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Suncorp Demolition

​Dating back to the 1960’s, 447 Collins St (formerly known as the Suncorp building) was the tallest standing building in Melbourne. Back in early 2012, the 24 storey office building was in the media headlines for an incident that took place in the forecourt area located to the north of the building, in which a marble façade panel fixed to the Level 8 balcony dislodging and landing metres away from the general public. Thankfully no members of the public were injured.

Project Overview

As a follow on from the incident, the north facade and adjacent forecourt area were fenced off and closed to public along with sections of the main surrounding streets        (William & Markets Sts). ISPT , who owned the building at the time, appointed specialised consultants to extensively inspect all of the marble façade panels and design & introduce a façade restraint systems which were installed to the east & west elevations to enable the occupied sections of the council roads (William & Market Sts) to be reopened.

In late 2013, CBUS purchased the property from ISPT with plans to demolish and redevelop the site. In June 2014, Delta was awarded the demolition contract and issued with a demolition permit to demolish the existing building down to the existing ‘Plaza Level’ and retaining 2 to 3 levels of basement car park. 

Demolition works onsite commenced in July 2014, which included but not limited to the following:

• Demolition of existing 24 storey building down to plaza level including internal strip out and extensive hazardous materials removal (friable and non-friable). 

• Design, fabricate and install ‘marble façade support frames’ to restrain the remaining ‘unsecured’ panels to the north & south elevations prior to any structural demolition works commencing.

Complete site set up including amenities, provision of materials hoist, gantries & full height perimeter scaffold. 

Erection of a favco tower crane to facilitate the demolition and asbestos removal works.

Mobilisation of over 20 bits of plant including excavators ranging from 0.8t to 4.5t and skid steers to facilitate the demolition works.

• U
tilisation of the existing lift core as a demolition chute onto the concourse level and introducing structural back propping to existing loading dock to increase load out and transport efficiencies.

Typically the building was made up of reinforced concrete slabs with concrete encased steel columns and beams. The demolition works were planned to be carried out using small machines/excavators working systematically from top down and level by level. The steel framed structure (beams & columns) were to be cut with use of oxy sets and loaded into bins for cranage off site. The floor area of the high rise building is approx. 1500sqm which doubles from Level 7 down.

In early December 2014, unidentified asbestos located in the lift door headers was discovered and put an immediate stop to the demolition works as the lift shaft was being utilised as the demolition/dump chute. The asbestos removal and make safe works involved within the lift shafts took approx. 5 weeks and involved over 20 personnel (a combination of both Delta & asbestos contractor).

As a result, demolition works recommenced in the first week in February 2015 with over 35 Delta employees reassigned to complete soft strip out, protection & structural demolition works, tower crane operation, traffic management and supervision to achieve our target of completing a floor in 5 working days. 

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