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Controlled demo at work in the Windy City.

When Donald Trump comes to town, people notice. And when he came to Chicago to build one of the biggest buildings in the city along the Chicago River, people really noticed, including Mayor Richard Daley.

On top of that, Trump wanted the building on the site of a venerable local landmark, the Chicago Sun-Times building, which meant even more scrutiny. It didn't help that in the middle of the wrecking, "The Donald" and "Da Mayor" got in a public spat over the design and height of the new building.

That was the microscope Brandenburg Industrial Service Co. was working under when it began demolishing the long-time headquarters of one of Chicago's two daily newspapers. The company worked six days per week, 12 hours per day to quickly clear the site, all while recording no employee accidents.

It could not be a more urban job: On one side was the Wrigley Building, on another, the IBM Building, on the third, a mostly residential luxury high-rise. The Chicago River made up the fourth side.

The 1950s-era Sun-Times building was bigger than it looked, William Moore of Brandenburg says. Its 55,000 square feet and nine stories were L-shaped, meaning some of the structure wasn't easily seen from the street.

It was also sturdier than most believed, Moore adds. While most people thought it to be concrete framed, it turned out that concrete only sheathed a steel frame In addition, as the building is right on the river, there was concern about debris falling into the water. Brandenburg tied up two barges right next to the building to catch any falling debris, purely as a safety measure. No material was loaded on the barges.

The barges allowed for no scaffolding to be used, which would have been a much more expensive alternative. At the start, skid-steer loaders with hammer attachments were lowered onto the building roof to help gut the building and get the concrete off the steel. All the material was sent down a chute in the middle of the building into the basement for load out.

About 62,850 tons of material was generated by the project, reports Moore. About 2,800 tons was waste, "about the only things that couldn't be recycled," he says. Of the rest, 55,000 tons of it was concrete, 4,900 tons was steel and another 150 tons was nonferrous metals. All of it was recycled, including the concrete.

"Why wouldn't we recycle it?" says Moore. "We would have to pay $400 to $500 per load to dump it at a transfer station, as opposed to $10 to $50 per load at the recycling plants. And they are all closer than the transfer stations," he adds.

Brandenburg's part of the job was finished by the start of April 2005, but even before that, end caisson drillers were working on one side of the property while the demolition company finished on the other.

Because Brandenburg did the job on time, safely and with no real complaints, Trump couldn't use his famous line on the company: "You're fired."
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Title Annotation:Brandenburg Industrial Service Co. demolition process of Sun-Times building; Donald Trump plans to build one of the biggest buildings
Comment:Controlled demo at work in the Windy City.(Brandenburg Industrial Service Co. demolition process of Sun-Times building)(Donald Trump plans to build one of the biggest buildings )
Publication:Recycling Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2005
Previous Article:Under construction: excavators replace wrecking balls as controlled demolition becomes more popular on job sites.
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