Inside Envirocon – A Look at Envirocon’s Demolition Center of Excellence

demolition_2007b[1]As precious metal values reach historic highs, Envirocon is seeing more and more clients concerned with maximizing their asset salvage on demolition projects.
Envirocon’s Demolition Center of Excellence’s performs demolition and decommissioning projects on large industrial facilities throughout the United States. These projects often have significant components of asset recovery and subsurface remediation and most of these facilities have stringent safety and environmental standards and require a contractor who is comfortable working on high profile projects under regulatory oversight. Projects such as those at Hanford and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal have shown Envirocon’s expertise in working under strict environmental and safety controls while still meeting schedule and budget goals. Envirocon’s years of work in the aluminum industry, where facilities have recoverable assets valued at tens of million of dollars, have made it extremely proficient in segregating, grading, packaging, and marketing assets for its clients. Our 20-year history as a remediation contractor coupled with our expert demolition staff and large fleet of owned equipment make Envirocon ideally suited to perform the large demolition projects of the 21st century.

Key Personnel:

David Jacobs- Portland District Manager – Mr. Jacobs is the head of Envirocon’s Demolition Center of Excellence. Mr. Jacobs has over 16 years of experience in implementing hazardous waste site remediation activities and in managing multi-disciplinary clean-up personnel, heavy equipment operations, field construction, and demolition, disposal and treatment operations. Mr. Jacobs has been responsible for performing environmental remediation, construction, consulting, and demolition projects for public and private sector clients throughout the western United States. David started in the environmental industry in 1987 as an environmental chemist working on analyzing air and water samples for an Environmental consulting firm. He moved to the remediation/construction end of the industry in 1990 and has been with Envirocon for over eight years. He has supervised numerous Superfund cleanups throughout the Western U.S. David has also been working with the aluminum industry since 1993 and became active in complete facility decommissioning in 2004.

Bud Stevens- Demolition Manager- Mr. Steven’s serves as the group’s senior demolition manager/estimator with over 30 years of experience in general construction and 20 years of demolition related experience. Bud has been with Envirocon for six years and was responsible for the demolition, sizing, transportation, and disposal of 29 structures throughout the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Structures varied in size from a million-gallon reservoir to a small shed on skids. He also designed and executed the demolition of 95% of all buildings at Zinc Corporation of America (ZCA) in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The job included coordination and direction of work utilizing three mobile shears, two grapples, two front loaders, six dump trucks and two cranes. This project produced over 16,000 tons of scrap steel for recycling as well as 10,000 cubic yards of concrete.

Greg Clark- Demolition Superintendent- Greg recently joined Envirocon as a Demolition Superintendent. He has 15 years experience in performing selective demolition projects in active refineries, chemical plants, and paper mills. Greg also has over 20 years experience in the construction industry and has supervised the construction of a lime kiln and a phosgene unit.

Demolition Crew – Envirocon currently has a dedicated demolition crew of approximately 75 individuals. Envirocon has recruited throughout the U.S. to assemble a select group of highly skilled foreman, operators, and burners. The crew members years of experience ranges from five to twenty five and they have worked at a wide variety of industrial facilities; including nuclear, chemical, petroleum, chemical weapons, and military bases, Envirocon’s high employee retention rate and our promote from within philosophy have created a cohesive and experienced crew with high dedication and morale.

Demolition in Action:

The Evergreen Aluminum Project

In September 2006, Envirocon was contracted to provide selective dismantlement and asset recovery services at an aluminum smelter in Vancouver, Washington. The facility was used for aluminum reduction from 1940 through the late 1990s and additional production lines were installed in the 1960s. Envirocon was responsible for the safe and proper dismantling of the 650 reduction cells that make up the potlines at the Vancouver site. Each reduction cell or “pot” contained as much as 20 tons of recoverable ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The specific scope of work included:

  • Removal and demolition of 650 aluminum reduction cells;
  • Scrap decontamination, preparation, and sizing;
  • Select structure cleaning; and
  • Waste removal and loading into trucks for off-site disposal.

Successful execution of the project required streamlined efficiency in dismantling and processing the cells and materials contained within them. Envirocon developed a comprehensive work plant that maximized the use of existing facilities and minimized travel distances between the required process areas enhancing safety and efficiency while reducing environmental liability. Envirocon added value by focusing efforts on waste segregation and minimization, seeking to manage all generated materials as potential assets.

DemolitionExcellenceUpon removal, each reduction cell was dismantled separating salvageable assets from waste materials. Salvageable assets consisted primarily of residual aluminum metal (metal left in pot when system was shut down, also known as “pads”) and steel. Aluminum pads were sized and stockpiled on site for sale by the client. Pot steel was also processed and sized for resale by the client. Some components of the reduction cell still required treatment for cyanide signature prior to being shipped off site as scrap. Envirocon provided this treatment as well as the loading of sized steel into shipping containers for overseas transportation to the consumer.

Items salvaged for recycling included 1,600,000 pounds of aluminum metal from “pot pads” and 12,000 tons of #1 heavy melt ferrous steel.

North Plants Demolition – Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Envirocon provided demolition, sizing, transportation, and disposal of 54 structures and numerous other facilities within the North Plants area at “the Arsenal.” Buildings demolished as part of the multi-million-dollar project included large, multi-story heavily reinforced concrete structures, concrete block structures, and steel framed, transite-sided structures. We also demolished extensive areas of reinforced concrete pads, sumps, vaults, and chemical sewers. Transite siding and piping and asbestos-containing materials were encountered, requiring abatement prior to demolition of the structures that contained these materials. Twenty-eight of the structures had been declared under the Chemical Warfare Convention, and required “hold point” considerations and documentation prior to and during demolition. Envirocon sized, hauled, and disposed of waste materials generated in the on-site landfill. We processed recyclable materials and shipped them to an off-site recycle facility. To demolish nerve gas manufacturing components that had not been decontaminated, Envirocon developed and implemented an innovative caustic neutralization process that was safely deployed using Level A personal protective equipment. Work Included:

  • Demolition of 54 structures;
  • Nerve and chemical warfare agent contamination;
  • Debris management, sizing, loading, and transportation;
  • Challenging soil/debris ratio;
  • Excavation 7,200 lf of chemical agent sewers;
  • Excavation, transportation, and disposal of 200,000 cy of contaminated soils;
  • Level B and C PPE;
  • UST and piping removal;
  • Air monitoring and dust control;
  • Asbestos, Mercury, PCBs, and Petroleum Hydrocarbons;
  • Equipment dismantlement/decontamination within Vapor Containment Structure (VCS); and
  • Incident-free performance.

Envirocon met all key milestones that were dictated by the Record of Decision. We also safely and effectively responded to a request to decontaminate and dismantle Sarin gas manufacturing equipment.