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Video – Miners bid farewell to tower…

Blast drops South Yorkshire coal mine landmark.

The tower at South Yorkshire Maltby coal mine is no more.

Situated in England’s Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, the Yorkshire coal mine has been in existence since 1914. At its peak, the mine was capable of producing more than one million tons of coal a year.

Ex-miners and surface workers gathered to see the 78-meter high building reduced to rubble.

Read more here, or view the video below:

Video – Bridge blast raises drone near-miss fears…

Safety fears after pilot reports near miss with drone in Cleveland.

The FAA is continuing its investigation into a near miss with a drone reported by a helicopter pilot over Cleveland last Friday.

According to local news reports, the pilot was at 1,700 feet – well above the permitted 400 foot drone flight ceiling – when the drone passed less than 50 yards from his helicopter.

In an unrelated incident, NewsChannel 5 has learned that there was a TFR, or Temporary Flight Restriction, issued during Saturday’s demolition of the old Innerbelt Bridge.

During that TFR and implosion of the bridge, Cleveland Aerial Media videotaped the implosion with a drone despite the TFR.

Anthony Serio with Cleveland Aerial Media said they were unaware of the TFR, until after the demolition.

Read the full story here, or view the video below:

Sellafield’s tallest stack to fall…

Tallest chimney at Sellafield site to be meticulously deconstructed.

Vinci subsidiary Nuvia has been handed the tricky tasks of taking down the tallest chimney stack at the Sellafield nuclear plant, according to industry news portal, The Construction Index.

The 61 metre tall chimney sits on top of the 11-storey First Generation Reprocessing Plant, standing 122 metres high in total.

It is right in the centre of one of the busiest areas of the site, so cannot just be knocked down or blown up. Instead it will be surgically dismantled using a special platform, a process that will take several years to complete. Some 600 tonnes of concrete and rebar and more than 25 tonnes of stainless steel will be removed, bit by bit.

Project manager Matthew Hodgson said: “The job of bringing down the stack is going to be a delicate operation to ensure 100% safety of all personnel and surrounding nuclear plants. We have employed Nuvia Limited who has been working with us and a number of other contractors, including Delta Steeplejacks, for the last three years on the demolition scheme.

“Obviously conventional demolition using explosives is not feasible therefore we will use an ingenious self-climbing platform which will bring the chimney down bit by bit in a controlled manner.”

Read more here.

Keltbray to out “grot spot”…

Final credits roll at Tunbridge Wells much maligned cinema.

Demolition of a derelict town centre cinema in Kent, branded as a “grot spot” is due to start this week.

The former ABC cinema in the centre of Tunbridge Wells has been derelict for nearly 14 years despite a number of demolition and redevelopment plans.

Work was due to start on Monday but work to make safe the electricity and gas supplies has delayed demolition.

A former dental surgery on the site will pulled down first, with the project due to take 12 weeks.

Liberal Democrat councillor Ben Chapelard, who has campaigned for the redevelopment of the site, has previously called it the town’s “number one grot spot”.

Read more here.

Jobs – Shorts seek operator…

Berkshire-based Shorts Group is on the lookout for an experienced operator.

shorts_20140528142404Got the demolition excavator skills to pay the bills? Then Bracknell-based Shorts Group wants to hear from you NOW.

The company is actively seeking an experienced demolition excavator operator holding CPCS or equivalent and with the ability to work alone and run jobs.

If you’ve got what it takes, check out the full ad at our sister website,

Video – Council offices come down…

Sunday morning blast fells Doncaster Council’s former home.

A controlled explosion brought down the former home of Doncaster City Council yesterday.

The 12-storey column and beam structure was demolished using 36 kg of explosives and over 800 charges by demolition and explosives contractor DSR Demolition. The contract was not without its challenges, however.

With a listed building just 10 metres away and live services six metres away, the blast was designed to collapse the building from centre to gables. A Police Station had to be kept operational only 40 metres away from the building and within the exclusion zone, requiring even greater control and precision.

GBM slapped with prohibition…

Lincolnshire firm cited over Hounslow collapse.

DSC_0239A safety watchdog has launched a full investigation into the partial collapse of an office block, which led to the evacuation of Hounslow bus station.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was informed after a large chunk of Hounslow House came crashing down as it was being demolished on Tuesday (July 15), sending debris and dust flying.

Having carried out initial enquiries, a spokeswoman for the organisation today said it was now launching a full investigation into the collapse, in which nobody was injured.

She also said the demolition firm GBM UK had been issued with a prohibition notice preventing further work on Hounslow House until improved safety measures have been introduced. The order does not ban work on the rest of the site.

She was unable to say how long the investigation would take.

Read more here.

Coleman issues Didcot stay away warning…

Cooling tower implosion is not a public event.

Coleman and Company chief Mark Coleman has warned people to stay away from the controlled demolition of the first of the Didcot power station cooling towers, saying people could end up covered in dust.

The 325 foot towers will be blown up during the early hours of Sunday, July 27. Energy firm RWE npower says the towers –the first three of six to be demolished – will come down between 3am and 5am.

Mark Coleman, managing director, said it was industry best practice not to make “an event” out of a high-explosive demolition, due to uncertainty regarding the fall-out of dust and debris. Coleman and Company will livestream the Didcot A towers being blasted.

“The British standard for demolition is clear and tells us we should never encourage people to come to a demolition event and we should do whatever we can to discourage people from coming.”

Read more here.

Video – We won the cup…sort of

It’s Friday; time for a spot of demolition-related humour.

It’s Friday afternoon. The sun is shining, the fan is blowing cool air onto my weather-beaten face, and there’s only a few hours to kill until I get to see the new Planet of the Apes movie.

And so, in the spirit of POET’s day, here’s a little something we put together in celebration of having won the prestigious AWD Cup:

Video – Volvos pitch in…

Volvo equipment has helped demolish the old Metrodome stadium in just four months.

Built in 1982, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis has had a glorious career, hosting many famous events including a Super Bowl, two World Series, a major league baseball All-Star game and two college Final Four basketball playoffs.

Located in downtown Minneapolis, the Metrodome was a concrete structure with a fiberglass fabric roof – self-supported with some help from air pressure. Thirty-six steel cables, each 3.5 inches in diameter, anchored the fabric in place from the top. Inside, the structure supported three seating levels, holding 64,000 people.

Frattalone Companies was contracted by Ames Construction – a subcontractor to Mortenson Construction, the project’s main contractor – to bring down the Metrodome in January this year. Ames has a $36-million contract with Mortenson for the project’s excavation and demolition work.

Bigger and better
A new and larger $975 million stadium is being built simultaneously with the demolition of the old stadium, which took just four months to bring down and remove the remains using Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) machines. In temperatures below minus 7oC (20oF), the work took place on the same site – so as one section of the Metrodome was demolished, foundation work for the new facility began.

“We cleaned the building out first, removing materials that could not be recycled or transported to landfill,” says Chris Niemand, Frattalone’s project manager. “It took about three weeks to remove a loading dock from the facility and while that was happening, crews prepared the ring beam for removal. Small controlled explosive charges were used to sever each of the cables from their anchors, and the fabric roof fell safely to the ground.”

Bringing down the entire structure with explosives was considered, but the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority ruled it out because of the impact it could have on the surrounding community, including a hospital. For this demolition project, Frattalone bought a new Volvo EC480D-Series high-reach excavator and a selection of demolition attachments.

“The Volvo high reach excavator has been used for multiple projects since we started the demolition,” says Niemand. “We brought it in immediately once the building was emptied to help prepare for the mass demolition process. The excavator machine was able to pull down all the chairs and debris to field level. It was a concrete stadium so it would not have been easy to get up there and clean away all the old concrete.”

Frattalone’s other Volvo equipment consists of two A40 D-Series articulated haulers, two L110 E-Series wheel loaders, two L90 D-Series and E-Series wheel loaders, one L250 G-Series wheel loader, and two Volvo excavators – an EC240CL and an EC360BL. “I think Volvo’s loaders are second to none,” says Tony Frattalone, president of the company. “One of our L90 loaders has clocked 18,000 hours and our other L90 has clocked around 15,000 hours.”

“We bought the Volvo EC480D for three reasons,” adds Frattalone. “First, it’s versatile – in a matter of one hour, workers can exchange the high-reach demolition boom for a digging boom to prepare the machine for excavation work so we could maintain a profitable piece of equipment that doesn’t have any downtime. The second is Volvo supplies the entire machine, including the high-reach boom and makes parts for it. Having a one-stop shop for me was important as other manufacturers didn’t allow it. Thirdly, it was cost effective compared to other brands.”

Frattalone Companies was established in 1970 by Frank Frattalone. Today his son, Tony Frattalone, manages field operations and equipment but started out as a machine operator. Nick Frattalone, his brother, handles the business side of the firm. The company specializes in grading and excavation work, demolition, sewer and water utility work. It also owns Dawnway Landfill in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, which accepts non-hazardous debris from construction, demolition and remodeling projects.

About 80% of the structure’s concrete, steel and other materials from the Metrodome can be recycled and reused as road base or concrete aggregate. In addition, 4,000 tonnes of recyclable steel will be salvaged and recycled.

Once the seats were removed, Frattalone used the Volvo high reach machine to remove the stadium’s club-level suites. “The machine was positioned inside the building to pull the suites and building materials down,” says Niemand. “We could have done this in other ways, but falling debris was a safety issue. The machine allowed us to do the job in a safe way.”

After the roof came down the company focused on removing different structural components 23 meters (75ft) off the ground, including precast concrete beams.

“Once exposed, the high-reach worked at ground level to demolish 10 meter (30ft) walls,” says Niemand. “The operator worked from a safe distance and then our general purpose excavators and loaders removed the rest of the structure and debris. The Volvo high-reach is not only safer than other demolition methods, it is more precise than a crane and wrecking ball.”

“The fuel economy of the Volvo EC480D high reach excavator and our other Volvo machines is exceptional,” says Tony Frattalone. “Fuel prices have gone up so it definitely helps. We have a great working relationship with Nuss Truck and Equipment – Volvo CE’s local dealer. They supply us with the parts and support that is needed out in the field, which makes it a lot easier decision to purchase Volvo equipment.”

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