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November 9, 2015

// Demolition projects

Florida demolition firm dismantles inverted pyramid structure

Demolition of an inverted pyramid at the head of a pier in St. Petersburg, Florida, is nearing completion. The inverted pyramid is being demolished by Sonny Glasbrenner Inc., Clearwater, Florida, for $3.2 million.

The structure is being removed for the development of Pier Park, a $46 million development to include a series of parks, shops, bike and walking trails and other recreational facilities. The new park is scheduled to open in spring 2018.

Once the pyramid demolition is complete, crews will demolish the rest of the pier and pier approach work will begin.

The city has set up a time-lapsed video of the demolition process on its website. The video is updated each Friday and can be seen by clicking on “updates” at, which also has renderings and details about the Pier Park design.

According to local reports, the inverted pyramid was built in 1973, but the city began making plans to replace it in 2005 rather than bear the maintenance expenses for the deteriorating structure. The pyramid has been closed for two years.

Sonny Glasbrenner is using MagneGas, a fuel derived from liquid waste, for the steel cutting portion of the demolition.


// Metals

Ohio ranks No. 1 in metals theft

Ohio, the home of college football’s national champion Ohio State Buckeyes, has claimed a second title it probably does not wish to retain: the state with the most metal theft insurance claims.

However, statistics gathered by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Des Plaines, Illinois, indicate that in the U.S. insured metal theft claims in 2014 were down 8 percent from 2012 levels. The decrease continues a recent trend, says the NICB.

In 2012, a total of 13,731 metal theft claims were processed. The number dropped to 13,632 in 2013 and decreased again to 12,630 in 2014—a decline of 8 percent compared with 2012.

Regarding state comparisons, as in the NICB’s previous report on metal theft, Ohio ranked first, generating 4,438 metal theft claims, which was far ahead of second-place Pennsylvania (2,770). Texas (2,379), New Jersey (2,192) and California (2,127) round out the five leading states.

During the three-year period slightly less than 40,000 insurance claims for the theft of copper, bronze, brass and aluminum were handled, with the vast majority of them (98 percent) involving copper.

Declining prices for copper are having an effect, says NICB. “When the number of metal theft claims per month and monthly average copper prices are compared, the number of claims filed is found to have a statistically significant correlation with the price of copper,” says the group.

The top five metropolitan regions generating the most metal theft claims were:

  • New York-Newark-Jersey City (2,066);
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (1,581);
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin (1,487);
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell (1,086); and
  • Detroit-Warren-Dearborn (945).


// Facilities

Cooper Tank obtains RCI certification

Cooper Tank Recycling, Brooklyn, New York, has had its mixed C&D facility recycling rate methodology certified by the Recycling Certification Institute (RCI), Sacramento, California.

The RCI announced Cooper Tank Recycling’s certification in late September 2015, along with that of Construction and Demolition Recycling Inc. (CDR), South Gate, California.

“Cooper Tank Recycling is the first facility in the Northeast to become certified under the CORR (Certification of Recycling Rates) protocol,” says RCI. Cooper Tank processes more than 300,000 tons of mixed C&D material per year on about 1 acre, according to RCI.

RCI was established to verify facility recycling rates in part to ensure compliance with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scoring system established and maintained by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington.


// Green building

Nashville, Tennessee, office building earns LEED Gold certification

Gulch Crossing, a recently opened office building located in Nashville, Tennessee’s historic Gulch district, has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality all factored into the designation.

Key sustainability factors include:

  • 18 percent energy usage reduction over conventional buildings;
  • 41 percent water use reduction (resulting in over 650,000 gallons of annual water savings);
  • 72 percent reduction in landscaping water usage through water efficient landscape design;
  • 81 percent (1,854 tons) of construction waste was recycled;
  • preferred parking is provided for low emitting vehicles and fuel efficient vehicles; and
  • reduced heat island effect through 90 percent of the parking being under cover and 75 percent of the building’s roof being highly reflective.

The developer, MarketStreet, worked with Nashville firm SSR Sustainability Consulting to help manage the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification process. “We were fortunate to work with MarketStreet, an owner committed to developing a building with a strong community presence while maintaining a low impact on the environment,” says Eric Sheffer, principal at SSR. “Gulch Crossing does just that, easily integrating itself into the surrounding sustainable community while standing apart with its unique design and features.”

The companies say extensive consideration was taken in the architecture and design to ensure modern elements were environmentally efficient. For example, the building’s exterior is highlighted by cedar accents designed to pay homage to the area’s past as a railroad yard. The Forest Stewardship Council certified 96 percent of the cedar used.

Additionally, MarketStreet says it worked closely with ESa architects to ensure the modern architecture did not compromise energy efficiency.


// Demolition projects

Louisiana bridge demolition to be featured on UK TV show

Demolition of the O.K. Allen Bridge in Alexandria, Louisiana, will be featured on a European television series.

According to a report on, A television crew from London flew in to film the bridge demolition for a 10-part television series called “The Demolition Man” to be shown in Europe in 2016.

The demolition of the 79-year-old bridge was slated for Sept. 26.

The new Curtis-Coleman Memorial Bridge, which is next to the O.K. Allen Bridge, was closed to accommodate the demolition and subsequent inspection. Boat traffic on the Red River also was halted before, during and after the demolition.

According to the article, explosives were used to separate the bridge’s steel superstructure into 14 pieces. Those pieces were dropped into the Red River then hauled to the river banks to be cut up for scrap.

The two-person TV crew from London was scheduled to be on the river—away from the blast radius—to film the demolition, the report says.

The 10-part show is expected to broadcast in 2016 on a channel called Insights, which the article says is similar to Discovery Channel.

The O.K. Allen Bridge opened in 1936 and closed in March when the first span of the Curtis-Coleman Memorial Bridge opened to traffic. Work is proceeding on the second span, an area that is next to what remains of the O.K. Allen Bridge, and that span is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

The concrete from the roadway and the ramps leading to the main span of the old bridge were removed in advance of the September explosive demolition. All that remains of the bridge in the Red River are the large concrete piers, which will be removed at a later date.


// Demolition projects

Controlled implosion takes down Buffalo, New York, hospital

The main tower of Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital in Buffalo, New York, came down in seconds in front of hundreds of spectators early Oct. 3.

According to local reports, a plunger on the top of a nearby parking garage provided the catalyst for the implosion of the 11-story building.

Buffalo-based Ontario Specialty Contracting completed the demolition. It will take approximately three months to sort, recycle and haul away the debris.


// Personnel

In Memoriam: Rick Givan

Patrick Charles (Rick) Givan passed away in September 2015 at his home in Erie, Colorado, at the age of 70. Givan had a long-time presence in the Colorado concrete recycling and demolition industries, including playing a major role for Recycled Materials Co. Inc. (RMCI), Arvada, Colorado, in the recycling of 6 million tons of concrete at the former Stapleton Airport.

Givan was a United States Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran who earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado. In addition to his work with RMCI and the multi-year Stapleton Airport project, Givan served as a board member of the National Demolition Association, Washington, and worked for Denver-based Fiore & Sons Inc. as a special project manager.

He is survived by his wife Pamela Givan of Erie, Colorado; his daughters’ Shannon (Chris) Walsweer and Meredith (Barth) Quenzer, and three grandchildren. Givan’s family requests memorial donations be made to Mountain View Fire Rescue Foundation in Longmont, Colorado.


// Demolition projects

Brandenburg to highlight Chicago project at World Demolition Summit

Dennis McGarel, vice president of sales at Brandenburg Industrial Service Co., Chicago, will use the World Demolition Summit (WDS) conference to outline the company’s work on the removal of the Prentice Women’s Hospital and Maternity Center in Chicago.

The conference takes place Nov. 6 in Amsterdam. McGarel will discuss the challenges faced by the contractor in demolishing a cantilevered nine-story, four cylindrical tower structure sitting on top of a rectangular five-story lower structure. In addition to these challenges, court action prevented demolition, leading to delays of more than a year on the project.

Other event speakers include:

  • David Sinclair, who will present the keynote address, which focuses on a life in demolition;
  • Henrik Bonnesen of COWI on a Danish investigation into polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) sources;
  • Clinton Dick of Liberty International on the decommissioning of a massive harbor crane in Sydney Harbour; and
  • William Sinclair of Safedem on demolition and urban redevelopment.

More information is available at

// Facilities

Sorce Services buys property in Wisconsin

Construction and demolition materials recycling company Sorce Services LLC, Franksville, Wisconsin, has reportedly purchased a 32,400-square-foot building in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

According to an online report by the Milwaukee Business Journal, Sorce Services paid $1.1 million for the building, which had been on the market since early July 2015.

The building was formerly owned by Waukesha County, which had used it to operate a recycling center for paper, bottles and cans collected throughout the county. Earlier in 2015, Waukesha County consolidated its recycling sorting and processing with the city of Milwaukee.

A real estate broker quoted in the article says there were two bidders for the building, which sold quickly in a market where demand for 20,000-to-40,000-square-foot industrial buildings is exceeding supply.


// Green building

Port Everglades receives its first LEED certification

Broward County, Florida’s Port Everglades received its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for Cruise Terminal 4, which underwent many energy-efficient improvements when it was expanded and completely renovated over the past year.

To receive LEED certification, building projects must satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve certification. Construction features that contributed to the terminal’s eligibility for LEED certification include:

  • recycled concrete and asphalt used in construction;
  • low-water usage toilets/urinals and fixtures;
  • energy-efficient lighting inside and outside as well as the use of natural lighting within the terminal;
  • energy-efficient air conditioning and windows;
  • remote control of the lighting and air conditioning systems;
  • use of regional materials manufactured within 500 miles of the port; and
  • low VOC (volatile organic compounds) products used for paints, coating, flooring and adhesives.

“We decided to renovate Cruise Terminal 4 specifically to comply with LEED guidelines because the certification is widely recognized and it supports Broward County’s sustainability efforts to make buildings more energy efficient and invest in renewable and alternative energy technologies,” says Steven Cernak, chief executive and port director, Port Everglades.

Port Everglades also has a portwide energy management program that includes most of the Broward County-owned buildings and facilities so many of the port’s other cruise terminals also are energy-efficient buildings.

// Demolition projects

Fireball signals implosion

The Riverfront YMCA in Des Moines, Iowa, was imploded on Oct. 4. A large fireball rose up from the 54-year-old building signaling the beginning of the implosion, performed by D.W. Zinser Co., of Walford, Iowa.

The implosion took about nine seconds. A portion of the building was demolished prior to the implosion, and materials were salvaged or recycled.


// Concrete & aggregates

Cherry honored with Clean Air Champion award

Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) hosted its 15th annual Clean Air Leadership Awards Program to honor Cherry Cos. with the Clean Air Champion Award, along with 26 other local businesses, organizations and governments, for their commitment to support voluntary measures reducing air pollution and promoting regional air quality initiatives.

Cherry has implemented the clean fleet program with a no-idling policy for its trucking fleet that move recyclable material and stabilized sand around the Houston metropolitan area.

Cherry is a recycling and demolition company based in Houston. Family owned and operated since 1952, Cherry specializes in the removal of all types of structures. In addition, Cherry’s eight Houston area recycling centers produce a variety of grades of recycled products and deliver 99.6 percent completely recycled materials.

Producing more than 2 million tons of concrete and asphalt and thousands of tons of steel every year, Cherry also recycles residential composition asphalt shingles and tires, making Cherry one of the largest recyclers in Texas and the Gulf Coast region.

The HGAC is a voluntary association of local governments and elected officials from the 13-county Gulf Coast Planning Region —an area of 12,500 square miles with more than 6 million people.


// Wood & biomass

Wood products industry releases wood reuse website

The American Wood Council (AWC), Leesburg, Virginia, and the Canadian Wood Council (CWC), Ottawa, Ontario, have partnered with the Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA), Chicago, to develop an online North American directory outlining reuse and recycling options for wood and wood products. The website is

“For wood products, there has historically been a lack of awareness of the opportunities to recycle and reuse wood products, and thereby extend their useful life. We are aiming to change that,” says AWC President and CEO Robert Glowinski. “Our industry wants to do its part when it comes to the full life cycle impact of our products. It’s our hope that this directory will help educate builders, designers and consumers on the many opportunities to salvage, recycle or reuse wood products, in turn reducing waste.”

CWC President Michael Giroux adds, “Various construction sector stakeholders are increasingly being called upon to balance functionality and cost objectives with reduced environmental impacts on the built environment.”

Giroux continues, “This online resource is one of the ways the wood industry is taking ownership in the areas of reuse and recycle—affirming the renewable qualities of wood and wood products, and assisting the design/construction communities in reaching their green objectives.”

Features of the website include:

  • the business directory is accessible via both map and list, with a number of sorting capabilities;
  • individual listing pages show the contact information, location and available services for each business; and
  • the sustainable wood guide includes useful information and articles on different wood products and the opportunities for wood reuse or recycling.


// Legislation & regulations

EPA offers $13.2 million in supplemental funds to clean up contaminated brownfields sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced approximately $13.2 million in supplemental funding to help transform communities by cleaning up contaminated brownfields properties. Supplemental funding of the Revolving Loan Funding (RLF) will be given to 31 successful RLF grantees helping 44 communities carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects.

The RLF grantees provide a level of funding for cleanups that isn’t available through traditional financing options or through other brownfield grants, serving as the critical gap financing needed to jump-start the redevelopment process, says EPA, adding, RLF funding is often the last key piece of funding needed to make the cleanup and reuse of the property happen. RLFs supply funding for loans and subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. When these loans are repaid, the loan amount is then returned to the fund and relended to other borrowers, providing an ongoing sustainable source of capital within a community for additional cleanup of brownfield sites. The supplemental funding to each grantee ranges from about $250,000 to $700,000.

The supplemental funds help keep the cleanup momentum going so that more cleanups can be completed. To date, RLF grantees have completed over 400 cleanups, leveraged approximately 15,000 jobs and over $5 billion of public and private funding.

The grantees receiving supplemental funding this year continue to demonstrate a high-level of preparedness to undertake specific shovel-ready projects and have the committed leveraged funds necessary to move projects forward, says EPA. This year’s supplemental funds will support an array of cleanup and redevelopment projects across the country. For example:

  • The city of Kansas City, Missouri, will use its funding to continue making loans to clean brownfields sites—similar to what they have done at the Ivanhoe Gateway at 39th street project where the RLF helped in the financing of a brownfield cleanup project, which enabled the nearly $5 million first phase of this $100 million redevelopment project to proceed. Construction is underway on seven two-story duplex units to be followed by 12 one-story senior cottages.
  • Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission will contribute $500,000 toward a $1.12 million loan to Biddeford, Maine, for the Lincoln Mill site. The site will be a mixed-use development with 92 residential units and a 79-room hotel with a meeting space, restaurant and pool.
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) will use its supplemental funding for the Freight Residences in Denver. The Freight Residence project will include mixed-use residential and commercial spaces. In addition to providing much needed housing for the area, there also is extensive job creation potential from the commercial redevelopment aspects of the project.
  • Detroit/Wayne County will make a loan to the Henry Ford Community Heath project in Michigan. The reuse will support buildings for Henry Ford Hospital as well as mixed-use development, including retail near the hospital. The project will create jobs in a community economically disrupted by the closure of auto plants and other manufacturing. RLF funded projects for the Henry Ford Hospital have already leveraged $30 million.
  • The city of Rockford, Illinois, will make a loan to clean up the Rockford Watch Factory. The site will be home to a downtown sports complex. The project has $18 million in state grants, local bonds and city funding.

An estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites are in the U.S., according to EPA. More information on EPA’s brownfields program is available at

// Legislation & regulation

Five hazardous waste sites added to Superfund list

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added five hazardous waste sites that pose risks to human health and the environment to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). A separate action includes a proposal to add seven sites to the list. They are:

  • Estech General Chemical Co. (pesticide manufacturer), Calumet City, Illinois;
  • Colonial Creosote (wood treatment plant), Bogalusa, Louisiana;
  • BJAT LLC, Franklin, Massachusetts;
  • Main Street Ground Water Plume, Burnet, Texas; and
  • Grain Handling Facility at Freeman, Freeman, Washington.

Further, seven sites have been proposed for addition to the NPL. They are:

  • PCE Former Dry Cleaner (dry cleaner), Atlantic, Iowa;
  • Old American Zinc Plant (zinc smelter), Fairmont City, Illinois;
  • West Vermont Drinking Water Contamination (ground water plume), Indianapolis;
  • SBA Shipyard (barge construction), Jennings, Lousiana;
  • Iowa-Nebraska Light & Power Co. (former manufactured gas plant), Norfolk, Nebraska;
  • Former Kil-Tone Co. (pesticide manufacturer), Vineland, New Jersey; and
  • Lea and West Second Street (ground water plume), Roswell, New Mexico.

The sites have characteristics and conditions that vary in size, complexity and contamination, says EPA.