Churches can’t simply close down for renovations, especially ones that are well-attended and loved within the community. Instead, the renovations flex and mold around church activities. Services, children’s ministry and local outreach continues. They might temporarily relocate to a different part of the building, but they’re still in full swing. As such, church renovations are not only about completing the project but minimizing the amount of disturbance to members and staff.
These priorities surfaced in a project at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN. A large, multi-year renovation was underway and next on the list was the removal of several large block walls and additional selective demolition to make way for updated finishes. The selective demolition involved removing a staggering 20,000 sq. ft. of ceilings and flooring within the child-care and education centers.
Luckily, these centers are located on the lower wing level of Prince of Peace, away from the epicenter of the church. The sanctuary, which is the center of action, is located on the main floor. But with this level of demolition, the renovation project still had a chance of affecting the sanctuary in terms of noise and vibration. To ensure minimal disturbance, Nick Holm, owner of Twin Town Demolition, stepped in as the demolition contractor.
Overcoming Indoor Obstacles
Holm’s team was aware of the difficulties that would arise from this project. The sheer nature of indoor demolition requires a different strategy, equipment and priorities.
Twin Town Demolition is no stranger to a challenge and doesn’t shy away from it. The three main challenges crews had to work through include:
- Dust, noise and emissions mitigation: Keeping these very normal aspects of demolition away from the active sanctuary, and the nearby library, was of top priority.
- Recessed demolition area: Access to the project area required navigating several sets of stairs and sublevels. All equipment needed to fit through stairwells and tight hallways to reach the work zone.
- Large vertical wall demolition: The sheer amount of demolition material that needed to be removed required a 12-person crew. When working outdoors, cleanup can be largely handled with machinery, but that’s not the case inside a building.
Selecting the right equipment to rise above these difficulties was essential to complete the project in a timely manner.
Electric Alternative Delivers Positive Results
Twin town Demolition turned to the Toro e-Dingo, a lithium ion battery-powered compact utility loader that emits zero engine exhaust emissions. The e-Dingo has a maximum operating capacity of 515 lbs. and delivers the benefits and power of a standard compact utility loader without the fuel costs. Several power modes help conserve energy and battery power.
Compared to manual labor, the e-Dingo can increase productivity by up to 55%, according to Toro. Compatibility with several existing Dingo attachments allowed Twin Tower Demolition to reduce the amount of equipment used on the Prince of Peace Project.
“Our standard production for hollow core non-load bearing block walls is about 40 sq. ft. per labor hour,” Holms notes, “and with the Toro e-Dingo we achieved approximately 65 sq. ft. per labor hour, which was considerably faster.”
A switch in attachments meant the machine also played a substantial part in material removal.
Holm and the entire Twin Town Demolition team were able to kick off the renovation project in an efficient manner, making way for the construction crews who followed. As a result, the education and childcare demolition ran right on schedule, and the renovation project is set to be completed in October 2021.