Thursday, July 19, 2012

Big Bang Theory

Thar she blows!
The 14-storey Radio Network building will be the first major structure in Christchurch to be demolished by implosion. The Worcester St building - once home to Newstalk ZB - is set to be demolished just after sunrise on Sunday August 5th. Radio Network House was badly damaged in the 6.3mag Feb.2011 EQ and engineers ruled it unsafe.
Imploding a building involves detonating explosives within its structural connections, so that the building collapses on itself within a few seconds. This'll be the first of its kind in Chch...though NOT, as TV3 and some papers wrongly reported, the first implosion in NZ. That honour goes to the felling of the twin 120m chimneys at Marsden Point Oil Refinery, Northland in 1997.
How it's done...
Until now, most Chch buildings have been demolished through deconstruction, allowing materials to be reused. They've been brought down slowly floor-by-floor, mainly because demolition contractors are working in confined city spaces.
The US company doing the deed, Controlled Demolition, already has 9000+ implosions under its belt, and holds records for such events as the world's largest structure by volume to be demolished by explosives; the world's tallest building and tallest structural steel building ever imploded; the most buildings shot in a single implosion sequence; the tallest manmade structure ever felled with explosives. So I'm pickin' it knows what it's doin'...
This potentially spectacular event will draw a huge crowd, many of whom no doubt camping overnight in the bitter cold to get a good vantage point. Safety fences will halt viewers about a block back.
Put it in your diary NOW - unless you suffer from PE, this could be the most memorable 7.7sec of your life!!
NZ's first building implosion: dawn, Sun., 05 Aug.

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