Monster Tower | World Record Building Demolition | BlowDown | S02 E03 | Free Documentary

Monster Tower | World Record Building Demolition | BlowDown | S02 E03 | Free Documentary


on the Gulf of Mexico a demo team chases a new world record we can not take any chances with stop a hurricane proof tower stands in their way we don’t have a handle on the structure we have no way to get the explosives in no place to put the building it’s gonna be a problem three invincible corpse multi-million dollar neighbors we’re going way off the book with us it could be a record shattering drop a world-class disaster [Music] [Music] South Padre Island Texas nearly a million people hit these beaches every year more and more want to stay it may be a developer’s dream but the race to build comes at a price in this construction frenzy one site sits abandoned this is ocean tower condemned before it was even completed it was built on a defective foundation and is sinking into the sand it’s a 77 million dollar mistake hundreds of metal Shores hold the building up columns crack under the weight as the tower sinks into the sand he tilts to the north threatening homes just 46 meters away Ocean Tower must be demolished controlled demolition Incorporated has accepted this challenge and all the years I’ve been working with CDI all over the world I’ve never seen a structure this well reinforced this well built it could be record-breaking a reinforced concrete structure this high has never been imploded we’ve got a 33 story traditionally reinforced tower that rises above a parking garage the tower itself has got one massively reinforced elevator core and it’s got two stairwells that are separately reinforced the towers height is a demolition nightmare there are mansions to the north a highway to the west and park facilities to the south mark Louisa CGI’s demolition designer must drop this 116 meter tower to the east but he faces a major problem even here the tower is 30 meters too long to land without causing damage if it comes down at its full height it will crush these federally protected dunes or the expensive homes right next to them to stay in the drop zone mark needs to shorten the tower by breaking its spine as it falls powerful weather systems are a fact of life here the structure was engineered to survive hurricane-force winds its cores are nearly seven times thicker than an average residential buildings if we can’t control the elevator shaft we can’t control the building and we don’t have that much room to work with the property line to the north lies just three and a half meters away losing control is not an option normally this family business from Phoenix Maryland implodes structures because they’ve passed their product Oshin tower is the newest high-rise CDI has ever dealt with this time mark has to push demolition engineering to its limits first we’re going to straighten the tower because there’s a bit of a tilt about four and a half inches to the north side so shortening we’re going to straighten the tower up in the delay sequence then we’re going to tilt the tower to the east and as the tower tilts we’re going to cut it at different level so as it comes over and collapses the debris pretty much stays within the original footprint of the garage the first step mark needs to figure out how much rebar reinforces the tower spine these core walls are up to nine and a half meters long and more than three-quarters of a metre theft a skid steer arrives to open the month but the skid-steer can’t even penetrate the concrete look at it don’t look good tom and you’re not even to the rebar yet not yet look how hard that is Plan B Plan P load and shoot the question is congratula hole in it we would have to find out the rebar configuration remains a mystery higher up a salvage crew strips ocean towers riches these sweets are almost complete plumbing installed bathrooms tiled and walls ready for paint brand new materials built to last for decades ripped out before their top metal Shores installed to take stress off the failing columns are exceptionally valuable these are salvageable you know there’s a market for these we can probably sell them for three to four hundred dollars apiece he’ll recycle more than 66-thousand tons of material 85% of what went into the building on the east side of the tower the parking garage deals mark another big challenge most of it sits right where he needs to land the tower but he’s not sure if he should remove it it’s a post tension structure something the crew doesn’t usually come up against post tension beams are made of concrete but they’re also filled with dozens of cables these are pulled tight and then secured with metal anchors at both ends this makes the beam stronger perfect for a car garage but potentially disastrous for CDI you’ve got beams here that have almost 2,000 Kip’s that’s 2,000 times a thousand pounds tensile strength if we drop the structure on that rubber band that has stretched that tight and it snaps where does it go thousands of one and a half kilo anchors could terrorize the neighborhood some of these post-tension beams also run under the faulty tower demolishing the garage before shott day could send the building into a freefall at that point the tower would just inexorably move there’s no stopping it mark faces a difficult choice leave the garage intact and risk anchors flying or demolish it and hope the tower doesn’t come down early he needs to learn more about the garage before he makes the call back in the tower Kraig keys and Tom doubt try to penetrate the course they need to drill past the concrete to the rebar but like the skid-steer they can’t seem to find a way through [Applause] this is where we try to get either five holes inside the box you see how much we have to move the holes that’s you know for the burn that’s alright but I’d really like to see this all the way through Tom’s disappointed so we’d be lucky to get one all the way through yep even inch and a half and that two inch hole this is bad news does it get better as we go up the Coors seem impenetrable but they must be broken or the tower will overshoot the drop zone it’s an expensive mistake I have a federal park I’ve got protected dunes with all that planning out there that cost hundreds of thousand dollars to replace mark must figure out a way to avoid this eco disaster or the aftermath will cost him big time [Music] Marc needs to find a way through Ocean Towers cause where this demolition is destined to fail the only time we’ve run up against concrete this hard and reinforcing that as this massive in a structure is a nuclear construction where we’re dealing with structures that are no more than three or four storeys tall here we’re dealing with a structure that’s 33 stories tall the reason this monster tower sits in a hurricane zone winds here can reach more than 218 kilometers an hour so the high-rise is designed to resist annihilation now machines are failing to penetrate its hurricane-proof cores Marx never had this problem before he calls in his brother Doug I really needed his experience in his expertise he has far more experience blasting heavily reinforced concrete than I they consider an unprecedented plan attack the towers cores with explosives before shot day normally they use test blasts to see how a structure will react to this type of demolition but they’ve never tried to reduce the strength of a building with explosives before the implosion until now we determined that it would be best to modify the cores themselves by pre blasting holes so essentially leaving the cores standing up on legs much more efficient to deal with that with explosives for the first time ever CD I will use explosives to attack a structure before shot day [Music] [Music] meanwhile mark gets a break he discovers that post-tension beams at the east end of the parking garage do not run underneath the tower [Music] this means it should be safe to demolish the part that sits in the drop zone [Music] mark assigns Raisa kasi post-tensioning is about the hardest thing erect convention that tension is about two million pounds on every one of those little cables we go in the multiprocessor cracks the concrete and loosens the concrete once it goes slack its lost tension and then we can chew in it and it may come down [Music] the excavator has to avoid the protected dunes to the east so the operator works from the south side he must pulverize almost 2,000 square meters of the garage [Music] as he moves in he gets closer to these damaged columns and the tower [Music] Doug and Tom get ready to pre blast the course they’ve never done this before so they worry about flying debris you just wondering for the first shot as this could of with neighbors you think we’d be better off to stand downstairs that’s why they load two walls with different amounts of dynamite we’re just kind of playing blind right now until we see the results of this usually you can bless country with a half a pound per cubic yard some of these we probably have 10 pounds to the cubic yard you can’t use the rule of thumb loading densities we’re going way off the book with us here’s the plan they’ve loaded dynamite in a series of circles each larger than the last explosives closest to the center will go off first then the explosions will radiate out this should shatter the concrete and leave two legs dug them in a red [Music] can you say anything oh we’re through oh yeah you’re clear Victor come one up see that’s beautiful it is we’re gonna need a couple of brooms and a couple of shovels to clean up this stairwell good here’s your burn both shots blasted through the concrete there’s fine here done there are yep one two three four and five but smaller quantities of dynamite loaded into more holes works best you don’t need to muscle concrete out what we need to do is rely on our sequential pattern on how we initiate the delays good news for the loaders bad news for the struggling drillers they’ll have to muscle even more holes into the cores if you look straight in there I don’t know how they got a hole at all and there’s another serious concern we took their cover down debris rip through the protective covering and shattered ocean towers triple pane windows we’ve blasted the whole I mean that’s great it did a fine job but the byproduct wasn’t acceptable that was too much fun the neighbors are a stone’s throw away Doug will have to fine-tune the pre blasting plan things are getting ugly in the parking garage I got called with one of my employees so I’m here to the parking garage saying that concrete falling off of the floor slab this is actually one of the pieces of concrete that are popping out of the slab you can see where the rebar the cable are running through the slab this would probably be very bad if you get hit on the head with it post tension cables in the beams are snapping shattering the concrete the crew could get their skulls cracked everyone has to evacuate and there’s another challenge as we pulverized the building there’s still these chunks left hanging on these tendons which we call Widow makers because they could fall down and whack you in the head and take you up like Victor’s crew raise team can’t work in this dangerous environment if he doesn’t find a way to rip out the widow-makers you’ll have to pull the excavators bring the project to a halt we need to separate this from that before we go that way as as we go this way it gets really funky I mean one BAE over from where we’re stopping us all that shoring all those damaged columns we need to clean this off it screw it straight through it and release any pull that this thing has on that my first choice would be to let’s go cross the street in that job Lane I can see if I can cheer mom yeah next baby we had that spaghetti mess there without fucking three men how long did it take you to swap out hey totally all right I mean only one way to find out no I you know I’d have to get to do with the man lift and get it but here it’s not fun the operator will try to cut the widow-makers down with a job link [Music] in the tower the crew hammers out a plan for the course they face a difficult trade-off smaller quantities of dynamite spread over a larger area works best but a larger pre blast area means more loading holes and usable drill holes are hard to come by here’s the problem the cores are reinforced with up to six vertical layers of rebar three times the normal amount and the layers are staggered it’s almost impossible for a driller to get a straight hole through the rebar is really beyond anyone’s expectations when you look at the plans initially say why would anyone put this much rebar in this structure but there’s home the team clears out some pre blasted sites now they can finally see the rebar pattern ultimately I’m gonna want the drillers to try to get in here and drill this way Craig will try and drill holes between the rebar layers by me drilling longitudinally through the wall I can drill three holes and blast just three holes compared to blasting 40 holes on the outside edge there are seven shot floors this longitudinal drilling could save the team thousands of holes it’s a demo marathon he must push through almost two meters of concrete four times the length of a regular hole today he’s rewarded and went now surprisingly well the rebar is spaced far enough apart to where I could get the longitude holes into it at least in this wall the drilling is under control but the weather is not a violent storm rolls in Victor before you on it catches the crew off-guard yeah that doesn’t that look good does that Victor can’t reach workers exposed to the elements on an upper floor jesse mclees rushes up to warn them before the storms fury really hits Victor we have stuff coming off the roof of the building – there’s insulation plastic there’s a lot of debris coming off the roof [Music] everyone is evacuated and the day is lost with more than 2,000 holes still left to drill [Music] more than three weeks pass the crew finally gets a break in the weather clear sunny skies it won’t last so they move quickly to drill the upper floors before the storms return if you just walk away slowly they’ll release and let you walk let me go real quick when you go over the edge it stops you from going over the edge gym master pole works a half step away from a 60 meter draw he preps outer columns so the team can load dynamite his drill weighs 45 kilos 60 miles an hour up here you can’t stand on the edge it’ll just take you right off it’s crazy up here [Applause] and I’ve been doing this 10 years and still a little bit of pee comes out whenever have to get on the edge like this the pre blasting and drilling show mark how strong Ocean Tower is he worries the three cores won’t come down on shot day [Music] the building could shear away from the hurricane fruit spine mark has to off his game for this demolition could turn into a record-breaking disaster Doug and Tom are ready to pre blast more core walls this demo project marks the first time they’ve ever used explosives to reduce a building strength before shot day so they’re still trying to get the formula down what we’re going to do is adjust the loading density cut the amount of explosives we’re putting down per hole so we can try to keep the concrete from flying where it could impact the adjacent properties they’re loading smaller quantities of dynamite into more holes so they must also fine-tune the initiation system for the 475 here you starting at 300 upstairs no the 475 is going to initiate the cord we’re gonna go electric to 475 to cord upstairs just electric they work out a plan Victor are you clear all right we’re good Tom warm up the machine tell me when you’re warmed up 5 4 3 2 1 fire yes explosives more holes better results talk about that’s the ticket success the system works they’ve mastered the pre blasting but elsewhere a huge setback Craig thought he could drill Ocean Towers Coors longitudinal but after weeks of work he fails to sink the required holes this is a lot of rebar this wall was not supposed to be it’s so bad that he can’t get a single longitudinal hole into the elevator shaft the cores defy one of Sidi eyes best I’m afraid we’re resigned to spot drilling the elevator shaft just because it’s steel is too tight he’s not gonna be able to get a hole in their CD eyes demolition designer must up his strategy mark also worries that the rebar dent scores will defy him on shot day he decides that a complex network of high tensile steel may do the trick mark came up with the cabling plan gave us the drawings emailed him last night so now I have to go you know discuss it in principle in the building grab they’re down we’re gonna grab here down and we’re gonna grab there down but the crew have never seen anything like this 852 meters of cable connecting cores and columns to one another on five of the towers floors the cable is three times stronger than the kind they normally use because it’s never had to work this hard the cables connect the elevator cord into stair cores and then into the columns out in the direction of fall as we move through the building those cables will sequentially go into tension although many that will pull the power over toward the Gulf of Mexico Craig hustles to finish the extra work it’s from ceiling to floor we just try to grab the top of the column and the bottom of the column through the floor slabs so the floor slabs helps and nothing slides up and down the columns as the building’s moving what we have for tools is just a chain come along and a sledgehammer the Funday the cable right there the cabling is done Tom starts to load dynamite into the cores he doesn’t usually work with a tape measure on most demo sites CDI uses bags filled with sand to space out dynamite it’s called deck loading and it makes explosives more efficient but that won’t work in these rebar infested walls if you’re trying to push a bag in and you catch a piece of that rebar and that bag bridges you’ve now lost that hole and with a structure of this size we don’t want to lose a single hole the solution air deck loading Tom calculates the optimal distance between sticks of dynamite and uses a tape measure to position the explosives this way he gets the benefit of deck loading without the risk at the base of the tower Doug calculates another crucial load the column when welding now is a big controlling column there are four columns that are probably the most important in the building that we have to crack to allow it to bend and then eliminate completely for each hole I’ll calculate how many cubic yards or percentage of a cubic yard each hole takes care of and from what 35 years of experience I know how much explosive it takes per cubic yard of this real brittle high-density concrete bad weather continues to plague the crew dangerous winds often confine them to the lower floors but they can’t delay any more someone has to load columns on four of the upper floors once again it’s Jim’s lucky day the height still gut-wrenching but this time there’s no sunshine to comfort him the change in weather pushes him to the edge he’s got a long way to go 39 exposed columns still too low seedy eyes wiring guru arrives on site and she doesn’t catch a break either every column encored the team is loaded needs to be wired Stacy Louisa and her sister Devon are forced to brave the windy upper floors I’ll lean into it here I’d love to wait for this storm to pass and be able to do this tomorrow but unfortunately the clocks tickin we need to get this done to that we’ll top it out and the wiring has never been this complicated the problem is is the stairwells are sort of a mix and match between longitudinal drilling and spot drilling and when wiring them we have to treat them very differently her crew must run to initiation lines one for the regular holes and one for the longitudinal holes we can’t let these two lines touch they’re on two totally different times if these two lines were actually to come into contact with each other basically you could have an entire core going off either five seconds too early or five seconds too late which would be unbelievably bad the towel would fall uncontrollably putting the neighbors at risk so it’s a constant challenge to check double check recheck that these cannot possibly touch each other what if we put a big piece on it why take the chance piece of fabric and just laid it that’s a good we’ve got to get all these lines weighted down to my satisfaction really which is basically weighting it down every three or four feet it’s very time-consuming they don’t call me the Martha Stewart of demolition for nothing crews have finished demolishing the east side of the parking garage what’s left of the structure is now safe for workers Victor’s crew hustles to make up lost time now it’s when you need to run [Music] upstairs ray checks the team’s cabling job 35,000 pounds is breaking strength it’ll do much more than that you could pick up a tank with this stuff well any difficulty at all but will these cables be enough to pull the towers course we’ll find out firsthand the mission is to get unprecedented shots of the implosion of this tower so what gone ahead and done is planted 12 cameras strategically placed throughout the tower between the 24th and the roof all this stuff is going to two different boxes we got custom-made iron cages to protect the footage for the trip down [Music] it’s shot did Stacy and her crew finished wiring the tower they’ve laid more than four kilometers of detonation cord sir I need you got the weight of this no it’s not heavy you don’t know but you just I just need well I mean I need someone to hold it now we need to get the weight off underneath this they can hold it for a minute or two really yes if we can not take any chances let’s not no CDI walks the building to triple-check thousands of connections hey brain Devin also keep an eye out on your deck loaded columns be sure the greenhorn is tucked in [Music] when we blast we’re gonna find out real fast if we’re right or wrong you know will either be heroes or bones police block off a 600 meter exclusion zones thousands gather to see a world record attempt to drop this tower CDI takes their positions here’s what they’ll watch for the team demolished part of the parking garage so the high-rise has a place to land if they didn’t remove enough post-tensioning anchors could shoot out Tom and Doug pre blasted Ocean Towers hurricane proof cores but they could still be strong enough to resist implosion Stacey rigged a complex duel wiring system to shoot the cores at the perfect time if the det-cord crosses mansions to the north could be destroyed as the building falls uncontrollably mark we’re in the red go can nine seven fire [Music] this could be the highest reinforced concrete structure ever employed Oshin tower comes down to 13 seconds go on the ground Victor calm down report from your side got a lot of dust mark I’m starting to work my way in now from a distance the high-rise appears to have toppled completely Tom approaches the site mark waits for a report I’m still coming in mark holy debris lies on the wrong side of the fence here’s how it all happened fire the pulsed reaches the building columns on the east end of the garage detonate first [Music] explosives in the upper levels go off anchors do not shootout with the Tala Falls the outer part of the structure begins to form the high-rise doesn’t tilt as much as Mark hoped some cables pole other snack The Corrs hesitate but Stacy’s wiring system comes through the spines fail and breakup to the east the tower lands in the drop zone in this unprecedented footage we get a chance to ride this monster tower as it crashes to the ground [Music] one of the cores doesn’t fall is plan the top five floors of a stairwell core rolls off the debris pile and comes to rest outside the northern perimeter they explore the site relief something here the debris sits nearly one and a half meters beyond the perimeter we are all clear when the houses to the north mark philosophy copy that none of the million-dollar homes are damaged but a section of fence is crushed those shafts are just so rigid so tough it just road road road road road over and then it rolled off to the side crews quickly mobilized to clean up everything else went as planned I wish I could have have gotten it to move maybe another 10 15 feet initially then then we got it and maybe we wouldn’t have this little problem on the north side but the plan is good to be able to have that energy at your disposal and use it effectively it has to make you smile it has to make your day the mission to drop the highest reinforced concrete structure ever is a success seedy I will submit this project to the Guinness Book of World Records ocean tower an engineering disaster many would rather forget but in the wake of its destruction the mission to build on this sandbar will surely continue [Music] you

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