Last month, more than 1,100 lb of strategically placed explosives brought down the 24,000-ton, 455-ft-tall cooling tower at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Savannah River site in Aiken, S.C., the second largest such structure to be imploded, says the firm. “The implosion surpassed everyone’s expectations,” says Doug Loizeaux, vice president of Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI), Phoenix, Md. The firm was the explosives preparation and performance subcontractor to American Demolition and Nuclear Decommissioning, Grand Island, N.Y., which received the approximately $4-million contract to implode the former nuclear-site cooling tower and remove debris. The latter task will be handled by LVI Services
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.