Costello immediately began to think outside the box to come up with a different solution. The first seed of an idea came with the thought of somehow maintaining the exterior brick course in place, to provide containment without a complete building wrap, while removing the concrete block from the inside. The problem would be that the brick course was incapable of supporting itself with the masonry courses and steel ties removed.
After hours poring over the problem, a solution was reached - a system of exterior supports that braced the brick facade against the interior floors. The supports would be installed before interior masonry block removal then removed and reinstalled as each floor of a zone was abated. This also allowed the brick façade to be recycled rather than disposed of as asbestos-containing debris, a savings of at least 25 percent of disposal costs. After being granted a trial of the method, MassDEP approved the plan.
The Demolition Process
After approval of a funding request that shaved $2 million off the original estimate, abatement and subsequent demolition began, with two subcontractors working from each end of the building towards the middle.
Costello sequentially had zones released for demolition and had demolition teams taking down zones of the building at the north and south ends simultaneously. A second team prepared and shipped 4,000 tons of structural steel while a third crew removed and processed concrete slabs and foundations, much of which was used for on-site fill requirements.
The discovery of asbestos fireproofing in exterior walls pushed back the start of demolition by four months, but an expertly organized and executed demolition plan released critical areas of the work zone to the developer only one month after the original milestone, a full month ahead of the revised schedule.