Top demolition projects of 2022

By Lewis Tyler23 December 2022

Carried out by some of the top demolition contractors in the world, each demolition project this year has had unique challenges, as you will see from the list below.

From iconic buildings to condemned structures, 2022 has seen a range of demolition projects take place that required extensive planning and innovation.

So, what are some of the most notable demolition works to be carried out in the last 12 months and how did the contractors carry them out?

Top demolition projects of 2022

Implosion of Tutwiler Hall, University of Alabama

USA-based firm DH Griffin was involved in the demolition of one of the most iconic buildings at the University of Alabama.

The company was tasked with bringing down Tutwiler Hall, which was built in 1968, via implosion.

Around 227 kg (500 lb) of dynamite was required to complete demolition works, with a new building now open on the site.

Phoenecian takes down Kaserne building
Kaserne implosion Johannesburg Both the demolition and bulk earthworks divisions of the Phoenecian Group will be involved in the Kaserne project. (Photo: Phoenecian Group)

Following a fire that resulted in the condemnation of the Kaserne building in Johannesburg, South Africa, Phoenecian was brought in to complete the demolition project.

The demolition and recycling firm used 783 non-electronic detonators to bring down the five-storey building, which will now be redeveloped.

The Kaserne building had been hit by several fires over the years, before city authorities decided to demolish it.

Fire-damaged structure demolished

In another fire-damaged related demolition, US firm Casey-Bertram initially assisted the local fire department at distribution centre in Indiana..

The company were then asked to bring what was remaining of the building down, which it successfully completed thanks to a Kobelco SK300 with a 15 m (49 ft) high reach front supplied by Company Wrench and a LaBounty multi-demolition processor.

Redcar steelworks demolished

The town of Redcar, in Yorkshire, England, is well known for its steelworks plant which stood in place for nearly a century.

However, when its owner wound up operations, specialist contractor Thompsons of Prudhoe carried out demolition works on several buildings on the site.

The Redcar Blast Furnace The Redcar Blast Furnace. (Photo: Teesworks)

The ongoing project has seen The Basic Oxygen Steelmaking plant demolished as well as the blast furnace.

Dismantling and removal of the original Wittpenn Bridge in New Jersey

Another structure that stood for nearly a century was the Wittpenn Bridge in New Jersey, USA.

USA-based Engineered Rigging assisted with the dismantling and removal of the bridge, and also helped with the heavy lifting of two counterweights.

The project started in 2021, with the company finishing it in early 2022 before future infrastructure projects including bridge repair, construction and demolition could take place.

Ferrybridge ‘C’ Power Station taken down by Keltbray

A three-year project to demolish the Ferrybridge ‘C’ Power Station in the north of England was completed in March with the removal of the remaining cooling towers.

Ferrybridge C power station Keltbray took down the last of the cooling towers during a night-time demolition on 17 March. (Photo: SSE)

The blowdown was carried out by UK demolition contractor Keltbray, which used controlled explosives for the project.

The site closed in 2016, with five cooling towers and two chimney stacks removed in that time.

Doosan demolition excavator demolishes historic factory

An historic factory owned by Brugola OEB Industriale in Italy was demolished with the use of a Doosan DX530DM demolition excavator earlier this year.

The machine, which has a 29 m (95 ft) boom, was tasked with top down demolition of a production facility.

Assisted by a Doosan DX235LCR-7 excavator, the DX530DM carried out the demolition from above of two industrial buildings on site.

The demolition of Noida Twin Towers
A birds eye view of the the Apex and Cayenne towers. A birds eye view of the the Apex and Cayenne towers. (Photo: Jet Demolition)

Perhaps the most controversial demolition on this list is that of the Noida Twin Towers in New Delhi, India, which were finally destroyed after a legal battle that took place in the Supreme Court.

The towers were, according to the court, built in violation of building codes. Because of this, Edifice Engineering and Jet Demolition of South Africa were asked to take the towers down.

The successful implosion of the Apex (103 m, 337 ft) and Cayenne towers (97 m, 318 ft) took place in August with 3.5 t of explosives used.

Military base demolition project

In October, Skanska started the £259 million (US$296 million) demolition project at the MOD Ashchurch military base in Tewkesbury, England.

The demolition is part of a two-phase Army’s Vehicle Storage and Support Programme (VSSP) which will see the site be converted into a “modern, sustainable, and effective storage and maintenance solutions for the British Army’s vehicle and equipment fleet.”

Skanska says it is utilising “modern methods of construction” and will undertake all mechanical and electrical engineering works for the programme.

The company secured the project in May, and will demolish 58 buildings in total, with new buildings expected to be built in 2023.

And an award-winning project from 2021......
Brandenburg Johnsonville project 2 Brandenburg recycled more than 100,000 t of steel during the project. (Photo: Brandenburg Industrial Service Co)

Although this project wasn’t carried out in 2022, it certainly left a mark this year as it was awarded the “Best of the Best” prize at the World Demolition Awards in November, having already won the Contract of the Year over US$1 million category.

The project in question saw US firm Bradenburg Industrial Service Company demolish the 182 m (600 ft) smokestack and 10 boilers and precipitators at the Johnsonville Fossil Plant in New Johnsonville, Tennessee.

The company were chosen to undertake the demolition  in 2019, before carrying out the works two years later.

According to Brandenburg, the chellenging project required the boiler units and stack on the site to be imploded, while the use of machines such as the Liebherr 984 excavator was also required.

A full site report from the project can be found here.

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