Thursday, April 19, 2018

Substantial Cost Savings in Space Repurposing Project

R. Baker & Son was contracted by a long time customer with an order to perform demolition, dismantling and equipment relocation work at an old production facility that was to be repurposed. Production rooms and corridors occupied the ground floor of the two-story building and a mechanical and electrical penthouse were on the second floor.

With safety as our first priority, Phase One of the project required the dismantling and removal of all air handlers, exhaust fans, heat exchangers, pumps, piping and motor control centers. Next, Baker removed concrete housekeeping pads and miscellaneous steel throughout the building. All MEP equipment was removed using two heavy-duty Lull 1044Cs and a JLG 5394RT and moved to rigging and staging areas for further dismantling, separation of materials, and recycling.  The facility’s maintenance department worked closely with the Baker team to identify and salvage existing pumps and parts for reuse in other buildings or for attic stock. 

Phase Two of the project required an 80-ton crane to safely remove roof exhaust fans, condensers, package AHUs, piping and ductwork. The third phase entailed the removal of several large pieces of process equipment and other machinery that was separated and match marked for use at another facility, including two lyophilizers, a large fluid bed, and granulator, several isolators and glove boxes, as well as large in-floor scales and several 5,000-gallon process tanks.  Walls and ceilings were successfully removed while identifying and preserving recently-installed fiber optic inner ducts during demolition and dismantling. Floor demolition was more challenging and time-consuming, requiring removal of thick, sloped epoxy floors with pneumatic hammers and scrapers. Facility restrooms, still in good shape, were left intact as a value engineering cost-savings item. 

Exterior blockwork was thoroughly cleaned, pointed and power washed using several articulating booms. As a cost-saving measure, windows were cleaned and re-caulked for reuse. Where required, floors on both levels were flash-patched. R. Baker & Son had zero safety incidents on the project while adhering to an aggressive schedule and providing $260,000 in cost savings. 

About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)  in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards). R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/demolition-contractors-new-jersey.php

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Demolition: A Little Ingenuity Goes a Long Way

Over decades at a Central New Jersey facility, a long MEP utility tunnel was used to carry various plumbing, HVAC, electrical and control lines. When systems began to age and several plumbing lines began to show signs of deterioration and leaking recently, plans were developed to replace the old pipes with new. It was discovered during this planning process that there were many old, abandoned electrical and HVAC piping lines that required removal. The project became a cleanup of the tunnel system aimed not only at replacing what was failing, but a demolition operation to remove what was no longer in use so that future lines could be installed.

The utility tunnel functioned as the backbone of the facility, running below multiple buildings servicing various areas, with the tunnel ceiling and walls supporting a multitude of piping and conduit. Demolition company and rigging services R. Baker & Son was brought in to meet the unique challenge of coming up with a way to safely and efficiently remove demolition waste from the tunnel and bring new materials. Though the tunnel had multiple entrances and exits, it was important that the demolition waste be routed to the end of the tunnel nearest the loading dock for removal. To achieve this, the Baker Team built a custom heavy-duty trolley, six feet long by three feet wide, with rubber wheels and 3-foot high posts to contain pipe and conduit, as well as rubber wheels on the sides to roll along the tunnel’s walls to eliminate friction. It was operated using steel cables, pulleys and an electric winch. A few test runs with 400 lbs. of weight were successful. The trolley proved so successful in the demolition of the tunnel and transport of new materials that the customer purchased it at the end of the project, parking it in the tunnel for future needs.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services 
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
http://www.rbaker.com 
732-222-3553

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Stone Cycling - Waste Based Bricks

A Dutch company has developed a brick composed of industrial, construction and demolition waste materials. StoneCycling was founded in 2013 by Tom van Soest after learning that construction and demolition debris accounts for 65% of his country’s generated waste. Though much of this debris is recycled as base aggregate for roadways and other applications, van Soest wanted to find a way to increase the potential of demolition waste by turning it into a new building material.

After much experimentation with various combinations of concrete aggregate and other ground and crushed demolition waste materials - ceramic tiles, glass, insulation, etc. - van Soest came up with sturdy, stable WasteBasedBricks in a wide variety of textures and colors. StoneCycling is working to make a circular economy a reality through upcycling, the process of transforming waste materials into new materials of better quality, in contrast to the typical downcycling of demolition waste.

Waste Based Bricks are increasingly being used in the private homes and businesses of clients with a keen interest in environmental sustainability. StoneCycling has announced plans to up-cycle a million kg of waste in 2018 for the exterior of buildings. Though the product has not crossed the Atlantic as of yet, there growing interest here in the United States, where hundreds of millions of tons of construction and demolition waste is generated each year.

R. Baker and Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ
http://www.rbaker.com
732-222-3553

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Substation & Mechanical Selective Demolition: Out With the Old, In With the New

A new pharmaceutical company took over an existing North Jersey facility with plans for major renovation. Design work began immediately, and long-lead equipment was ordered early on. To meet the aggressive schedule, a parallel selective demolition plan was developed by R. Baker & Son in anticipation of the arrival of the new equipment.

Plans called for a new, larger electrical service requiring removal of an existing substation and installation of a new one. Two existing 600 HP boilers were slated for removal to make way for eight smaller high-efficiency boilers. Four 75-ton chillers, only five years old, were to remain, but aged 100% outside air handlers and associated piping were to be replaced by new recirculating units and required demolition. Because the facility was to be operational for the duration of the project, however, it was necessary for utilities and HVAC systems remain in place until new equipment arrived, at which point R. Baker & Son’s portion of the project would need to move forward swiftly. This required a close team effort between the Baker team, electrical and mechanical contractors, and the owner.

The first, and most critical, swap-out was the removal of a 1500 kVA single-ended substation and installation of a 2500 kVA double-ended substation on a newly-enlarged concrete pad. After weeks of planning and preparation, the electrical shutdown began on a Friday night.  Following all lockout-tagout procedures, the equipment removal proceeded through the weekend. The new substation was rigged in place on Monday morning, and reconnection began immediately, with a one-week timeframe to get the power back on.

Over the next several consecutive Fridays, R. Baker & Son removed the two existing boilers so the eight smaller boilers could be rigged, set, installed in place, and readied for piping. Finally, the air handlers were removed in a set sequence to keep the cooling system running while the new units were installed.  The Baker team performed asset recovery of the boilers and substations for resale allowed the owner to recoup their value and reduce the overall cost of the project.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
19 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/selective-demolition.php

Monday, November 13, 2017

Colossal Claw Revolutionizes Rigging of Sunken Oil Rigs

One of the most striking man-made sights in the Gulf of Mexico is the Versabar VB 10,000, the largest seagoing heavy lift vessel ever built in the United States. Based on Versabar’s smaller “Bottom Feeder” barge-mounted crane, the $100 million catamaran-style vessel was designed to retrieve sunken oil rig platforms from the seafloor in one piece, rather than expose divers to the dangers of manually dismantling the massive decks and rigging them to the surface in sections. The VB 10,000 is also used for decommissioning and installing offshore platforms.

First launched in 2010, the VB 10,000 is comprised of two bright yellow, 240-ft tall barge-mounted arched trusses with a hook height of 178 feet. Lift capacity of the vessel is 7,500 short tons in a single lift. Each of the two 300-ft long barges are equipped with dynamic positioning thrusters that allow the vessel to remain stationary, with an accuracy of mere inches, without the aid of anchors or mooring lines during rigging activities. With 160 feet of clearance between the barges, loads can be rigged to or from cargo barges positioned below.

Versabar partnered with Chevron in 2011 to produce add-on grappling devices for the VB 10,000 that would minimize diver risk during salvage operations. In just eight months, Versabar designed and constructed twin devices collectively nicknamed “The Claw” due to their uncanny resemblance to the popular arcade crane game. Each of the 122-ft tall, 112-ft wide gantry-suspended steel jaws is capable of rigging 2,000 tons from depths of up to 500 feet without having to send divers into the water to attach rigging. They can be used in conjunction with specially-designed baskets, or “cradles”, used support the fragile sunken platforms. The Claw first “scoops” the underwater wreckage onto the cradle then rigs the entire package to the surface. Due to the versatility of its design, Claw can be customized to suit each individual rigging operation.

R. Baker and Son
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
http://www.rbaker.com

~photo credit Versabar

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tower Crane Luffing Jib

Tower cranes are commonly used for rigging materials and equipment during the construction of tall buildings. The standard tower crane consists of a base fixed to a concrete pad, the mast, the slewing unit (the mechanism that allows the crane to rotate), operating cabin, and jib. There are two main types of jib: the more-common hammerhead (level) jib and the luffing jib. Selection of which jib to use depends mostly on a project’s specific rigging requirements as well as its restrictions.

A luffing jib consists of an A-frame and a boom section. Unlike a hammerhead jib, a luffing jib can move vertically to lift a load. With their high vertical reach, short counter-jib, and variable working radius, luffing jibs are often used for rigging on job sites in congested areas, narrow spaces, when there are other cranes on the job site, or where clearance is otherwise limited, which is why they are frequently seen in dense urban environments like New York.

Luffing jib cranes generally have a larger lifting capacity and better perching accuracy.  It has a higher vertical reach so it can accomplish some rigging tasks with a lower tower height. Luffing jib cranes do have some disadvantages. Luffers are generally heavier than a comparable hammerhead crane and the rigging process is slower.  Due to their complexity, they are usually more costly.

About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)  in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards). R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/rigging-contractors.php

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Coming to a Demolition Site Near You: ZeroG Tool Arm

Ekso Bionics is among several pioneering firms that have developed ergonomic tool arms and bionic exoskeleton devices that can be used to maneuver heavy tools as if weightless in a variety of industries.

The Ekso ZeroG tool arm was specially developed for the construction field to help alleviate worker fatigue by employing adjustable springs to offset the weight of heavy tools such as chipping hammers, demolition hammers, rivet busters, impact wrenches, grinders, and rotary hammers (tools that are used on R. Baker & Son demolition projects on a daily basis). The ZeroG is designed to connect to scaffolding, aerial lifts, and other existing work platforms. A universal strap attachment can accommodate tools of various shapes, sizes, and weights in a variety of applications.  By bearing the weight of the tools, the ZeroG relieves worker stress and strain, reduces fatigue and injury, and increases productivity and efficiency.

Pricing of exoskeleton technology, once prohibitively high, has been dropping over the past several years, so the devices are increasingly being seen in use on construction and demolition sites. Ekso ZeroG tool arms are now available for rental in the New York/New Jersey area from United Rentals. R. Baker & Son hasn’t yet tested the Ekso ZeroG on one of our demolition projects, but we expect to try it out in the very near future.

About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services 

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)  in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards).  R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services 
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/demolition-contractors-new-jersey.php 

*photo courtesy of Ekso Bionics