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Video – Spooky goings on at hospital site…

Canadian crew spooked by “ghost doctor”

The demolition of Vancouver’s Royal Jubilee Hospital has apparently revealed more than just rubble, according to local news reports.

One of the work crew claims to have seen a “clean-shaven man” in blue jeans during demolition works. But the figure vanished. A local photographer has also captured on film what is said to be the face of a person at the window of one of the abandoned hospital’s windows, giving rise to talk of a legendary ghost doctor.

Check it out for yourself or save the film until Hallowwen next year:

Video – Dust domination…

Check out this great excavator-mounted water cannon.

Our daily meander through the infinite labyrinths of YouTube has today thrown up a great video from the guys at BCS Enterprises in the US.

The demolition itself is pretty run-of-the-mill excavator/demolition pole fare (although it makes great use of drone footage).

But what sets this film apart is the excavator-mounted dust suppression cannon used to deploy water precisely where it is needed.

Check it out:

Jobs – Downwell on the up…

Downwell Demolition seeks contracts manager for New Year start.

Kent-based Downwell Demolition, a company that has enjoyed a phenomenal levbel of growth in the past few years, remains on an upward trajectory and is currently seeking a new contracts manager.

The company reports that it has won several new contracts in and around London, many of which are due to start in earnest in the New Year.

To help it cope with this influx of new work, Downwell is seeking an ambitious, professional and self-driven contracts manager.

Full details of this exciting opportunity with one of the industry’s rising stars can be found here.

Video – Goodbye to Gregory’s Girl school…

Reigart gets to grips with school made famous in 80s movie.

“Go do something your own age, like demolish a phonebox!” That is a line from the 1981 Bill Forsyth film Gregory’s Girl; a movie of unrequited love in a Scottish high school and the film that introduced the world to Clare Grogan (my 17-year old self just swooned at the memory).

And now Abronhill High School, the school at which Gregory’s Girl was filmed, is being demolished by Scottish contractor Reigart.

It’s not as easy on the eyes as Clare Grogan (Altered Images anyone…?) but this film captures the action:

Video – Car crushed as demolition goes awry…

Huge chunk of concrete crushes parked car.

We simply don’t have the words to describe what you’re about to see.

Sure, we could waffle on about exclusion zones, scaffolding and safe working practice. We could also question the crass stupidity of the person that sees an unguarded demolition site and immediately thinks this is a sensible place to park a car.

But we reckon you would prefer just to watch the mini disaster unfold for yourselves:

In the interests of fairness and balance…

Demolition blasts back at our latest diatribe.

Yesterday morning, we sent out the latest edition of This Week in Demolition, our weekly round-up of news, views, jobs, video and comment (if you don’t currently receive it, give us your details at the top right-hand side of this page).

The subject to fall under our spotlight this week was unseen voids and basements or, rather, the demolition industry’s apparent inability to find them before they swallow another excavator.

But E. Nicholson commercial manager Craig Black was having none of it. Instead, he penned the impassioned response (below) to set the record straight. We have reproduced Craig’s response with his permission:

I’m not necessarily disagreeing with your comments regarding unseen voids but you’d be surprised just how easy and frequent the discovery of such voids are.

We’ve carried out umpteen contracts through which basements/sealed chambers/underground culverts and all sorts of voids are found during demolition process.

The primary reasons for failure to locate pre-contract are: –

a) Biggest failing in the industry – The clients rarely provide record drawings for existing structures.
b) Record drawings – Often they are incomplete or unavailable and it normally costs us money to try and obtain the same. Under CDM it’s the clients duty to provide this info.
c) Unrecorded Voids – The older the structure the less chance there is of having a fully documented history of building alterations etc.
d) The void didn’t originally belong to the structure in question – Wouldn’t be the first time we’ve uncovered chambers etc from buildings that were demolished previously and then subsequently built over.
e) Mine Workings – Irrespective of record drawings held we’ve found that mines are often poorly recorded or in some instances not at all. We’ve also seen SI reports which have missed mines with boreholes falling just outside the perimeter of mine shafts. It’s very much hit and miss doing an SI.
f) GPR Surveys – Great if you’re on open land. Crap if you’re trying to find out what’s below a building.

So, I don’t think it’s very fair of you to place this at the door of the demolition contractor. We know more than most when it comes to this sort of thing and short of developing X-Ray vision it’s always going to be a problem until such time that we start receiving complete H &S files for buildings. This if course won’t happen for around another 20 years or so given that the requirement to produce such info was only enforced in the late 90’s onwards. If a building is due to come down within that time, I say ‘Shoddy builder’ or emergency works.

Just thought I’d add my tuppence worth.

Craig Black
Commercial Manager
E. Nicholson

You broke us…

…and yet we’re apologising!

Those of you for whom no day is complete without a visit to the hallowed halls of Demolition News Towers might recall that we suffered a 12-hour outage earlier this year due to excessive traffic volumes.

At that time, we upgraded our servers, met the wage demands of the Internet elves and were assured that our website and the server upon which it resides were “good for 2,000 to 2,500 visits per day”. Based on the fact that we’re now averaging 35,000 visits per calendar month, that was plenty of bandwidth. Or so we thought.

And then yesterday happened.

Strategically timed to coincide with the office being empty, you lot (yes, you, you and your insatiable appetite for demolition stuff of every hue) arrived in your droves, pushing traffic levels over 1,000 views per HOUR on at least two separate occasions and effectively breaking our Interwebs.

Unless this was some secret conspiracy set in motion by the industry Illuminati to take us down, it appears that we have once again been victims of our own success.

Our team of experts (no, seriously) is beavering away behind the scenes as we speak, attempting to replace the gaffer tape and string that generally holds this sorry mess together.

Hopefully, our disappearance didn’t cause you too much inconvenience. But please accept our sincere apologies anyway.

Video – Millnocket Mill felled…

Raw footage captures implosion of giant stack.

The Polar Vortex is depositing large swathes of the US with a thick blanket of snow. But that did not deter the crew at Dykon Explosives dropping a giant stack at Millnocket, Maine earlier today.

Check out the raw, snow-capped amateur footage below:

Video – The disappearing tower block…

PP O’Connor eats tower block alive.

PP O’Connor was engaged to carry out the safe demolition of two 17-storey concrete tower blocks and 1960’s three storey maisonette as part of a major new housing project in Blackpool.

When completed, the project will see 198 new affordable homes at the town’s Queens Park housing estate.

Video – Top 10 demolition failures…

A compilation of shame – Just pray your company isn’t featured.

The public has an endless and insatiable fascination with demolition and the filming of demolition events. And so it was only a matter of time until one of them compiled a “fail file” collating some of the worst (though, thankfully, not tragic) demolition fails of recent years.

The explosives side of the demolition trade does not fare particularly well in this cavalcade of calamity. But, as we all know, gravity can be a challenging mistress.

And the final clip in which an entire building is peeled banana-like from an internal (and fiercely stubborn) lift shaft really is just bad luck writ large.

We hope you enjoy the show and, moreover, we hope your company isn’t among those featured:

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