High Bay Freezer Demolition

Project Overview:

The project comprised of demolition works to a redundant high bay freezer that had become structurally unsafe. It was built in the late 70s and, after 30 years of weather damage, it was starting to drop materials onto structures below.

At the time it was built, the freezer was second tallest in the world. It stood 26 metres high, 30 metres wide and 16 metres deep and was constructed from over 400 EPS panels, 6m long x 200mm wide, all held together by approximately 500 tonne of steel racking on the inside. Two other building structures had been connected to the sides of the freezer through its 30-year evolution, along with ammonia pipe work for refrigeration. All these factors gave this project a high-risk demolition classification.


Project Outcomes:

Scale Up Partners were the lead contractor to conduct all WHS&E compliances, along with working with local government authorities for CDA approvals and planning for recycling of waste materials. The site works included establishing a perimeter that required safe entry permits and daily safety documentation to facilitate the removal of the entire structure and its internal steel racking structure.

The key structural demolition works undertaken on the structure were conducted in a two-stage process:

  1. First stage was securing approximately 45 loose panels, which were an immediate high safety risk to people working below and inside the attached building.
  2. Second Stage was strategically removing panels and internal steel work from the outer perimeter and working across to the high side that was attached to the factory building.

The high bay freezer and its steel internal racking took six weeks to safely demolish and make good of the work site area. It was successfully demolished with a 55t high-reach crane and a 28m high-knuckle boom that helped attach latching chains to the structure. Through extensive pre-planning, the crews were able to dissemble sections comfortably and then lower these to the ground, where a second crew cut the structure into manageable pieces for transportation.

The demolished pieces were then removed from the demolition zone utilising a 38t excavator with grab attachment and a flatbed truck. They were then sent to metal recycling plants across Sydney. The steel-cladded panels were actually repurposed by a local mushroom farmer as small sheds or plant boxes.

The successful completion of works was given approval from local government authorities and handed back to the client with no loss time or safety incidents or work injuries to report.