KEMROC KR 165 Drum Cutter Converts World War II Bunker to a Residential Building

Published: 16/6, 2023

“Comfortable living” is a term not normally associated with the idea of setting up a comfortable home in an old bunker. However, this is exactly what has recently become a fashion trend in Hamburg, Germany. Of the approximately 400 bunkers remaining from World War II, several dozen are mostly above-ground. For these buildings, the preferred option is not to demolish them completely at great expense, but demolish sections with no value and to convert the rest into residential buildings.


Thick and well reinforced concrete

For local contractor Wilko Wagner GmbH, the task was to demolish part of bunker closely surrounded by occupied residences. Along with demolishing a back wall facing the courtyard, the inside of the bunker—originally consisting of six floors each with a ceiling height of around 6 ft (2m)—was to be completely gutted out from top to bottom. To add penthouse apartments to be the building, the existing 86.6-in (220cm) thick massive reinforced concrete roof, weighing 400t, had to be removed

To get started, the contractor hand-cut a hole through each of the 10-in (25cm) thick floors, then used a wire saw to cut an opening through a wall on the ground floor, through which around 9,155 yd3 (7,000m3) of demolished concrete material could later be transported away by small loader. At a later stage, the interior of the building will be completely rebuilt.

Fortunately, the roof was strong enough to support a 35t excavator paired with a KEMROCK KR 165 drum cutter attachment. After removing the top bitumen layer, the excavator operator cut a “foxhole” through the concrete roof to discharge material from subsequent demolition work.

The excavator and drum cutter were also used to create openings for floor-to-ceiling windows through the bunker’s 43.3-in (110cm) thick, heavily reinforced façade walls. The bunker wall between the corners was ground out leaving a thin section of wall. The third step involved removal of the remaining thin section of wall using an excavator with shearer.


Reliable equipment

The KEMROC KR range of rotary drum cutter attachments use planetary gears which makes them very rugged and reliable and the ideal attachment for short boom carriers working in confined spaces and for low-vibration and low-noise demolition of reinforced concrete. Their hydraulic motors deliver high torque and maximum cutting force. The cutter picks are welded in the optimum pattern onto the cutter drums which are connected to the body using very heavy-duty bearings. Machines are supplied from the factory with connections for optional water spraying for dust suppression.

Following the “less is more” principle, Wilko Wagner operators ran the attachment with moderate feed pressure to achieve a smooth cutting action gave the best productivity to wear cost ratio. At the same time, running the drum cutter at this optimal level also ensured that noise and vibration levels were kept within acceptable limits. In the case of using the water spray for dust suppression, it was important to use the right amount of water in order to generate as little surface water as possible.

As a result, the bunker demolition work was completed in about six months with few noise and dust disruptions to the neighborhood.

See all news »

Cookies and Data Collection

This website is using cookies. A cookie is a small text file that the website requests to store locally on the visitor's computer. It contains a certain amount of information and a timestamp.

Cookies on this website

Temporary Cookies

We use temporary cookies ("sessions") in order to provide a functioning website. These cookies only contains a unique identifier and a timestamp, while any personal data is stored on our server. These cookies expires within one hour, and will be automatically deleted when you exit your webbrowser.

Less temporary cookies

In order to remember wether you have accepted cookies or not, we need to store a cookie containing a timestamp and a code. If you log in as a user on our website, you are also able to select wether you want to remain logged in or not. In case you decide to remain logged in, we will store another cookie on yuor device, also containing a code and a timestamp. No personal data is saved in these cookies. These cookies will expire and be automatically deleted within 30 days of your last visit, and you can delete them manually from within the webbrowser's settings.

Cookie for Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics in order to improve our vistor's experience on our website. We do not save PII (Personally Identifiable Information) using Google Analytics. To read more about the cookies stored, read more at Google Developers.

Inactivation of cookies

If you do not wish to accept cookies from our website (or others), you may turn it off in your webbrowsers security/privacy settings. You can also let your browser inform you each time a website tries to store a cookie, or choose to remove cookies that has already been stored.

See your browsers help pages in order to find out more on how to change these settings (the instructions will differ depending on what browser, operating system and what versions you are using).

Data Collection & Data Storage

The website may use Google Analytics and similar services to collect data about your visit on this website. No personal data is stored, only information about the visit itself, such as link clicks, page views, how long a certain page has been viewed and similar. The information can be used by us to analyze how visitors use our website, as well as to improve and optimize content and functionality on the website in the future. The information may also be used by Google (or an equivalent provider) to optimize information and ads, so that you receive more relevant/personalized search results or ads in the provider's other services.


This website use cookies
This website use cookies and data gathering to bring you the best possible experience.
You must accept this in order to get access to our content. - Read more »

Accept all Only necessary