Innovative Solutions to Demolition at the UW Hospital
The UW Hospital Radiotherapy Expansion Phase 4 & 5 project is a true definition of why JP Cullen is known as the Tough Job Experts. The project consisted of removing four existing MRI and radiotherapy vaults located in basement level of hospital. The vaults had existing 3ft thick concrete walls, 4ft thick reinforced steel ceiling, and within the ceiling the old vaults had steel shielding plates. The team had no idea what the plates consisted of because there was no documentation or as-builts, and by the time they opened up the slab, they found that the plates were 5-6 inches thick, 8 ft wide and up to 20 ft long. JP Cullen had to come up with innovation solutions that would not effect the cost or schedule.
So what was the solution? Utilizing a small crew, a track torch was the best option, which is a small cutting torch that is set up on tracks that cuts the plate up into manageable sections. Through there, the team put the pieces on the ramp and were able to pull them up and out of the project space. Everything on this project had to fit through a 6ft x 7ft door, so the plates had to fit that size. Through appropriate planning, this process went off without a hitch and there was no negative impact to the project.
The project needed an innovative approach to be able to complete the demolition of the concrete wall and lid. The project itself was located between an operating cancer center and other existing procedure rooms that were treating cancer patients. Infection control and zero disruptions to these areas was of critical importance. For this project, several electric demolition robots were brought in to complete the work. The drawback was there is still no such thing as a rubber hammer, making it impossible to completely eliminate all the noise. Working with UW Hospital, doctors, nurses, managers and our tradespeople, we were able to create a schedule and process that would work for everyone involved to remove these walls. Rubble was hauled out during the day, which would ensure no disruptions to the community outside of the hospital by removing rubble at night. All in all, JP Cullen’s innovative approach to this challenge has ensured that the project stayed on schedule and within budget.