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A Job of Delicacy and Precision
September/October 2009 DEMOLITION 7
When a major manufacturer recently panies in the commercial and industrial sectors,
decided to commence a demolition project in as well as government agencies. Established in
Louisville, Kentucky, the job posed a significant 1986, LVI brings to each project the expertise of
challenge. The work would take place in close hundreds of highly trained professionals and a
proximity to other areas of the plant site which dedication to health and safety.
would continue to be involved in active produc-
tion. Thus, the demolition team would have to The demolition at the Louisville site, which
take extreme care to surgically remove the old is still under way, includes various building types,
structures without disrupting other activities at pipe bridges, tanks, vessels and process equip-
the plant. Success would depend on the skills of ment. It involves 90 buildings and covers an area
the team to accomplish this delicate work. of more than 600,000 square feet. The buildings
to be demolished were part of an old chemical
LVI Services was selected for the project. production plant that was originally constructed
With more than 30 offices across the United in the 1940s to manufacture products used in
States, LVI regularly performs demolition and the automotive and construction industries.
environmental services for a wide range of com-
“The trickiest part of the demolition proj-
ect would be the need to work around active
plant areas,” said Ken Preston, LVI Site Superin-
tendent. “For example, some of the structures
to be demolished were pressed up tight against
a live process pipe rack or electrical substation.
LVI was able to provide the experienced labor
force with the skills necessary to do this delicate
and precise work.”
Safety has played a large role throughout
the project, from the selection process through
the planning stages, and continuing as the work
takes place. LVI and the manufacturer ensured
that the demolition team’s safety protocols and
procedures were aligned with those already in
place at the plant, so that the safety of all work-
ers – in the plant and on the demolition team –
would be protected.
LVI began the demolition work after the
plant was remediated of all hazardous materi-
als and asbestos. The team mobilized a fleet of
equipment including a Komatsu PC 450 excava-
tor with a 90-foot ultra high demolition (UHD)
boom. Also on site are Hitachi 650 and 330 ex-
cavators, Daewoo 340 and 480 excavators and
a John Deere 200 excavator. These machines
are equipped with various specialized demoli-
tion tools including grapples, shears, pulverizers
and hammers. The size and power of these ma-
chines facilitate the safe and efficient demolition
of the various buildings and components.
8 DEMOLITION September/October 2009
The project is broken down into multiple work zones. As the structures in each zone are
demolished, all of the building materials are separated. The masonry and concrete materials are
pulverized and recycled as onsite fill. Steel is segregated and sent to a local salvage yard for recy-
Using the right equipment, like the LRD long-reach boom, allows the demolition team to
reach sensitive areas without disturbing the surrounding material. This enables specialization in
articulated and “surgical” demolition by using high-reach, heavy-shear equipment on tight sites.
This project is the combined effort of two LVI branch offices – the nearby office in Cincinnati,
Ohio, along with the Philadelphia Industrial Demolition branch.
“This teaming effort allows LVI the benefit of staffing the project with local personnel, as
well as bringing in specialized personnel and equipment from other regions,” said Dan Thomas, LVI
Project Manager. “With its broad network of offices, LVI can quickly deploy teams similar to this one
to demolition sites virtually anywhere in the country.”
Operating Engineers Local 181 in Louisville and Operating Engineers Local 542 in Philadel-
phia provided highly skilled workers who are dedicated to safety and quality performance. The
project team is led by Dan Thomas, Project Manager, Cincinnati; Ken Preston, Superintendent,
Philadelphia; Frank Baldino, Operations, Philadelphia; and Bill Pronzato, Estimator, Philadelphia.
September/October 2009 DEMOLITION 9
LVI has performed major demolition projects for industrial manufacturing and chemical
plants, power plants, commercial facilities, Las Vegas resorts and more. Its state-of-the-art demoli-
tion equipment enables it to perform large-scale concrete cutting, crushing and separating, as well
as steel cutting and equipment dismantling. The company’s demolition experience ranges from
selective interior/exterior demolition to the leveling of entire commercial building complexes. From
knocking out interior walls to imploding buildings, LVI offers a full range of demolition services.
In 2007, LVI expanded with its acquisition of Mazzocchi Wrecking, Inc., the largest demolition/
wrecking company in the New York metropolitan area and the seventh-largest in the United States
at the time. LVI/Mazzocchi specializes in articulated and “surgical” demolition, using high-reach,
heavy-shear equipment on tight sites where a traditional “wrecking ball” or explosives are prohib-
ited or severely restricted. Surgical demolition is often a safer and more cost- and schedule-efficient
solution for a wide range of projects, such as the one in Louisville.
For the Louisville plant demolition and all of LVI’s projects, safety is a top priority. The company’s
“Target Zero” health and safety program is aimed at reducing risks by creating the safest work-
ing environment possible for employees. The company recently announced that 2008 was its
best safety performance year ever, and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Recordable and Lost-Time Incident Rates have shown continuous improvement since 2005. In ad-
dition, its workers’ compensation Experience Modification Rate (EMR) has improved in each of the
past four years.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of September, and the site will be cleared and
graded for future development.
10 DEMOLITION September/October 2009