What Demolition of Florida Condo and Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza Had in Common
Sunday night's demolition of the remaining portion of a Surfside, FL, condo building was handled by the same company in charge of the implosion of the shuttered Trump Plaza Casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
Controlled Demolition, Inc. was responsible for both demolitions, using a method called 'energetic felling", which uses small detonation devices and relies on the force of gravity.
Florida officials hired a local contractor, which sub-contracted with Controlled Demolition, to bring down the remaining structure of the Champlain Tower South that collapsed on June 24.
The decision to demolish the remnants of the Surfside, Fl. building came after concerns mounted that the damaged structure was at risk of falling, endangering the crews below and preventing them from operating in some areas.
Parts of the remaining building shifted on Thursday, prompting a 15-hour suspension in the work. An approaching storm also added urgency to the concerns.
A Florida spokesperson said Controlled Demolitions is among only a handful of companies in the U.S. that demolishes structures using explosives. The company was supposed to place explosives on the basement and lobby levels of the still-standing structure, according to the contract for the work.
The idea is to use explosives to have a building fall in on itself, with the charges set to go off in rapid succession over a matter of seconds. Setting the explosives off at intervals serves to break up the building at the same time it’s coming down.
This is a very similar process to the one that was used to bring down Trump Plaza on Feb. 17, 2021. According to Controlled Demolitions website...
The 34-story (former Trump Plaza) tower was 370' tall. CDI loaded 1,900 lbs of explosives in 2,300 locations over 14 floors of the structure and installed over 700 delays using a non-electric initiation system to carefully control the fall of the structure while maximizing debris fragmentation to facilitate removal of the tidy 70' tall pile of post-implosion debris.
CDI is “probably one of the best” in the industry, said Steve Schwartz, a member of the National Demolition Associations' board of directors, according to the Associated Press.
Controlled Demolitions is a Maryland-based company with more than 70 years of demolitions experience, according to its website.
The company has been involved in many high-profile demolitions, including the Seattle Kingdom - the world's largest structure to be demolished by explosives; the remains of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City; and the remains of the World Trade Center in Manhattan.