Johannesburg’s Kaserne building set for implosion

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The Kaserne building in Johannesburg – which was condemned after a fire last year that claimed the lives of nine people – will be imploded on 1 May, the city’s Metropolitan Municipality Department of Housing has announced.

Midrand-based demolition and bulk earthworks contractor the Phoenecian Group will perform the blow down, working under Mbongiseni General Services, as well as preparing the site for redevelopment including a Vertical Mixed Use housing development for 2,000 households.

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“This is quite an old building that has had some issues in the past with illegal tenants, resulting in the structure being condemned due to its structural defects,” said Phoenecian’s contracts manager Sne’ Khanyile.

“We have carried out work for the City of Johannesburg before, and implosion is a demolition technique especially well-suited for this type of pre-existing structure.”

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Phoenecian had to carry out minimal ‘soft’ work within the building itself from a structural perspective, as another sub-contractor that is part of the professional team cleared out all the internals.

“We have had to pre-weaken certain structural elements such as the lift shafts and stairwells to ensure a successful implosion on the day,” says Kyle Perkin, explosives engineer: demolition and earthworks division.

“We are treating the building with caution and are observing all preparatory work we are undertaking to see if there are any sorts of movement within the building, of which there has been none to date.”

Non-electronic detonation will be used, with the entire implosion expected to take four seconds.

Following the implosion, the Phoenecian bulk earthworks division will move in to break the rubble down further so it can be reused as a platform substrate for the next stage of the overall development of the site.

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