Controlled Constructive Demolition

These are still images of a controlled implosive demolition of a building in Andheri. You may be wondering how in the world can someone use bombs to demolish a building in the middle of the city? Well this is a very common technque to demolish existing structures.

A new technique of building demolition brought to India will help in saving time

The CEO of Kumaaran Demolishers P. Ponlingam, is blasting buildings in the heart of Mumbai, but relax. He is doing it with the government’s full knowledge and permission.

A unique implosion technique of demolition was used to pull down the five-storey ‘Juhu Milan’ building at the New D. N. Nagar, Andheri (W) on May 12. Two buildings had been demolished. “The technology is especially useful in bringing down high rise buildings. Various kinds of explosives are used in the demolition process. While the process may be a little expensive, an important factor is that it is time-saving,” said Ponlingam.

It was the first time in India, that such a technique was used to bring down residential structures. The demolition and debris shifting process that usually takes six months can now be completed in just three days.

“While the process is new in India, it is in use abroad. We just wanted to introduce technological innovations in India, so we came up with this,” said Madhav Naik, the architect of the Vaidehi-Akash Housing Pvt. Ltd.

It required careful planning to bring down the ground + four structures. Experts placed explosives in the buildings in such a manner, that there would be no adverse effect on the surrounding areas and buildings. While three buildings had already been successfully demolished, the Juhu-Milan demolition saw technical problems cropping up with the first attempt.

The building was supposed to collapse within two to three seconds of the implosion. “However, some dogs had nibbled through the circuit and the connections broke lose,” explained Gurunath Phondekar, a director of Vaishali-Akash Housing Pvt. Ltd.

This demolition technique uses gravity and self-weight. While the theory is simple, planning a successful drop is quite complicated. It needs countless examinations and a deep study and evaluation of the structure. It ends with controlling the event into many small, calculated blasts instead of one huge explosion.

The Juhu-Milan structure was a disaster waiting to happen, weakened by the blast and people feared its disintegration at any time.

Vivek Waghi, technical director, Vaishali-Akash Housing Pvt. Ltd. explained the process saying, “It involves the removal of the perpendicular support (pillars) in a sequential way. The direction of fall is controlled by taking out supports that weakens the building to fall where you want it to.”

The society seems to have hit a jackpot looking at the returns. Along with the 640 square feet carpet they have been promised, compared to the current 211 square feet, each member has been given a healthy corpus fund and full amenities, with the rent for 15 months. One of the resident, Mukadam, said, “It is great to know that just in a year or two, we will be the residents of a plush tower in the middle of Andheri. [link]

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