Accelerated demolition in Amsterdam

By Lindsay Gale30 November 2011

Koole’s high reach was used for primary demolition of the taller structures on the Tata Steel site

Koole’s high reach was used for primary demolition of the taller structures on the Tata Steel site

Dutch contractor Koole has completed the largest demolition project undertaken in the Netherlands - a chemical plant on a Tata Steel site in the port of Ijmuiden in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The site was a former DSM Agro fertiliser production facility that has been bought by Tata. Covering 13 hectares (32 acres), the demolition project required the removal of 40 abandoned buildings, with the tallest standing 55 m (180 ft) high. In addition, there were a series of cooling towers, which were brought down using explosives. A 110 m (361 ft) chimney that posed the greatest challenge on the site was also brought down using this technique. Word started in August 2010, with 18 months being allowed for full demolition, remediation and land restoration.

Demolition of the remaining structures was carried out using machine-mounted attachments. Koole used a small fleet of five Hitachi excavators on the job from its full fleet of 30 Hitachi machines as well as a high reach. Five standard Hitachis were in use on the site - ZX870LCH-3, ZX520LC-3, ZX470LCH-3, ZX460LC and a brand new ZX270U-2 mini. The 870 was used for primary demolition alongside the high reach, with the 520 carrying out secondary demolition at ground level. The other machines were used for foundation removal, with some of the trenches being 12 m (40 ft) deep, and land restoration operations.

Koole had to perform asbestos remediation and remove cabling before physical demolition could start on some of the structures. Over a period of five months, 1,800 tonnes of asbestos was removed, vacuum-packed and stored according to regulations, with constant checks and measurements being carried out during the entire process.

Debris from the demolition was separated on site, with the resulting aggregate being crushed and then transported to a cement plant where it was sold for use in road construction applications, and the steel shipped for recycling. A total of 80,000 tonnes of concrete and other debris was processed in this way, with 13,000 tonnes of metal, including copper and stainless steel, being recycled.

Once these operations were completed, Koole went on to level and turf the site ready for its use for new development. Although given 18 months to carry out this large-scale project, Koole in fact completed the work in just 12, no doubt to its customer's great satisfaction.

ne of the company's 2 tonne Brokk 180s and suspended it above the tank, from where the machine, controlled remotely by the operator who was in a nearby telescopic aerial work platform, used a breaker to demolish the roof and side walls of the water tank. The Brokk was then lowered onto the structure to demolish the remains of the tank that still protruded from the tower. In all, it took 10 days for the tank to be removed. The remains of the tower were then demolished by an 40 tonne excavator and the site prepared for a future housing development.

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