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Video – Costello stays behind after school…

Architectural significance of school fails to halt demolition.

Despite opposition from preservationists (yep, them again), Costello Dismantling is busily consigning the Martin Luther King Elementary School in Cambridge, Massachusetts to the history books.

The Martin Luther King Elementary School (1968-1971) was designed by Catalan architect Josep Lluis Sert (Sert, Jackson and Associate). The school compliments the many other buildings in Cambridge that Sert worked on while also teaching at Harvard University, including the Peabody Terrace Graduate Housing complex just across the street.

Sert's MLK Elementary School Demolition from Ana María León on Vimeo.

Jobs – Downwell maintains recruitment drive…

Kent-based contractor on expansion trail.

Downwell Demolition has been one of the success stories of the past few years, emerging through the recession as a significant force in London and the south east.

And it appears that the company has no intention of letting that momentum slide.

It is currently seeking demolition plant operators and supervisors (CCDO/SSSTS/SMSTS) for work throughout the South for major clients.

Demolition experience is essential. Continuous Training will be given throughout the term of employment.

The successful candidates will work within an expanding and forward thinking company. A good package is available to the right candidates.

Either call head office on 01342 893608 or E mail CV to sarah@downwelldemo.co.uk.

Video – Cavalier attitude…

Virginia Beach hotel demolition watched from on high.

With the weather here in the UK the usual May mix of sunshine and hailstones, this video is likely to make you long for the long, hot days of summer; the feeling of sand between your toes; the waves lapping gently on the shore.

This is the demolition of the “new” Cavalier Hotel on Virginia Beach shot from on high by another pesky drone.

Demolishing the Cavalier from A Story in the Sky on Vimeo.

Bridge implosion eyed for late June…

Donora-Webster Bridge to be removed from landscape by summer.

Pennsylvania state expects the historic Donora-Webster Bridge to be removed from the landscape by late June, the demolition project manager said.

The contractor will use heavy equipment and cranes to remove smaller sections of the span over Norfolk Southern rail lines in Donora in preparation for the implosion that will send most of the bridge into the Monongahela River, said Dominec Caruso, the project manager for the state Department of Transportation.

“It really is going to look different down there,” Caruso said Monday, when workers were removing the concrete deck in Donora.

PennDOT closed the 107-year-old bridge to traffic six years ago because of its deteriorating condition. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its design, a distinction that wasn’t enough to save it from demolition. PennDOT will save small pieces of the steel and stone for Donora and Rostraver Township.

Beech Construction Inc. of Carnegie has a $2.6 million contract to eliminate the bridge before the end of August.

PennDOT was still reviewing Beech’s demolition plans, and could stall the implosion until July, Caruso said.

Read more here.

Video – The rock that won’t roll…

How do you demolish a 100 tonne boulder that’s landed in your business.

A man from Alpine in California is trying to figure out how to break apart a massive boulder that smashed into his business earlier this year.

Crews started tearing down the Alpine Rentals building Saturday after the city deemed it unsafe to enter.

The business was damaged at the beginning of February when the 100 tonne, four metre tall rock broke loose from the hill above and rolled into the structure.

CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8

Jobs – Windmill turns to face recruitment…

Contractor seeks operations manager and site manager.

National demolition contractor, Windmill Group (UK) Ltd is looking to appoint an experienced Operations Manager to work within our existing management team alongside the Managing Director and Senior Contracts Manager.

The role will include liaising with new and existing clients ensuring site Health and Safety is being fully adhered to and programme/cost plans are met.

The right candidate must have a ‘can do’ attitude and will be North West based but be prepared to work Nationally. 5 years experience is required, ideally with NEBOSH qualification but not necessarily within the demolition industry.

In addition, Windmill Group is seeking to recruit CCDO Gold Card Supervisors to run contracts on site. The successful candidate may be required to work nationally and will be offered a competitive package and long term employment in return for loyalty, honesty and hard work.

Full details on both positions can be found by clicking the relevant link, below:

Alternatively, you can visit the “jobs vacant” page of the Windmill Group website just by clicking here.

Video – BSQ works underway…

Crew makes start on Warrington regeneration.

The Bridge Street Quarter Regeneration project in Warrington will create up to 400 construction jobs and 400 new permanent jobs in the leisure and restaurant sectors when the whole project is fully completed in 2019.

Before then, a major demolition programme will take place. This new video shows a Walter Forshaw excavator in action although, according to the Warrington Borough Council website, Celtic Technologies has been appointed as demolition contractor for the project.

Comment – Standing in the way of progress…

Conservationists are using social media to oppose demolition. Should we fight fire with fire?

Despite our inherent cynicism, the British people eventually rallied behind the London 2012 Olympics to make the Games one of the most engaging and unifying events in the nation’s history. Londoners happily point to iconic buildings such as The Shard, The Gherkin, The Walkie Talkie and The Cheese Grater that now dominate the nation’s capital with a sense of pride. Battersea, once an ugly blot on the landscape (I should know – I grew up there) has not just been rejuvenated; it has been reborn.

All of these projects – and a lot more besides – were made possible by demolition removing the old to make way for the new. And few would argue that the process was ultimately worthwhile.

And yet the merest mention of the word demolition seems to send conservationists, preservationists and heritage merchants into a tailspin. They issued a rallying cry to save the childhood home of a man that John Lennon once described as “not even the best drummer in the Beatles”. And now they have railed against plans to demolish several buildings in Central London to make way for a larger university.

Even setting aside the notion of protesting against a plan to enhance the education of the country’s youth, such objections ring as hollow and forward-thinking as a Native American declining the offer of a rifle because his bow and arrow were “just fine, thank you.”

Ironically, while they seem intent on standing in the way of progress at virtually every turn, the one thing that conservationists and preservationists are very good at is engaging with that paragon of modernity, social media. Each objection (Ringo Starr’s childhood home, Earl’s Court exhibition centre, King’s College London) is accompanied by a well-thought-out and targeted social media campaign across Facebook and Twitter.

And yet we – as an industry – are equally well-armed and well-connected. Coleman and Company, for example, has almost 1,500 fans and followers on its Twitter account. Former IDE president John Woodward has more than 2,000. And there are many more besides that have a loyal, vocal and engaged following.

Last night’s BBC TV show – The Wrecking Crew – will have gone a long way toward showing the general public the modern face of demolition. But are we fully utilising the power of social media to tell would-be protestors of the benefits of the demolition process?

Of course, the case for professionalism is all-too-often undermined by media reports of accidents and of rogue contractors.

But as an island, the UK is pretty much filled; and nothing of any note can be built in or around our cities and conurbations without some form of demolition. Maybe if we could focus the public’s minds on the potential social and economic benefits of demolition rather than the perceived destruction of the nation’s heritage, protests such as those at Earl’s Court and Kings College might carry just a little less weight and gain a little less mass media traction.

Construction WorX magazine is live…

If you’re going to PlantworX 2015, let this be your guide.

PlantworX 2015 will be the biggest gathering of construction and demolition equipment this year.

If you’re going to the show, the latest edition of Construction WorX magazine will be an invaluable guide to the must-see products and services that will be on display. If, however, you can’t be there, it will be a sad reminder of just what you’re missing.

If you like your PlantworX previews a bit more “active”, then you might like to check out the latest shows from our buddies over at Diggers and Dozers. Just click here.

Video – Going down…

Drone captures grain elevator’s final journey.

Not since Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler sang about the illicit pleasures of “livin’ it up while I’m going down” has an elevator’s descent been quite so visually appealing.

All the way from the Canadian Prairies come this great drone film of a grain elevator returning to Earth with a bump. Lovin’ it up till it hits the ground!

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