Chimney stacks once lined many city skylines across America and Europe and became extremely popular during the 1800’s Industrial Revolution, which began the shift from hand made products to machine made. Also known as flue-gas stacks, the chimneys are used as an exhaust method for industrial furnaces, steam boilers, and other similar heat and smoke producers. The concept of the flue-gas stack was developed in the mid-1600s, before the concept expanded some 200 years later.
As American and European industries have started to move away from industrial manufacturing, many chimney stacks have begun to be demolished for new development. Last year, two Scottish power station chimneys were demolished simultaneously in a video that made our list of best demolition videos of 2015. The current tallest chimney in the world is in Kazakhstan, standing at 1377 feet (419.7m) and was built in 1987, the United Kingdom’s second largest chimney used to be the Chimney of Grain Power Station, before a week ago. Built in 1979, the Grain Power Station Chimney stood 801 feet tall (244m) in Kent, England and weighed approximately 44,000 tons (40,000 tonnes). The power station that it accompanied was closed in 2012, in order to make use of a new onsite gas-fired power station.
You can check out some incredible drone footage, shot by Luke Sanders, of the demolition that turned the chimney into a big dust pile below:
Full story: Landmark Kent power station chimney blown up in tallest concrete demolition job carried out in UK | The Telegraph
On Monday morning, a 13 story building in Miami Beach that was being prepped for demolition suddenly collapsed, injuring one Project Manager that was struck by debris.
In January of 2018, ten construction workers were killed and another eight were injured when a bridge spanning the Chirajara canyon in Columbia partially collapsed. That collapse has since been blamed on a poor design, reports have stated. Last week, the remaining sections of the bridge were demolished in dramatic fashion.
A couple weeks ago, we shared a list of the 100 tallest buildings to ever be demolished. One of the most interesting things that I learned while researching for that article was that although Detroit’s Greater Department Hudson Store was not the tallest building on the list (it was #21), it was the tallest on the list to actually be imploded.
In February, JP Morgan Chased announced their plans to demolish their current 52-story headquarters located in Manhattan. Turns out, when that demolition is complete, it will also break the record for the tallest building ever voluntarily demolished.
One thing’s for sure, the only thing better than one structure being demolished is two structures being demolished at the same time. Late last week, a decommissioned Florida Power Plant saw to the implosion of two 462 feet tall cooling towers in spectacular fashion.
Demolitions by implosion seems like the easiest way to knock down a structure, but there is so much preparation that goes into it that even the slightest mistake can have a huge impact. When smokestacks are demolished correctly, it can be a thing of beauty, like when these two silos in Scotland hit each other midair or when this asbestos filled stack was precisely demolished to fall into a pool of water. Things didn’t go so smoothly for demolition crews in Denmark last week, however.
As we’ve seen in the past, demolitions aren’t all about implosions. There are still many manual demolitions that are carried out by skilled excavator operators. The Victoria Street Bridge in Ontario, Canada is a recent example of that.
It’s been a while since we have shared a demolition video on Construction Junkie. We recently discussed a very high profile demolition project, the tallest voluntary demolition on record, which is schedule to start next year and how it is expected to happen, but no videos. Between the cold weather in most of the country and the general lack of interesting demolitions happening, it’s good to finally be back to feeling normal around here.
A couple weeks ago, JP Morgan Chase announced that they planned to demolish their existing 52-story Manhattan headquarters, which is believed to be the tallest voluntary demolition in history, in order to build a 70 story, 2.5 million square foot building in its place. The move left preservationists upset at the idea of scrapping the nearly 60 year old building and others wondering how exactly they were going to safely demolish a building that tall in such a congested and busy area.
This year saw more videos with environmental considerations taken into account, especially over waterways. Instead of imploding entire bridges, the part that spanned over top of the waterway were manually removed. I've also grown an appreciation for in-depth footage of demolitions that occurred under some interesting conditions. Some of the videos below show some extreme creativity to overcome obstacles.