Demolition specialist extends its reach in Glasgow

BONNYBRIDGE-based Central Demolition has been putting two of its Hitachi long-reach excavators to work on a project to raze two multi-storey office blocks in Glasgow city centre.

The firm was tasked with carrying out the demolition of both Epic House and Richmond Exchange in the city’s Cadogan Street – both of which required the use of a long-reach machine.

Central Demolition soft stripped the buildings internally before first going to work on Epic House, the smaller of the two blocks.

Gary Halliday, project manager at Central Demolition told Project Plant that Epic House was adjacent to an existing building and demolishing it first would allow the team to then focus on Richmond Exchange, which was around double the size in terms of overall volume.

On the Epic House demolition, the firm utilised its Hitachi ZX470 LCH along with two Brokk remote demolition machines. Gary explained, “We had to carry out some Brokk demolition works on Epic House first of all to allow us to remove some structural beams, which then meant we could go in and use the long-reach to get the higher storeys down.”

Speaking on using the Brokk remote machines, which he described as effectively “robotic demolition”, Gary said, “It’s a safer method of doing things; it’s more controlled.”  Weighing in at around 2.5-tonnes, the Brokk unit was lifted to the higher levels using a hoist, something that could not be done with an excavator. We had to be controlled in how we used the high-reach excavator because of the surrounding area, so we just had to use that as best we could but also use the Brokk to bring it down to a safe level where we could use the high-reach excavator.”

Richmond Exchange required the use of Central Demolition’s Hitachi ZX870 LCH. The excavator has a maximum vertical reach of over 40 metres, and fitted with a 360-degree rotating muncher, it was very much the right tool for the job. Gary said the top two floors were removed using Brokk demolition, before the HX870 took over and brought down the block’s heavily reinforced concrete central core from the fifth floor down.

Gary added that the 94-tonne XH870 was “essential” for demolishing the building’s central core. “In terms of timescales, for each floor with the Brokk, we were probably a week or so on each floor taking the central core out on the top two floors. That was two weeks it took us to get those central cores away on the top to floors but then when we brought the high-reach in, (that) did the remaining five floors in two weeks.”