It is essential that demolition methods align with international best practice to achieve the highest practical levels of health and safety. International best practice for demolition is based on extensive mechanisation, coupled with an intensive SHEQ programme, to achieve the necessary level of safety, productivity, and cost-efficiency.
“Our demolition projects are highly mechanised, thereby removing the direct physical interface between personnel and demolition work actions, as well as substantially reducing the man hours required,” says Joe Brinkmann, director of Jet Demolition. “This improves the safety profile of the project dramatically in comparison to the standard labour-intensive methods otherwise used in South Africa.”
All demolition activities are carried out by experienced employees and Brinkmann says Jet Demolition has made a significant investment in developing and retaining an exclusive skill-base through the retention of full-time, long-term employees, as its core focus is heavy industrial demolition.
From mining facilities to the automotive, chemical and pharmaceutical, petrochemical, power generation, and steel and glass industries, Jet Demolition has both the expertise and equipment to undertake complex heavy industrial demolition projects with safety and efficiency.
Its specialist services extend beyond just demolition of redundant infrastructure and closing of shafts.
“We focus on turnkey value-add solutions not readily provided by any other service provider,” says Brinkmann. Examples include turnkey demolition, value recovery and rehabilitation of industrial and mine infrastructure in accordance with environmental regulations.
The safe decontamination and demolition of three redundant gold and uranium complexes resulted in Jet Demolition winning its third consecutive award at the annual World Demolition Awards 2019 at Boston, USA, in the Recycling and Environmental category for a mine rehabilitation project.
In 2018, the company won in the Industrial Demolition Category for the demolition of a coal-fired boiler and ancillary equipment at Duvha Power Station in Mpumalanga, following an over-pressurisation event that resulted in irreparable damage to the structure.
In 2017, it was declared the winner for its innovative implosion of the 14-storey HG de Witt Building in the Pretoria central business district.
By providing turnkey solutions, Jet Demolition guarantees reduced costs, as multiple contractors are replaced by a single service provider. This ensures a fast-tracked approach to projects, as various activities can be undertaken simultaneously, as opposed to having one contractor following on from the next.
“We are committed to finding the best and most viable solutions for our clients, based on streamlined design proposals that result in the most cohesive and safest approach,” says Brinkmann.
Recent examples include the successful implosion of the 108 m, 31-storey Bank of Lisbon building in the Johannesburg central business district at 09:00 on Sunda,y 24 November 2019. This was not only the tallest reinforced concrete-frame building ever imploded by Jet Demolition, but also one of its most complex projects ever undertaken. A geotechnical investigation was conducted for the design and installation of lateral support to the basement retaining walls to ensure their stability during and after the implosion.
Hot on the heels of this project, the company successfully completed a three-building implosion project in the Maradu region of Kochi in Kerala, India in December. This was not only its first project in that country, but also marked the first time that a high-rise building there was demolished by means of implosion.
The major factor from a safety point of view was the close proximity of the buildings.
“We had to ensure that we had good control to mitigate any chance of damage,” says Brinkmann. Another major challenge was the fast-track nature of the project.
Most of the specialised demolition equipment owned by Jet Demolition is not available from any other demolition company in South Africa. Its primary demolition equipment is replaced on a 6 000-hour basis. This policy, together with stringent maintenance and a fully equipped plant support department, contributes strongly to safe, reliable, and efficient operation of demolition projects.