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Demolition of Aberdeen landmark underway
The task of taking down the 13 storey St Nicholas House tower gets underway today [Tuesday, 08 October].
Scaffolding is being erected around the chimney on top of the 1960s building, which formerly housed Aberdeen City Council's headquarters. The chimney will be dismantled by hand, before machines are brought in to demolish the rest of the building.
Demolition machinery four Brokks and a Bobcat will be hoisted up the side of the building and used to take the building down floor by floor during the critical phase of the demolition project.
These remote-control demolition machines will be used to deconstruct St Nicholas House floor by floor, from the top down. Each floor will be propped, before the machines are used to demolish each level by "nibbling" the concrete, and drop the material down the lift shaft in a controlled manner. Supporting columns will then be pulled down and the operation will move to the next floor.
The material will then be taken into the area formerly occupied by the Underpass Gallery. It will take approximately two weeks to take down each floor.
Deputy council leader Marie Boulton said: "This is a historic moment for Aberdeen. Love it or loathe it, the St Nicholas House tower has been a prominent feature of the city's skyline for almost 50 years. Over the coming weeks we will see it steadily reduced until nothing remains of the monolithic building.
"I am pleased to see the demolition project progressing so well and the site being cleared in readiness for an exciting new development and a new chapter in the city's history."
Project manager Andrew Sproull said: "The demolition of St Nicholas House is a major project and involves effectively deconstructing the building. The work presents challenges because the building is in such a constrained site in the middle of a busy city centre, which is why we have opted to take the tower down floor by floor in a very safe and controlled manner.
"Safedem will work on the floors in an agreed pattern of demolition by bringing one floor down onto another floor, clearing the material and then pulling down the supporting columns before moving down to the next floor.
"We are liaising regularly with the Health and Safety Executive and are also working closely with Marks and Spencers to ensure that any activity on Flourmill Lane is not affecting their business."
The demolition is scheduled for completion in spring 2014.