Demolition contractor CK Abbruch & Erdbau has demolished a hospital in the city of Konstanz, on the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee) in southern Germany.

The first phase of the project saw the specialist contractor demolished 40,000 cu m (1.41 million cu ft) of the old Vincentius Hospital’s building, which was situated on a 2.5 ha (6.2 acre) site being prepared for redevelopment.

Originally constructed in the 1970s, the hospital was demolished to make way for a modern residential area with retail and restaurant spaces.

Abbruch & Erdbau used a Kemroc cutter wheel mounted on a 40 t excavator to undertake the works, which included the removal of the hospital’s 2,000 sq m (26,910 sq ft) and 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) thick concrete foundation slab.

Markus Christadler, Abbruch & Erdbau managing director, said: ”It would have been quicker with a larger excavator and hydraulic breaker, but under these conditions, it was not possible. Even so, we achieved average rates of 10 to 15 m (32 to 49 ft) cutting length per hour which gave us a production rate equivalent to using drill and blast but at a much lower cost.” 

Kemroc said an independent report ruled out the use of an excavator with a hydraulic breaker due to high noise and vibration levels. Due to the site’s promiximity to Lake Constance, it was said that the vibration from the hydraulic breaker could be transmitted through the water-saturated ground and damage a neighbouring listed building, which had to be preserved.

Abbruch & Erdbau rented a Kemroc DMW 220 1000 cutter wheel with 1,000 mm (39 in) cutting depth for a test and, after trialling the attachment, purchased an identical model to complete the first phase works.

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