While everyone appreciates a newly paved road or the improved aesthetics that come from tearing down a run-down building in favor of new construction in their city, people are often less enthusiastic about construction or demolition projects as they’re ongoing.
Whether it’s the presence of noise and dust, being faced with closed streets that require taking a detour on the way to work, or other such considerations, it seems like people have no shortage of complaints they’re willing to offer when a project affects their day-to-day lives.
What gets lost in the shuffle is the good that comes from these projects and the lengths that contractors go to in order to minimize negative impacts on the community.
In this issue’s cover story, we profile Veit’s work in demoing Milwaukee’s Bradley Center. Not only did the project require Veit to work around the building remaining open during Milwaukee Bucks’ last season as a tenant, it required a concerted strategy to avoid damage and disruption to neighboring buildings.
“There were a number of considerations that we had to be mindful of. Demolishing the stadium in a downtown setting—including felling the roof with explosives—all within close proximity of the new Fiserv Forum that stood just 30 feet directly to the north, in addition to several historical buildings that surround the site, was especially challenging,” Veit Vice President of Demolition Steve Hosier says. “Also, working on the structure during the heat of the NBA season with all the Bucks fans to contend with also proved to be challenging. Veit’s demolition approach took all these challenges into consideration, and means and methods were developed to minimize the impacts outside the property line.”
Besides the efforts Veit took to minimize disruptions, the project yielded a substantial amount of materials that were able to be recycled or reused for the greater good.
Habitat for Humanity filled 16 24-foot trucks with Bradley Center materials such as players’ lockers, suite cabinets and faucets, which were then sold off. The proceeds derived from the sale of these items are going towards building a new home for an area family in need. Additionally, this repurposing effort kept these materials (as well as the 84,000 tons of concrete, 7,000 tons of structural steel and over 500,000 pounds of nonferrous metal that were recycled from the project) out of the landfill.
Construction and demolition, and C&D recycling by extension, is big business. While contractors and recyclers are in it for profits, there are no shortage of benefits that come from these projects. As editor of Construction & Demolition Recycling magazine, being able to hear about and share these success stories with our readers is one of my favorite parts of the job.
Because despite what the aggrieved motorist or perturbed neighbor might tell you, these jobs allow the old to be new again and breathe new life into cities one project at a time—even if there are some minor inconveniences along the way.