Separation Established For Demolition Work

By Aram Kalousdian, Editor | September 28, 2010

Large-scale demolition work of an old high-rise wing, an adjacent tower and a main entrance lobby of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Superior Township began in February and was completed in April. The work is part of a $258-million renovation at the facility. Homrich Inc. was the demolition contractor.

Manual demolition crews established separation lines between patient-occupied buildings and demolition areas, eliminating the possibility of disturbance during heavy demolition activity.

Manual removal of the seven-story structure reduced debris during mass demolition and allowed for crews to meet goals set by the St. Joseph Mercy Health System and the construction management firm, The Christman Company. This maximized the percentage of recycled materials for reuse.

Paul Brant, project manager for Homrich Inc., said that approximately 800 tons of steel was recycled, 500 tons of concrete was recycled, and the remaining material was debris.

"This is an active hospital and the area we were demolishing was attached to the existing building, so we had to provide a split there. We utilized a combination of handwork and small machinery. We split the building away from the existing building by removing one bay. Being an active hospital, we had noise issues and dust issues, so we had barriers put in place," Brant said.

"There were also concerns about vibration, which is why we used small machinery for the split," Brant added. Brant said that mini-excavators, skid steers and torches were used for the split.

Homrich used a Hitachi 800 Ultra Hi-Reach with a Genesis Demo Pro 450 multi-processor attachment, a Cat 345 with a Genesis Demo Pro 900R attachment, a second Cat 345 with a bucket and thumb for loading material, and a Samsung 350 with a bucket and thumb.