Demolition plays a vital role in urban renewal and redevelopment

A number of development projects are anticipated to be undertaken by Johannesburg as it strives to upgrade and transform the central business district (CBD) and its surroundings, according to Tembeka Mhlekwa, Executive Director for Economic Development.

Mhlekwa announced that a key focus will be on the inner city, with plans focusing on both transformation and housing opportunities. “This will build on the opportunities of the CBD as a dense economic core of the city and tackling issues of fragmented developments, crime, bad buildings and lack of affordable housing.”

As Johannesburg seeks to grow and develop its CBD, redundant buildings pose a safety risk if they are beyond their serviceable life. Here in-house specialists from Jet Demolition can assist in all planning and execution of controlled implosions within dense urban environments. This ranges from permitting to implosion design, building preparations, evacuation plans, implosion execution, clean-up and rehabilitation as part of a turnkey demolition solution.

One of the most complex demolition projects ever undertaken by Jet Demolition, and the tallest reinforced concrete-frame building it has imploded to date, was in the Johannesburg CBD, namely the successful implosion of the 108-m-high, 31-storey Bank of Lisbon building on 24 November 2019.

Here the closest building was only 7.8 m away, revealing the challenges posed by demolition in a dense urban environment. “The height relative to the closest structure, and the very tight constraints of the surroundings, was what made it a very challenging project to get done in the correct manner, without damaging any of the other structures,” comments Jet Demolition Director Joe Brinkmann.

Further afield, the demolition specialist successfully completed a three-building implosion project in the Maradu region of Kochi in Kerala in January 2020. This was not only its first project in India, but also the first time that a high-rise building in that country was demolished successfully by means of implosion. All three buildings were located within 1.5 km of each other.

Specialising in the heavy industrial and large commercial space, Jet Demolition prides itself on being able to undertake technically-demanding projects that require the highest levels of safety and quality. “We focus on delivering work to international standards within an optimised timeline and to the strictest quality and safety requirements,” Contracts Manager Kate Bester (N. Dip. Civil Engineering – PMP) comments.

Over the past nearly 30 years, Jet Demolition has developed a comprehensive Integrated Safety Management Programme. In its annual 2019 NOSA audit, Jet Demolition scored 98.14%, one of the highest achievements internationally in the commercial construction industry.

“At present, the industry is under immense strain, ebbing and flowing somewhat in line with the construction industry. Economic and developmental growth in the construction sector generally leads to large demolition projects, either to make space for new developments or to retire old infrastructure that is then replaced with new,” concludes Bester.

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