When the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced an extension of the 2009 version of its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system in November 2014, I am sure it came as welcome news for many contractors and recyclers.
The extension allows projects to register for certification using the 2009 version of the green building certification system until October 31, 2016 — more than a year after it was originally supposed to be phased out for the updated version of the certification known as LEED v4.
While proponents of LEED v4 tout its emphasis on the life cycle of building products, to many in the recycling and demolition industry, it is viewed as impractical. It certainly has implications for demolition contractors if more sorting of materials is required on site and for the C&D recycling facility that counted alternative daily cover toward its diversion rate.
The Turner Constructions of the world have accepted LEED v4 as a certification its clients will demand. Its Chief Sustainability Officer Michael Deane told Construction & Demolition Recycling (C&DR) magazine in the March/April 2014 cover story, “Standard protocol,” that his “single biggest goal for 2014 is to educate our people on how to do a v4 project and how it is different from what we’ve been doing.”
Whether C&D recyclers and demolition contractors like it or not, sooner or later, a job will come along that will use LEED v4, and it will be up to the industry to be ready. Certainly some temporary relief has been given with the extension of LEED 2009, but in less than two years that too will run out unless something happens between now and then to change LEED v4, which is not likely.
The delay though, does seem to show that the USGBC is listening to people’s concerns, but as Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC CEO and founding chair, points out, “LEED v4 wasn’t designed to be easy. It is the next generation of green building, and we are confident the market will meet us there as they have in years past.”
Fedrizzi may be right, but Deane also brings up an important concern in the C&DR article. “USGBC is always threading the needle between moving the market and losing the market,” he says. “What I am concerned about is that our clients and even our project teams may look at the requirements and decide not to do them because they will think they are too hard.”
We will just have to wait and see how this plays out, but in the meantime, I would suggest preparing yourself and your company for LEED v4.
Florida’s Southern Waste Systems (SWS) seems to have the construction & demolition (C&D) recycling business down to a science. Now, building on that success, this Davie, Florida-based recycling company continues to branch out in C&D and into other industry sectors, leveraging the substantial resources the company has built over the years.
The company began its work hauling and recycling Florida’s C&D debris with an eye for marketability, high-quality products and a zero-waste mentality.
Today, after continued expansions and integration, those efforts have been brought to and shared with the municipal solid waste (MSW) and other recycling sectors.
Along the way, the company has built and solidified its reputation as a large-scale hauling, waste and recycling company in the C&D recycling sector since it was founded in 1999 with one location and 30 employees in Pompano Beach, Florida, dedicated to the collection, hauling and processing of C&D debris.
During the 15 years that have followed, SWS and affiliated company Sun Recycling have expanded their reach and footprint throughout the southeast corridor of South Florida. Now, with 13 locations and more than 700 employees spanning six counties, SWS is a formidable presence as the state’s largest C&D processing company in terms of facilities and a key participant in the municipal waste and single-stream recycling sectors.
Decades of experience
SWS’ 15-year Florida presence is certainly admirable, but the company’s history goes back much further than that. Cofounders Anthony Lomangino, the company’s chairman, and his nephew Charlie Gusmano, president and CEO, each have more 30 years of experience in the waste and recycling industry, working their way up through the ranks over the past decades to help build and manage a major recycling and waste management company in the Northeast.
When Lomangino moved to the South Florida market to open SWS in 1999, he asked his nephew to join him in opening the business.
“Beyond the incredible personal respect I have for Charlie, he was a key architect in the growth and success of our integrated hauling and facilities model,” Lomangino observes. “His business acumen and strong leadership qualities have been instrumental in building one of the strongest teams in our industry.”
Today, the company is co-owned by Lomangino, Gusmano and Charlie Lomangino, Anthony’s son, who merged his own company into SWS in 2009. Along with being a key player in the operation and strategic growth of SWS and Sun Recycling, Charlie Lomangino serves as general manager, responsible for the operations of the collection and hauling business.
In the C&D sector SWS has worked to both diversify its product offerings and to be a singular market presence. Gusmano describes it as a facilities-based strategy with integrated hauling, material processing and recycling. He says he believes that owning processing facilities provides SWS with a defendable market position and competitive cost structure.
This belief is plainly evident in the company’s growth and activity in the C&D and MSW sectors, in which the company has built a network of strategically located facilities and processing yards capable of recycling the materials to SWS’ high standards.
Over the years, the company expanded from a single C&D recycling facility in Pompano Beach, at first processing at a rate of around 10 yards per employee per hour, to adding five more C&D processing yards in the Florida cities of West Palm Beach, Lantana, Pompano, Davie and Dania. The company also operates a yard waste processing center in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
SWS serves customers in six Florida counties through these C&D facilities: Palm Beach, Miami Dade, Broward, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin.
The company’s mixed C&D processing yards can handle all C&D materials, Gusmano says, including wood, metals, concrete, brick, wallboard, rocks, soil, cardboard, plastics, trees and other vegetative matter. And they are equipped to handle a volume of 20 yards per man-hour of C&D and yard waste. Furthermore, Gusmano says extensive research and development in recycling technologies and equipment has allowed SWS to achieve some of the highest recycling rates in the industry: up to 90 percent of the C&D debris the company collects, in a state where the recycling rate, including for C&D material, is expected to reach 75 percent by 2020.
On that point, Gusmano notes that many Florida counties and communities have in fact put more focus on C&D recycling considering the large percentage of the waste stream C&D represents.
SWS has developed a variety of recycled commodities from processed C&D materials, such as a fuel and ground cover product made from wood and yard waste. In addition, SWS can provide these recycled aggregate products back to building sites where they were collected.
One of the products is a crushed, screened 1 1/2-minus to 1/4-inch aggregate which is used as a base for parking lots, driveways, concrete slabs and roads. The company’s 1/4-inch minus product is used for paver stones or as a top base.
SWS also sells a proprietary concrete aggregate product, sold under the name Greenfil, which is the company’s version of the traditional No. 2 recovered screened material (RSM).
Gusmano says this homogenized product is suitable for a variety of building projects, such as adding elevation on golf courses or providing noise abatement for berms in residential communities. He points out that Florida’s regulations on RSM are tougher than most. One of them calls for RSM to be three-quarter-inch-minus material, however Greenfil is a half-inch-minus product.
“Our recycling processes are so involved and so much more expensive than most,” says Gusmano. “The material really is a better grade of RSM.”
The Sun Recycling division of Southern Waste Systems (SWS), Davie, Florida, has won several awards for its leadership in recycling processes designed to preserve Florida’s environment.
Over the years SWS and its officers have been honored with a long list of awards and special recognitions for their service to the country, the industry and the community.
Most recently, SWS and Sun Recycling were awarded the 2014 National C&D Recycler of the Year Award from the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association, based in Aurora, Illinois.
The company has been honored with Enterprise Florida’s 2010 Governor’s Business Diversification Award in the Green to Gold category. The award is for Florida companies or organizations that best exemplify green leadership in reference to the state’s goals.
Recycle Florida Today, a recycling organization, honored SWS with its 2011 Recycling and Waste Reduction Award in the category for Outstanding Institution/Business.
Chairman Anthony Lomangino is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, awarded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. In January of 2013, Lomangino also received the Outstanding Business Leader Award from Florida’s Northwood University. He was also selected for the inaugural class of the 2013 C&D Recycling Hall of Fame, presented by the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association.
And in April 2012, President and CEO Charles Gusmano was the recipient of the South Florida Business Journal’s Palm Beach County Ultimate CEO Award.
Vice President of Marketing Patti Hamilton was appointed to the Florida Commission on the Status of Women and currently serves on the commission’s executive committee.
Another of SWS’ concrete aggregate products, widely referred to throughout the industry as “57 rock,” has found great success in the equestrian community where it is used as a drainage base in equestrian competition arenas.
SWS has offered this product to Florida’s construction industry for many years but it became especially popular during the recent recession.
“The builders loved the idea that they were utilizing materials that are sustainable,” says Gusmano of this product. “It was also a cost savings for them, because they didn’t have to use virgin materials.” The product is also used for drainage fields, temporary erosion control and septic tank leachate fields.
Building the business
Achieving the wide Florida footprint of SWS today has followed an evolution starting with the C&D recycling experience its founders gained in the Northeast beginning in the 1970s.
Lomangino shares how predecessor company Star Recycling entered the C&D recycling business almost by accident during the late 1960s and early ’70s. In those days Lomangino would sort through waste at the company’s transfer station during the cold winters of the Northeast, burning waste wood in a 55-gallon drum for warmth as he worked.
“When that material was sent to the landfill, we realized we were saving quite a bit in tipping fees because of the reduced weight of the garbage,” says Lomangino. “So then we started pulling out all the wood, and then we went out and found buyers for that wood. So the original recycling in our facility was really landfill avoidance.”
Among the original buyers of the company’s recovered wood was Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, which burned the wood in its cogeneration plants. Soon the managers at Allied/Star begin looking for other materials to pull from the C&D and MSW streams and for processes that would add value to these materials, such as those that existed for paper, cardboard, metal and plastics.
The birth of the company’s more modern C&D recycling operations began when Lomangino made a trip to Germany to attend a recycling equipment show with the intention of buying a wood chipper. He ended up purchasing a C&D processing system from Lindemann Engineering instead.
Gusmano also attributes some of the company’s growth over the years to being in the right places at the right time. SWS facilities are in some of the state’s fastest growing markets, where the company has been able to grow both organically and through acquisitions.
Most importantly, though, is SWS’ way of collecting, processing and in turn marketing, the significant volumes of C&D material generated in these growing regions of Florida, where the construction sector continues to hum along at a healthy pace.
“The company’s growth strategy is predicated first on establishing processing and transfer capacity and then capturing volume, which in turn it drives through its processing facilities,” Gusmano says.
In more recent years, SWS has invested in new facilities and systems that have expanded the company’s processing services to include MSW, metals and residential single-stream recyclables. In addition, the company’s MSW hauling services now extend into Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties.
On the MSW processing front, in 2010 SWS entered into a joint venture on behalf of its Sun Recycling division and Bergeron Environmental Services, a land development and environmental consulting company based in Davie. The venture subsequently gained numerous waste and recycling collection, processing and disposal contracts in Broward County that helped cut residents’ costs by almost half in some cases, says Lomangino. Sun Bergeron’s entry into the MSW market is saving residents of Broward County millions of dollars, he adds.
The company also has continued to expand its collections sector, winning a five-year collection contract for roughly 47,000 residential homes and 30,000 commercial businesses in Palm Beach County. This was in addition to the company’s existing collections contracts for MSW, recycling and yard waste in a handful of other South Florida communities and numerous multifamily waste services throughout Broward, Miami Dade and Palm Beach counties.
To accommodate the newer contracts, SWS built an MSW processing facility in Davie in 2013 and is on track to process more than 300,000 tons this year, along with a new 25-ton-per-hour single-stream recycling facility in Deerfield Beach, which opened in early 2014.
“These two facilities added a new dimension to the scope of our business,” describes Gusmano. “In addition, they create highly sought-after and valuable jobs in our state.”
Another new market area for SWS has been metal recycling. In fall 2013 the company installed a turnkey shredder and nonferrous system from Buffalo, New York-based Wendt Corp. at the company’s Pompano Beach facility. The shredder has allowed SWS to process the more than 2,200 tons of metals received each month from its combined C&D operations.
Meanwhile, the C&D processing side of the business also continues to grow. In October 2014 the company opened a new C&D processing facility in West Palm Beach. The 10-acre facility is dedicated to concrete aggregate recycling, and Gusmano says adding the site was a direct result of the additional materials gained on the MSW and single-stream sides of the business.
“With the increase in recycling, there was more material available and we needed the space to produce more products,” he says.
The new C&D recycling facility includes a 1400 Max crusher from Eagle Crusher Co. based in Galion, Ohio, matched up to an Eagle 6-foot by 20-foot triple-deck screen. Gusmano says the crusher can generate as many as four different sizes of products at the same time and can process up to 250 tons per hour depending on the material.
Currently SWS is adding another mixed C&D processing yard in Davie to handle its growing volume. The 21-acre facility, due to open later in 2015, is expected to include a range of state-of-the-art technologies and processes.
Gusmano points out that all of the company’s facilities—C&D, MSW and residential/commercial recycling—are single-stream facilities.
“Our customers enjoy the convenience of disposing of waste on their sites in just one container. We then process, separate and produce valuable products from the materials.”
This means that customers don’t have to make extra space on their sites for separate containers, nor do they need to separate materials at job sites, Gusmano adds.
“That single-source container is processed at our facilities utilizing the most up-to-date equipment and processes in the industry,” Gusmano says.
Strong markets for the company’s materials have been another driver of its business growth and success over the years. “Our position as an integrated C&D collector, processor, manufacturer and marketer puts us at a distinct advantage,” Gusmano observes.
Gusmano acknowledges, while it’s difficult to differentiate oneself in the waste industry, that’s just what SWS has done. He concludes, “SWS has built a brand that represents an environmentally sound, high service, responsible and dependable operator focused on recycling and waste processing for zero waste.”
The author is a managing editor for the Recycling Today Media Group and can be contacted at email@example.com.
Beginning in the early 1800s, the commonwealth of Massachusetts began constructing a statewide system of cutting-edge (for the time) insane asylums. Construction on the Worcester Insane Asylum began in 1832, with the grand opening in 1833. The centerpiece of the new hospital was an elaborate administration building topped with a 135-foot-tall clock tower built in 1877.
The Victorian-era facility in Worcester was officially closed in the early 1990s with several phases of demolition taking place over the years. The administration building with its famous clock tower was one of the last remaining features of the original complex and was scheduled to be preserved. Unfortunately, a fire in 1991 caused significant damage to the interior structure and rendered the building inaccessible. The desire to preserve the structure was balanced against the need to prevent a dangerous collapse, and a decision was made to deconstruct and relocate the clock tower on-site as part of the new $300 million, 300 bed Worcester Recovery Center & Hospital as a tribute to the historical past.
The Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) hired Gilbane, based in Providence, Rhode Island, as a general contractor and construction manager to oversee this work. Together with DCAMM and Gilbane, Costello Dismantling of West Wareham, Massachusetts, created a work plan to address the challenging scope of work and the sensitivity needed to work adjacent to an occupied hospital. The team employed more than 20 subcontractors including engineers, health and safety professionals, masonry restoration experts, clock repair specialists and environmental remediators.
A painstaking process
The deconstruction was a painstaking process that involved removal of each stone by hand, numbering, photographing and cataloging them so the tower could be re-erected properly. The entirety of the top 65 feet of the tower was saved in this way, along with a significant portion of the remainder of the building. The deconstruction and demolition team consisted of a crew of 17 masons, 13 environmental professionals, 15 demolition specialists, two engineers and four full-time safety officers working together to create a successful project.
One of the most difficult challenges involved the extreme height that crews needed to work at to recover the tallest portions of the tower. The City of Worcester Fire Department would be able to perform aerial rescues at heights up to 70 feet. This project involved months of work at heights up to 135 feet, using 150-foot boom lifts and man-baskets suspended from cranes. A mechanical failure at height could leave workers stranded with no outside rescue available.
To safeguard against this, the team always had at least two lifts on site capable of performing a rescue at any height and a specifically trained aerial rescue team comprised of key site personnel with defined roles and responsibilities in the event of a rescue. The team had to make use of this special training once when workers encountered a mechanical failure at height in one of the lifts. Over the duration of the project there were zero loss-time accidents.
A falling debris engineering study was referred to which located the potential fall zone of debris from the building within a radius of 40 percent of the building height. This raised concerns as to the proximity of the newly occupied hospital which, in places, closely challenged this fall zone. Intrusion into the hospital space was an absolute prohibition to the basic tenets of the work plan. Several critical factors came into play, therefore, when executing a demolition plan. It became apparent that the slate shingle roofing could become loosened and airborne during roof demolition and could potentially sail out of the exclusion zone. The team designed a mesh wrapping system around the eaves of the clock tower which would capture any fugitive slates and contain them safely.
Similarly, once the tower portion of the building had been removed manually, the body of the building remained for dismantling with significant portions of the field and decorative sills, lintels and quoins needing to be saved. As previously mentioned, a significant fire in 1991 had rendered the interior of the building structurally deficient, inaccessible and asbestos contaminated.
Each year the National Demolition Association (NDA) recognizes projects that the Washington-based association says help improve the quality of life of the surrounding community. The NDA Environmental Excellence Awards recognize demolition projects that demonstrate significant environmental conservation and community improvement.
In 2014 West Wareham, Massachusetts-based Costello Dismantling was honored by the association for its work on the deconstruction of the Worcester Clock Tower. The firm was able to deconstruct the 65-foot historic clock tower built in 1877 at the former Worcester State Hospital by hand, cataloging each piece so that the tower could be rebuilt in a different location on the site.
The NDA is accepting nominations until Jan. 23, 2015, for this year’s Environmental Excellence Awards. Applications are available on the association’s website, www.demolitionassociation.com. Winners will be announced at the 2015 NDA Annual Convention, March 21-24, in Nashville, Tennessee.
All work activities were performed from the perimeter. The team utilized two Volvo high-reach excavators as the primary demolition machines. A Volvo EC700 with 105 feet of boom and a Volvo EC460 with 85 feet of boom were both equipped with rotating grapples to carefully dismantle wall sections and place individual stones in designated areas for decontamination and recovery. The precision material handling control was absolutely essential to maintaining the tight working envelope.
The reconstruction of the lower 65 feet of the new clock tower monument required 8-inch-thick ashlar granite stones to achieve finished exterior elevation. Although some of the salvaged stones were within this tolerance, workers discovered that the lower on the building face they went, the thicker the stones were.
Crews regularly encountered stones more than 12 inches thick. Rather than sort through thousands of stones to find 8-inch-minus thickness, they collected the 4,000 square feet required for the new construction (nearly 4,000 stones) and sent them to a local stone fabrication shop to have them sawcut to the required thickness, palletized, and sent back for the new project. The time savings achieved by opting for this solution easily outweighed the expense of sorting.
A collaborative effort
This project was truly a collaborative effort, with Gilbane and DCAMM working tirelessly to manage the safety and efficiency of the expansive construction and demolition site. Four full-time safety professionals from the prime contractors and subcontractors worked together to create a healthy and functional job site. While demolition was ongoing, construction was completed on the brand new hospital adjacent with demolition temporarily paused for the grand opening. After the opening of the new hospital, the task became ever more strenuous, with all three parties (DCAMM, Gilbane and Costello) working together to protect the safety and privacy of patients as the adjacent building became occupied.
Demolition was completed in March 2013. More than 13,000 man hours were logged on just the tower deconstruction, remediation and dismantlement, with zero loss-time accidents. Costello Dismantling, Gilbane and DCAMM worked collaboratively to craft and execute a successful deconstruction and demolition plan. The clock tower monument is in the process of being reconstructed, with all of the raw materials harvested from the original structure catalogued and numbered, capping off the new hospital with a terrific tribute to the past.
The article was submitted by Costello Dismantling, based in West Wareham, Massachusetts.
With my demolition consulting company, I receive (once or twice a month) calls or email requesting information of, “What does it takes to start or operate a demolition company?” I try to explain the pitfalls, including insurance/bonding, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), licensing, employee training and personal liability. After I complete my list, the conversation becomes, “I did not realize what laws and training are required.”
As an owner, you have a responsibility to protect your employees and the public from harm during demolition operations.
Owners are responsible for compliance through a maze of regulations, laws, licensing, permits, certifications, notifications, inspections, record keeping, immigrations, training and hazardous materials, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), asbestos-containing materials (ACM), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and lead.
The bottom line is you, as the company owner, must provide a safe workplace overseen by competent managers and supervisors who are knowledgeable to comply with the laws.
How well do you, as the owner, communicate information to your employees? As the owner, you understand Big Brother is watching all the way from the federal level [labor, OSHA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation and immigration], the state level [health, air quality, disposal/licensing, hazardous material handling, underground storage tank/above ground storage tank (UST/AST) removal and disposal] down to the local level (licensing, permits, site security, traffic control, utilities, dust control, work hours and inspections).
Project customers may require work -site employee drug testing, language requirements, no tobacco, customer- specific safety rules, site admittance, employee permitting and parking restrictions. The customer has the ability to stop work based on its authority. The compliance of customer, regulations and rules must be clearly communicated to all levels of your organization.
To improve communication you first need to establish a full-time safety/compliance training officer. A safety/compliance officer would conduct: site safety meetings, site safety inspections, site employee safety training, compliance with license, permits, notifications, safety record requirements and safety record keeping.
From a one-story house or a 20-story building, in the eyes of the regulators the same laws and regulations apply.
During my consulting career, I have mentored four demolition companies and startups and 100-plus owners, managers and estimators. Most startups fail to understand the headache and costs created by compliance with laws, regulations and rules. Most compliances and regulations revolve around safety and communication to employees of laws and regulations.
During my first conversations with prospective owners, I emphasize:
- commitment to safety;
- owner/employee communication; and
- rewarding excellence.
To establish communication in your organization you will need to implement and support:
- written company policies;
- a written safety plan; and
- an employee training program.
Communication is the key to a successfully run organization. As owners/managers, how do you communicate laws, regulations and rules to your workforce? As owners/managers, failure to communicate to your employees will lead to costly mistakes and in some cases tragedies.
Continuing education of managers and employees is another key to any successful business.
Investing in a full-time safety/compliance officer, who is responsible to communicate safety and compliance information to owners, managers, site supervisors and field employees, is important.
Safety commitment by owners is the first step in keeping communication open between the owner and employees by conducting safety and training meetings face-to-face with employees and receiving feedback.
Conduct a weekly (one hour limit) status meeting, with owner/managers, safety/compliance, equipment dispatch, maintenance and estimating personnel. A separate meeting (30 minute limit) should include the owner, manager/job status, office manager and estimators.
Work site employee safety training provides the forum to communicate companies’ policies, scope of work, rules, regulations and laws that affect their work place.
As owners and managers, your communication skills are important for you to deliver necessary information to all employees.
Communication is not limited to work-site employees. Your interaction with office/support staff, accounts payable/accounts receivable (AR/AP), safety officer, equipment dispatch and maintenance, estimating, job startups, cash flow, field employee and equipment allocation is critical.
Developing a manual
Owners and managers must develop a company safety and policies manual that outlines employees’ responsibilities, including the consequences that apply for employees’ failure to comply.
Failure to communicate leads to poor employee performance eventually and to loss of profit. Employees are more productive when they perceive owners’ commitment to safety. Owners must understand the cost of communication is an investment.
Governmental agencies’ compliance applies to owners, customers, field managers and site-work safety.
How do you communicate the laws, regulations and rules to your employees? First, understand safety is the most regulated of all your concerns from every angle — federal, state, city and customer.
The employment or assignment of a company safety and compliance officer needs to be the top priority of the road to compliance. The safety and compliance officer will be responsible for safety programs, compliance and communication to all managers and work-site employees.
Establish a corporate organizational chart, establish lines of communication and authority including implementing written company policies that cover all employees. Too often, owners hesitate to delegate and empower key employees leading to misunderstandings and confusion.
If the owners refuse to delegate authority, their organization will ultimately become dysfunctional. For more than 50 years, I have mentored more than 100 individuals, startups and existing companies. In each case I have delivered the same message for creating a safe, successful and profitable organization:
- Safety is first. Seventy-five percent of safety is communication and compliance;
- Delegate responsibilities;
- Communicate. Establish lines of communicate to all employees; and
- Reward. Recognize employees for excellence.
Meeting weekly with your people, each attendee can participate and hear the owner’s opinions and the opinions of key people allowing participants to interact with fellow key personal. Good subjects to communicate safety, include:
- emphasize the corporate safety culture of the company;
- monthly safety newsletters included with pay checks;
- annual all-day safety meeting for all employees; and
- safety awards (certificates)/safety cash bonuses for safety excellence.
The roads to communicate regulation compliance demolition workers include establishing:
- work site safety meetings;
- a company safety newsletter;
- employee training;
- written company policies;
- written safety plan; and
- written duties and responsibilities plan for all employees.
It is the contractor’s responsibility to communicate to managers and field employees all laws and regulations that apply to their work.
Strategies for communicating a company’s safety compliance are as follows:
- designate a safety and compliance person;
- employee training – off site and on site;
- conduct a 10-minute morning safety startup meeting daily;
- job site safety checklist/audit and inspection;
- demonstrate proper use of safety equipment;
- safety awards (lunch on site);
- a company safety newsletter;
- safety rewards for working safely;
- annual employee all-day safety meeting;
- a display safety board – safe maximum heart rate, to-date recordable and first aid cases; and
- cash bonus per hour for safety performance
The customer’s expectation of a safe work site includes:
- trained employees;
- a drug-free workplace;
- understanding the scope of work;
- open communication with on-site contractors; and
- compliance with customers.
In conclusion, communication is the gateway to safety and compliance. Owners must invest and support their commitment to safety and to communication.
William Gumbiner is president, Demolition Industry Consultants (DIC), based in Noblesville, Indiana, and a 50-year veteran of demolition as a senior corporate officer. More information about DIC is available at www.demolitionhelp.com.
“When we say we’ll do it … we’ll do it.” It’s not just a motto at Lindamood Demolition — located in Irving, Texas — it’s a statement and the principle that the company’s foundation was built on. It certainly rings true for the 39-year-old company who believes no job is too big or small. Lindamood Demolition is now one of the largest demolition contractors in Texas and continues to grow.
The family-owned business of 85 full-time employees has made great strides since opening its doors in 1975, when the company started with a small track loader and an old truck for demo work. Over the years, the business has been built up to feature a large fleet that includes 20 excavators (ranging from 50,000 to 175,000 pounds), 25 track loaders and 35 big 18-wheeler trucks.
The company also operates the largest high-reach boom in the South at 120 feet tall, which allows it to tackle taller buildings, where implosions are not feasible, and replaces the old crane and ball system.
Lindamood Demolition has quite the repertoire, specializing in commercial and residential demolition, implosions, asbestos and tree removal, heavy hauling, and lumber and tree mulching. Its primary work is on bridge and building demolition, pavement removal, and implosions.
Having one of the largest demo businesses in Texas brings many high-profile jobs along the way. This includes Texas A&M’s football stadium: Kyle Field, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport and Providence Hospital, among many others. The company has demolished almost every type of building there is: office buildings, warehouses, apartments, hospitals, schools, homes and other structures.
While Lindamood specializes in imploding buildings, often times during the demolition process a hydraulic breaker is required to achieve breaking performance where blasting is not conceivable. Lindamood features a few different breakers in its lineup, including three from Independence, Ohio-based Chicago Pneumatic (CP): two RX 8 light hydraulic breakers and one RX 54 heavy hydraulic breaker. The RX 54 is new to the company’s fleet in 2014 after Jake Lindamood, vice president and operations manager of Lindamood Demolition, went to ConExpo-Con/Agg in Las Vegas and found himself walking by the Chicago Pneumatic booth.
“I didn’t look up Chicago Pneumatic prior to the show because we already had two CP skid-steer-mounted breakers that worked really well,” says Lindamood. “We were walking by their booth and decided to stop and tell them how well the breakers worked for us. We talked with Greg Petherbridge, CP national sales manager, and decided we could use a heavy hitting breaker and purchased an RX 54 for our lineup.”
Up to speed
Breaker manufacturers continue to add features and variations to their offerings in order to accommodate the demands of the demolition industry. Suwanee, Georgia-based Montabert’s V4500 heavy-range hydraulic breaker features an automatic two-speed variation system — adjusting its impact energy and striking rate to deliver high energy per blow on hard ground and high frequency on soft ground.
Designed for use on excavators weighing between 99,200 and 176,400 pounds, the fully hydraulic breaker model delivers between 520 and 710 blows per minute. The 9,921-pound V4500 requires a hydraulic flow rate of between 74 and 100.5 gallons per minute and is rated within the 13,000 foot-pound impact energy class.
Standard features include a blank-fire protection system, which reduces harmful metal-to-metal contact and an energy recovery system that recycles recoil energy from the piston to increase strike power. In addition, the V4500 hydraulic breaker’s upper and lower suspension extends the excavator’s work-group life by absorbing harmful vibrations, while an automatic, cradle-mounted grease station delivers continuous oil flow — reducing bushing and tool wear. An optional air pressurization kit is available for underwater applications.
The V4500 hydraulic breaker’s simple design enables operators to more efficiently complete routine maintenance activities, increasing productivity, according to the company. Further, the hydraulic breaker’s fully enclosed heavy-duty cradle minimizes ambient noise on the job site while protecting working parts from dust and debris.
More details are available at www.montabert.com.
The RX 54 is the largest breaker offered in the CP lineup; features a service weight of 9,300 pounds; delivers an impact rate of up to 380 to 570 blows per minute (bpm); is in the 12,000 foot-pound class; and is specified for carriers in the weight class of 39 to 70 metric tons. It is ideal for heavy demolition, rock excavation and quarry applications, and the recent CP addition is designed to achieve greater breaking performance in tough applications without requiring additional hydraulic input.
“The RX 54 is easy to operate, hammers very smoothly, hits really hard; it’s clean and everything stays together on the breaker — it doesn’t have a lot of loose parts that are vibrating off of it, it’s just a heavy-duty, well-built hammer,” Lindamood says. “We have a different brand breaker in the same weight class and the CP one hits twice as hard as the other hammer even thinks about hitting.”
According to Lindamood, since purchasing the RX 54, his team has reduced the time it has spent on projects that involve using breakers by 40 percent or more compared to breakers they have used in the past. Using a breaker as strong as the RX 54 allows the fleet more flexibility. Instead of using two breakers on separate machines, the company is able to use just one machine without sacrificing efficiency.
“It just blows through what needs to get done so quickly because it hits so hard,” Lindamood says. “All my guys fight for the CP breakers. I hear my operators all the time saying, ‘give me the Chicago Pneumatic’. They don’t want to even use our other breakers anymore, so it’s likely that we will update all of our breakers to CP. The operators love it because, whatever they need to work on, they can get it done in close to half the time compared [with] competitive breakers.”
Bridging the gap
Bridge deficiencies are a big concern throughout the U.S., but it is especially concerning in Texas, which is home to 52,561 total bridges. As of 2013, nearly 10,000 of those bridges were deemed structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and have created many opportunities for Lindamood. It’s on bridges that the demolition company busts out its breakers and goes to work. The company primarily employs its CP breakers to hammer the abutments, pier caps and columns of the bridges. The abutments alone are very thick slabs of concrete, where Lindamood Demolition typically finds itself hammering anywhere from 4- to 8-foot-thick abutments.
A recent bridge job had the Lindamood crew scheduled to finish at the end of the weekend on a Sunday evening. With the power of the RX 54, Lindamood finished late Saturday afternoon — more than an entire day ahead of time. The CP breaker saved a complete day, as the operator was able to get through the abutments, pier caps and columns quickly and efficiently.
“Usually abutments will take us a long time using other breakers in our lineup, but our operator blew right through them with the RX 54,” Lindamood says. “The breaker pulverized the abutments and allowed us to haul the pieces off that same day. It’s not often that a single piece of equipment like that could literally save you an entire day’s work.”
Other recent high profile jobs that required the CP RX 54 were Kyle Field at Texas A&M and the DFW Airport parking garages. Both required the RX 54 to demolish columns and supports. The DFW Airport parking garages would have proved to be a challenge with 20-foot long, 10-foot-wide and 8-foot-thick supports, but the RX 54 had great success getting through it.
While Lindamood Demolition has owned the RX 54 for less than a year, the company is already seeing a difference in the operation. Upgrading its breaker lineup wasn’t part of its original plan going into ConExpo-Con/Agg, but after talking with CP, the company realized the impact it could make in its fleet. With a motto like Lindamood’s, it’s important to back it up. They not only back it up, but they do so on time and on budget. Simply put, that’s good for everyone’s bottom line.
The article was submitted on behalf of Chicago Pneumatic, Independence, Ohio.