Demolition contractors are often faced with working in environments where the sounds of equipment, trucks and workers can be considered a nuisance. During the 2011 C&D Recycling Forum, held in Ellicott City, Md., in late September, Richard Lorenz, CEO and owner of Central Environmental Services (CES), Orlando, Fla., and Scott Knightly of EnviroVantage, Epping, N.H., shared their on-the-job expertise for keeping noise levels under control during a session titled “Thriving in a Quiet Zone” moderated by Mike Taylor, executive director of the National Demolition Association (NDA), Doylestown, Pa.
CES was contracted by the Disney Co. to demolish buildings located on the theme park’s Pleasure Island. The nightclubs had stood empty for three years, according to Lorenz. Because Disney did not want any noise generated from the demolition site during the park’s operating hours, Lorenz and his crew completed the demolition work at night. Work had to be done each day by 8 a.m. when the park opened.
“Safety was definitely our biggest issue,” recalled Lorenz. Workers wore glow-in-the-dark vests and flood lights illuminated the job site. Work began in February and was completed in six months with “not even a cut finger,” Lorenz said.
He said that all of the bar equipment and air conditioning units were still intact when CES arrived at the site. All of those supplies were sold as salvage. A Genesis hydraulic shear was brought in to do the rest of the demolition. Lorenz estimates 86-87 percent of all the material was recycled, including the steel from the structures. CES won the job from Disney for $100,000 per building, according to Lorenz; and his company was able to generate $200,000 per building from recycling.
“Our middle name is environmental. There is no other way to do it,” said Lorenz. He also mentioned how his membership with the NDA has been an influential to his company.”It has taught me the right way to do things,” he said.
Knightly provided advice for demolition within a hospital environment. Hospitals are a 24-hours-a-day-seven-days-a-week work environment, he said.
One of the ways he suggested for mitigating noise is “isolating the superstructure within the area you are working.” He warned, however, “If you think it is quiet, someone is still going to come at you.”
Knightly emphasized the importance of communication when beginning such a project. He advised to bring together staff and infectious control personnel to find out who could potentially shut down the demolition if it becomes a nuisance.
“It may fall apart the day you start,” he says.
Some tips he provided include using chutes and scaffolding to maneuver the site instead of hospital elevators; and leaving the carpet in as long as possible because it will make the work site quieter.