Robots to the rescue

By Lindsay Gale05 June 2014

Netherlands contractor De Jong Betonboringen was brought in to help with a major upgrade of the staff and personnel quarters located in the basement of a 468 room, five star hotel built in 1880, located in the centre of Amsterdam,.

The work brought a number of major challenges that resulted in De Jong deploying two Brokk demolition robots, a 160 and a 100, along with a 3 tonne electrically powered excavator and a small track dumper. Access to the work area in the basement was via an opening that was only 0.8 wide x 1.5 m high (2.6 x 5 ft) via a 45° ramp. In addition, the basement contained electrical cables, and central heating water and sewer pipework that had to remain live as the hotel above was still fully functioning for guests. Finally, working hours were limited because the work was being carried out during the height of the tourist season and the hotei was almost fully booked – despite this, the contractor had only a maximum of six weeks to remove 430 square metres (4,629 square feet) of 0.25 m (0.8 ft) thick concrete flooring.

Diesel or petrol fuelled equipment could of course not be used for health and safety reasons, hence the selection of electrically powered equipment. A further complication was the location of the hotel in the heavily congested centre of Amsterdam, which meant that limited hours were available for the transport of heavy loads to and from the worksite. Despite these challenges, De Jong completed the work within the specified timeframe and to budget.

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