

Alliant Energy plant laid to rest in controlled blast.

A decades-old power plant in central Iowa took only seconds to implode into nothing Thursday during a scheduled demolition.

The Sutherland Generating Station in Marshalltown saw the final phase of its demolition after Alliant Energy workers had been decommissioning it.

The plant, built in 1950, started burning coal exclusively after the U.S. Department of Energy directed them to stop using natural gas at the generating station.

So many questions…

The report that echoed around the world.

It is less than a week since we published our preliminary report on the catastrophic scaffold collapse in Reading, and already the article has become our most-read and most-shared story of the past 12 months. Even though it was written to address a British incident and a British issue, we have been genuinely amazed to see the story spread across the demolition world. At last count, it had been read in an astonishing 61 countries.

Perhaps more remarkable is the many and varied views that it has generated. Although we have not yet received a single negative comment (remarkable in itself), it seems that everyone has taken something slightly different from the piece. Some focused upon the true purpose of scaffolding within a demolition environment; others chose to point out the fact that three incidents in a week had befallen members of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors.

My own personal takeaway, however, is the often unspoken use of sub-contractors to carry out work won by “premier league” contractors.

Now I have been around long enough to realise that the demolition and construction industry has more layers than a large onion. I realise that for every principal contractor there are dozens of specialist contractors and sub-contractors. Whether this is an efficient use of human resources, a “horses-for-courses” approach or merely an almighty administrative cluster-fuck waiting to happen, frankly, I will leave you to decide. But here’s my problem and, as always, I shall fall back upon a trusty football (soccer) analogy to make my point.

I make no secret of the fact that I support West Ham United (although after last weekend’s drubbing by a rampant Manchester City, I am seriously considering keeping my allegiance on the down-low in future). Now a ticket at the London Stadium will cost me somewhere in the region of £50. Spending that £50 and taking the trouble to get myself half-way across London brings with it certain expectations. When West Ham United take to the field, I expect to see Mark Noble wearing the captain’s arm band. I expect to see Lukasz Fabianski sporting the goalkeeper’s jersey. I expect to see Declan Rice looking composed beyond his years and giving a future-captain-of-England performance.

What I don’t expect is to see a team cobbled together from spare players from the nearby Dagenham & Redbridge, ably assisted by a couple of lads from the local pub that just happen to have both football boots and a replica West Ham kit.

Similarly, if I forked over £300 to see Barbara Streisand live in Hyde Park, I am going to be more than a little disappointed if a karaoke singer then takes to the stage wearing one of Babs’ frocks.

And it’s not just me that expects to get what I have paid for. It is not unusual for larger soccer clubs to be heavily fined for fielding a youth or second eleven team in order to protect their star players from injury ahead of a “more important” fixture.

I am sure you get the analogy here.

Now I realise that it is, perhaps, a little unkind to describe some of the specialist sub-contractors used by major demolition firms as a second eleven; as a karaoke singer in a designer dress. But if they are actually that good, why are they not competing for this work directly rather than feeding upon the scraps dropped from the big name contractors’ table? Why are they more adept at flying below the radar than the pilot of an F-117A Nighthawk?

Think about the implications of all this for a second. A big name demolition contractor has just jumped through pre-qualification hoops in order to be considered for the work. It is has then put together a detailed bid document that outlines its experience and expertise, the results of its most recent independent safety audits, and the tens of thousands of man hours it has clocked up without a reportable incident. Hell, the company has probably even made mention of the fact that it will be using its own fleet of brand-new and surgically-clean equipment and vehicles to deliver the project. And then when the contractor actually gets the green light, it palms off great chunks of the work to a company that has never undergone a safety audit, which will utilise its own equipment which may or may not be as clean and green as previously promised, and which flies so far below the radar that it doesn’t even have its own website.

A further thought has just occurred to me literally as I am writing this. Several times a year, the industry likes to pat itself on the back at one awards ceremony or another. Given what we all now know about the sub-letting of demolition contracts, are we certain that all of the awards handed out in years gone by were legitimate? Or have we applauded Company A when it was Company Z that actually did the work?

Now I know which side my bread is buttered and so I rarely (if ever) take the side of the client. But in this instance, I believe they would be right to question this practice. In fact, I think they would be crazy to do otherwise.

£300 to see Barbara Streisand roughly 30 years past her prime is bad enough. But £300 to see “Sandra from accounts” doing Woman in Love while wearing an outfit borrowed from Ms Streisand’s wardrobe is just taking the piss.