Demolition in Mark Kozelek’s Ålesund
The small Norwegian city of Ålesund may be best known from the American singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek’s song, written not long after he visited the city. Ålesund is a very nice fishing village and is also believed to be the location where first Vikings set out on their journey to discover Iceland, Greenland, and North America. But more, recently Europe’s biggest demolition contractor AF Decom carried out a downtown demolition job.
The contractor Idungården AS assigned AF Decom with the task of demolishing a six story office building which also contained stores on its bottom floor. Idungården is also the developer of the new Pir project on the lot, a new innovation center, creative meeting point, and Ålesund’s first co-working space.
First renovation then demolition
“We started interior sanitation and demolishing of easier constructions in January and completed these tasks in February 2019,” says AF Decom project manager Kenneth Eikrem. “Initially, the idea was to renovate the entire building, but the constructor chose to demolish the entire building after some time. After a long application period we got the permission to demolish at the end of June and mobilized our machines and equipment in the beginning of July. The demolishing work was completed in the middle of August.”
Powerful team and equipment
In total, 12 people worked during the sanitation phase and five people in the machine demolishing phase. They used a Volvo EC 480 with a 28 m long demolition boom together with a Cat MP 30/MP 324 concrete pulverizer and hydraulic breaker, demolition, and sorting grapple and a number of buckets.
The project team also used a Liebherr R 936 with Cat demolition and sorting grapple. All of the demolition debris was delivered to a recycling station. Heavier debris, such as concrete and foundation bricks, was reused as filling masses on the site. According to plan, an adjacent gas station which shared a wall with the demolished office building remained complete unscathed after the successful demolishing. During the project, Ramudden helped out with redirecting the traffic as the site were located in downtown Ålesund.
“The project was carried out right in Ålesund center with the city’s most trafficked road on the south side”, says Eikrem.
Heavier demolishing was also conducted during the liveliest time of the year, where, aside from traffic, there is also a large number of tourists from the cruising ships by the embankment nearly 1,000 ft (300 m) from the worksite. The job was carried out without damages to staff or equipment and without a single complaint from neighbors or others in the city.
“The closest neighboring office expressed sheer enthusiasm over the opportunity to get ‘front row seats’ and follow the whole process,” Eikrem adds.