Earlier this week, I was invited down to Woolwich in south-east London to see some demolition machines in action.
I was at the offices of MTF Diamond Drilling & Controlled Demolition, hearing more about the remote demolition machines they own, operate and hire out.
MTF was part of the team that carried out the remote explosive demolition of the partially-collapsed boiler house at Didcot Power Station last year.
In particular, they provided some of the remotely operated vehicles that did a lot of the heavier moving and cutting on site.
The machine in the video above is the Brokk 120D, which Brokk says is the world’s smallest diesel-driven demolition machine – and which Calvin Avery, managing director of No. 1 Group, MTF’s parent company, told me is one of only two of its kind in the UK.
Brokk machines in general can be seen more and more on demolition sites across the UK now, with a few companies owning and operating their own as well as hiring from companies like MTF.
They are powerful pieces of kit that can be used in a variety of ways, and in a number of different situations.
With the increased scrutiny on safety in the demolition sector since Didcot, remote demolition methods like this that remove operatives to a safer distance will only become more prevalent.
That project at Didcot was carried out in the most trying of circumstances, and it was machines like this, coupled with other techniques, that made it possible.
Earlier this year, Construction News wrote about Project Atom, consisting of Arcadis, AR Demolition and Alford Technologies, who have come together to form a collaboration that proposes a safer method for explosive demolition in the wake of the tragedy at Didcot.