2000 Commonwealth Avenue

2000 Commonwealth Avenue

In January of 1971, half of the 16-story, #2000 Commonwealth Avenue condominium in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts collapsed. High winds had blown over space heaters on the top floor, causing a fire in the timber shoring underneath the concrete pour made at roof level the day before...the shoring under the roof slab failed.

Commonwealth AveWorkers entered the building the next morning to assess the damage. Without warning, a progressive collapse began and stripped out half of the structural slabs. Hundreds of tons of debris was left hanging from reinforcing elements on the south side of the central elevator and stair well core, taking the lives of four construction workers.

Controlled Demolition Incorporated (CDI) was called to the site by SAS Demolition after removal of debris from the initial collapse and recovery of the bodies of workmen had been completed.
   
Controlled Demolition Incorporated worked for three days to prepare the structure for implosion. Site constraints on three sides of the structure meant that the rigid elevator core had to be dealt with independently of the flat slab construction which had been temporarily shored by the Boston Fire Department. Preparation of the structure included a combination of explosives demolition applications on reinforced shear walls in the core, concrete columns in the portion of the building remaining and timber shoring placed under those slabs after the initial failure. Controlled Demolition Incorporated orchestrated a carefully planned progressive collapse that first stripped the floors off of the central core and then felled the rigid central core into an open area to the rear of the site.