Construction company ICON Earthworks, a subsidiary of the ICON Group, was awarded a R2.5-million contract by property development company Amdec to demolish four buildings at the end of November last year for completion next month.
ICON is the principal contractor for the demolition, safety and community management of the project, explains ICON Group MD Wayne Neary.
“The contract includes the demolition and removal of four multistorey apartment blocks in Corlett drive, Johannesburg. The buildings are about 50 years old, and their form and function have not kept pace with modern trends and lifestyles.”
The area will make way for the expansion of the Melrose Arch Precinct, which will include a basement under Melrose Arch, as well as the construction of a mix-use building, which will include offices, showrooms and luxury apartments, on the site.
Meanwhile, aside from the usual fierce pricing competition for such projects, ICON Group believes that owning its own equipment provides it with a distinct advantage, as other companies usually have to hire additional equipment for the job at hand, highlights Neary.
“In addition, our focus on sustainable construction practices sets us apart. All the building material that we salvage from this site will be crushed to gradation Level 5 (G5) aggregate for use at another site. ICON Group’s latest hammers and crushers will be used for this purpose.”
G5 aggregate is manufactured by crushing brown quartzite stone down to –38 mm. It can be used as a subbase material, under paving, driveways, concrete slabs, sidewalks and roads.
Neary says that, traditionally, rubble from this type of demolition landed up in landfills or dumpsites. However, with this project, ICON Group is providing Amdec with double sustainability savings through the reuse of the crushed building material.
Subsequently, Amdec does not need to import natural aggregate from a quarry, which reduces the carbon footprint of the project.
Moreover, Neary notes that the biggest challenge for this project is working close to high-density buildings amid traffic zones and high foot traffic.
In addition to stringent safety measures, ICON has to be conscious of the dust and noise levels, which are mitigated using dust suppression technologies, such as water tankers, and adjusting working hours to reduce noise.
Additionally, with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, ICON Group is the trusted provider of bulk earthworks, demolitions and other related civil engineering and construction services that are required to get a commercial, industrial or mining site to a state of build readiness.
Further, ICON Group is involved in several other projects nationally.