Deutsche Bank building demolition to restart
19 October 2009
Demolition of the Deutsche Bank building in Lower Manhattan, New York, is set to restart following the building's decontamination and will proceed using floor-by-floor demolition methods. Shattered by the events surrounding 9/11, the building has loomed over the Twin Towers site since the 2001 terrorist attack.
Once the decision was made to demolish the building, work eventually began in 2004 but was plagued by delays, most notably following the deaths of two New York City Fire Department personnel in a 2007 fire, which halted all further work. A Bovis supervisor and two supervisors with a Bovis subcontractor were indicted for manslaughter in the case, accused of being responsible for the building‘s broken standpipe that doomed the firefighters. The subcontractor, John Galt Corp., was also indicted, but Bovis and the City of New York‘s government avoided criminal charges after they admitted wrongdoing and pledged to implement better safety procedures.
The original plan called for the removal of hazardous materials at the same time as demolition work proceeded. This plan was abandoned in the aftermath of the fire. All hazardous material was therefore removed over the course of early to mid 2008 in a stand-alone decontamination programme, leaving the building ready for its final demolition.
The New York City Department of Buildings is ready to approve a new demolition plan with more safety features, and officials are confident physical demolition will begin this month after the permit is issued.
Fatma Amer, deputy commissioner of Buildings, said she would visit the building every week, and inspectors assigned to the building have much more safety training than they did before the fire.
Demolition crews from LVI/Mazzocchi will use three Brokk demolition robots mounted with hydraulic hammers to work floor by floor, systematically breaking up the concrete floors of the remaining 26 levels. The estimated 16,000 tonne of concrete debris that will result will be crushed and used as fill on site.
Once the concrete is removed, the structure's steel beams, estimated as constituting 11,000 tonnes, will be then cut up manually, lowered to the ground and subsequently transported off site.
The bank site will be part of the new World Trade Center and the delays in taking the building down have affected construction there too. Meanwhile, the project‘s costs continue to rise. The cleanup and demolition costs are now inching close to US$200 million.