Transatlantic triumph at World Demolition Awards

By Steve Ducker18 November 2022

Brandenburg Industrial Service Co claimed the “best of the best” World Demolition Award for the USA as the World Demolition Summit (WDS) returned in-person to Europe for the first time since 2018.

World Demolition Awards 2022 Winners on stage at the World Demolition Awards in Vienna. Brandenburg’s Dennis McGarel - with his two trophies - is on the right. Photo: D&Ri magazine

The contractor’s transatlantic triumph at the awards evening in Vienna, Austria, was in recognition of its removal of coal-fired plant on behalf of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which had already won the Contract of the Year US$1 million or over category.

Its overall success was even more notable as the 10 contractor-based shortlists had produced a different winner each time, making competition for the top award extremely fierce.

Other successes for North America featured US-based Controlled Demolition picking up the Explosive Demolition award for the emergency implosion of the remaining Champlain towers in Florida; while Canada’s Priestly Demolition scooping up the Civils prize for its Lake Shore Boulevard East Gardiner Ramps project on Toronto’s waterfront.

There was further Canadian celebration for Delsan-AIM, who won the Safety and Training category, while US company ACECO took the New Entrant prize for its work to help create a new entrance for the historic Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC.

In a quiet year for European contractors, two familiar names with a long history of success at the awards got the judges’ vote – namely Erith Contractors in Urban Demolition over US$10 million (for a technical enabling works package at Olympia in London – and Despe, whose Enel thermoelectric power plant project in Genoa was one of two shortlisted entries in the Industrial Demolition category.

Despe was also represented in the Collaboration category, where it worked with Danish business P Olesen to take down the famous Carlsberg brewing company headquarters.

Europe did however dominate the two manufacturer categories, providing all the shortlisted companies with Arden Equipment of France taking the award for Innovation, Tools and Attachments for its demolition jib, while the Netherlands-based Kobelco Europe beat off some strong competition in Plant and Equipment with the European launch of the SK1300DLC demolition excavator.

Finally, the southern hemisphere provided three winners.

Argentina’s Grupo Mitre won Recycling and Environmental for its Rodrigo Bueno shanty town project; Mainline Demolition in Australia’s Broun Avenue bridge demolition in the west of the country was enough to secure Contract of the Year under US$1 million; and Ward Demolition’s project on the Albert Street “Pigeon Palace” in Auckland took top place in Urban Demolition under US$10 million.

Fittingly, all three companies had made the long trip to Vienna despite having no idea of the eventual outcome.

WDS 2023 will take place in Toronto, Canada, on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 October. KHL is running an early bird discount on delegate ticket prices until the end of November 2022.

The World Demolition Awards are part of the World Demolition Summit, organised by D&Ri in partnership with the European Demolition Association and with the support of the US National Demolition Association. Headline sponsor is Volvo Construction Equipment.

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