CDI wins at the 2022 World Demolition Summit

CDI won for the Explosives Demolition project of the year at the 2022 World Demolition Summit held in Vienna, Austria. The award was for the emergency, explosives felling of the remaining Champlain Towers South in Surfside, FL.

Click HERE to view the original article by Steve Ducker for Demolition & Recycling International online content, November, 23 2022.

How to Prepare for a Controlled Demolition

Mark Loizeaux, president and owner of Controlled Demolition Inc., discusses best practices for preparing for demolition by implosion.

Click HERE to view the original article by Alex Kamczyc for Construction & Demolition Recycling online content, Oct. 20, 2021.

Responding to the Call

Surfside, Florida – NDA members lend a hand after the Surfside, Florida condominium building collapse.

Click HERE to view the original article by Alexa Schlosser for the NDA’s Demolition Magazine, Sept/Oct 2021 issue.

CDI Implodes Former Trump Plaza in Atlantic City

By Stephanie Loder for Engineering News-Record, February 18, 2021

Click HERE for the full article in ENR.

Watching buildings fall on the Strip another excuse to party

By John Przybys for the Las Vegas Review-Journal June 12, 2016

For original article, please click here.

New Year’s Eve? Meh. National Finals Rodeo? Pffft. The Consumer Electronics Show? Whatever.

But an iconic Strip casino crashing down on itself with dust blowing everywhere and hard-partying revelers who’ve stayed up half the night cheering lustily as they watch?

Now that’s Las Vegas.

Part Woodstock, part Burning Man, part kids’ birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, Las Vegas casino implosions are a form of targeted destruction embraced more enthusiastically here than maybe anyplace else. And, at 2 a.m. Tuesday, the latest chapter in Las Vegas’ continuing chronicles of corporate dusty death is scheduled to take place when the Riviera comes down after a 60-year run.

Tuesday’s implosion is just the first of a two-parter — the rest of the Riviera is scheduled to come down in August — and the crowd that gathers to watch probably will include veterans of any of the more than a dozen Strip implosions that have taken place since Las Vegans’ favorite outdoor pastime kicked off during the 1990s.

This time around, in an atypical twist, the Barrymore, right across the street and inside the Royal Resort, 99 Convention Center Drive, has scheduled a viewing party Tuesday from midnight to 3 a.m. Kirk Perry, the Barrymore’s general manager, is amazed at how quickly reservations for the event disappeared

“Our cap on this was about 100 people and we sold out in probably the first eight hours,” Perry says. “It’s unbelievable. I think if I had 500 to 600 seats available, they’d go.”

Among the Barrymore’s guests will be a tourist from the United Kingdom and a group of visitors from Brazil who, Perry says, “actually will stay at the Royal Resort specifically to watch.”

Perry — who, himself, has witnessed a few Strip casino implosions — suspects the events are so popular because here, in Las Vegas, “we have the ability to change our landscape, the look and feel of the city.”

Watching an iconic casino fall to the ground in a cloud of dust offers, perhaps, a tangible reminder of the city’s continual evolution, he says.

More to the point, a casino implosion is “like an Irish wake,” Perry says. “How can you not celebrate the life and glory (of the Riviera), especially here in Las Vegas? We like to party and we like to celebrate, so, again, even with the passing of something, it’s celebrating history but also, at the same time, of the future to come.”

But Strip casino implosions haven’t always been the mega-events that the best of them are today. Mark Hall-Patton, Clark County museums administrator, traces the modern Las Vegas Strip implosion — the showbizzy excuse for a party that we’ve all come to expect — to the downing of the Dunes in 1993.

“That one had, if you remember, shooting from the pirate ship and that sort of thing,” Hall-Patton says. “It was that whole sense of, ‘We can make an event out of this, where nobody can outdo our event.’

“That kind of set the tone for what we could do,” Hall-Patton says.

“I think once Steve Wynn did the Dunes implosion, he showed that a party could be had and you could take something that’s fairly standard — “OK, we’ve gotta get rid of this old building” — and turn it into a Vegas event.”

Hall-Patton even would consider as a progenitor of the modern-day Strip implosion the above-ground atomic bomb tests of the postwar era, when, he says, “people would come from all over the country to watch nuclear devices being set off.”

“You went to see this and there was just this sense of power, a sense of, this is something you’re never going to see and hopefully you’re never going to see in any other setting than that,” Hall-Patton says.

“We think of buildings as permanent, huge structures. And the fact that we can take them down in a few minutes, where it takes months or years to build them up, is really just sort of a fascinating statement on what kinds of destructive power we have.”

Another appeal of a casino implosion could be in the communal ritual it represents, says Michael Ian Borer, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In fact, it’s not coincidental that it’s implosions of casinos on the Strip, and not implosions of office buildings in Henderson, that make Las Vegans camp out all night. Those, Borer says, happen on the Strip because “like it or not, we are the Strip.”

“Of course, we are much more than the Strip,” Borer continues, but all of us “seem to develop some relationship to the Strip.”

We work on the Strip or visit it. We drive across it, or drive on it, or try to avoid it completely. And it’s the only street in town that visitors want to see when they visit us.

The Strip is, “for better or worse, the beacon of light that glows right in the middle of the valley,” Borer says, and “the dominant character that dominates so many of the narratives that take place here.”

That makes anything that happens on the Strip important to all of us, Borer says, and that includes paying our respects to mourn or celebrate the death and imminent disappearance of one of the casinos along it. And, in doing so, and in sharing our personal and collective stories about that, we build a sense of community.

“One of the problems that people have within Las Vegas is that we don’t have many opportunities for collective rituals, and this is clearly one of them,” Borer says.

“It’s this collective desire to participate in something together where we can identify as Las Vegans. There is this desire, this need, for collective ritual.”

The irony, Borer says, is that “by destroying something, we create something else — certainly, that identity, that sense of belonging. Most importantly, by destroying (a hotel), we’re actually creating a sense of place. A person may not have a slew of memories of the Riviera, but they’ll have this one now and that will create some connection to Las Vegas.”

Now, all of this makes sense and certainly rings true. But don’t forget another reason why casino implosions are so popular.

Stuff. Blowed. Up.

There is “a certain fascination” with watching a building collapse, Hall-Patton says. The problem is that building collapses in real life usually involve horrible consequences.

“We don’t like hearing about earthquakes when buildings collapse and hundreds are killed,” he says. “That’s a terrible tragedy.”

In contrast, watching a casino implosion allows us to experience the primal, even childlike excitement of watching a building fall down without the risk of real-life consequences to either others or ourselves.

Besides, how cool is it to watch a spectacle that comes to us without special effects, computer-generated imagery or having to watch Stallone or Schwarzenegger? And if anybody’s going to pull off a magic trick that’d make anything any Strip magician ever has done pale by comparison, why wouldn’t it be Las Vegas?

“I grew up in the Midwest and I was used to seeing old corn silos come down,” says Jeremy Handel, a spokesman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “I think there is intrigue in the precision to it and just the engineering behind it. You think, ‘How are they going to make that land in a little spot?’ “

A casino implosion “can be a performance,” Hall-Patton says, “and who does performance better than Las Vegas?”

So count casino implosions as — like inexpensive eats, vaudeville-type shows and gratuitous nudity — something that Las Vegas didn’t invent but certainly helped to perfect.

“People blow up buildings all over the world,” Hall-Patton says. “But the whole idea of putting it into a party? That’s a Vegas thing.”

“Blowdown” Series in High Definition

CDI’s sister company, The Loizeaux Group, LLC (who brokers all of CDI’s public/media relations), has been working closely with Parallax Film Productions, Inc. since mid-2007 on a High Definition series of 1-hour documentaries being aired internationally on the National Geographic family of channels and domestically on The Science Channel. The series is entitled “Blowdown” and documents CDI’s preparation for and felling of select, interesting structures around the world.   

The programs which have already aired are as follows:

“Blowdown: Nuclear Explosion”  

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: Vegas Casino”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: The Miami Job”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: Rocket Tower”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: Super Stadium”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: Spyship”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: Monster Tower”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: World Cup Demolition”

Click here to view the trailer.

Parallax Film Productions Inc. is a Vancouver, BC, Canada-based company, which has been producing documentaries for the international market since 1997. Parallax specializes in producing prime-time specials and series on science, technology, wildlife and adventure for the Discovery Channel (Canada, US and International), PBS (WNET and WGBH) and National Geographic Television International, to name a few. 

CDI Presented the 2010 ABC Gold Level STEP Award

Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) has awarded Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) with the prestigious Gold Level of Achievement Safety Training and Evaluation Process (STEP) Award for 2010. ABC’s STEP Award requires extensive personnel training, on-the-job performance, documentation and evaluations. This honor was awarded by Kirk Pickerel, ABC National President and CEO and James Elmer, ABC National Chair.

STEP was established in 1989 by the ABC National Environment, Health & Safety Committee to assist ABC member contractors in evaluating and improving corporate safety practices and recognize outstanding safety training efforts. Each year, over 2,000 contractors of various sizes participate in the STEP program.

When 99% Is Not Enough


In the world of financial engineering, risk measures are used to estimate the probabilities of unexpected outcomes. VaR is commonly utilized to calculate the worst loss an institution can experience within a certain timeframe up to a confidence level of 99%. For some businesses however, a measure that only covers 99% of any variable is simply unacceptable. THINK takes a closer look at the demolition and nuclear power industries to understand how risk is managed when anything less than a perfect outcome can be a catastrophe.


When a financial institution is destroyed, something terrible has happened. When Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) destroys something, it means everything has gone according to plan. CDI is an American company that demolishes structures with the kind of precision and planning usually associated with their creation. For over 60 years, 3 generations of the Loizeaux family have created a commercial explosives demolition industry through innovation, expertise, leadership and a methodology designed to guarantee complete predictability. This history includes the implosion of the Kingdome in Seattle, which holds the Guinness World Record for the largest structure by volume ever felled with explosives.

“Once we decide that we can safely perform a project from a technical standpoint, the first risk we manage is that of our client. We need to understand their perspective, their position in the industry and what they have to lose. Our solution to their problem needs to embrace those points, as well as those related to CDI’s scope of work and task at hand.”

Mark Loizeaux, CDI President

CDI begins with engineering to see if the numbers match the company’s intuitive analysis for the likelihood of success, based on their experience in the demolition of thousands of structures. Not everything CDI does can be proven mathematically, because even with a set of original, as-built blueprints, a finite structural analysis would need to be performed to fully trust the data plugged into structural engineering formulas. “In order to achieve this level of trust, we would have to de-build the structure. Once this is done, there would be no need to implode it!” Mark points out.

The next step is to break the demolition down into a series of sequential tasks, with critical path management at each level, to ensure absolute control over the project’s successful outcome. This requires tremendous experience, extraordinary observation and management skills, and the ability to communicate clearly with not only the client, but also every single team member involved.

“We become the core clearing house for decision making, communication and performance. If we aren’t permitted this role, then we aren’t interested in the project,” states Mark. CDI takes this position because under common law in the United States, explosives-handling operations fall under strict or absolute liability. This means that operators are not considered innocent until proven guilty in the court’s eyes. Rather they are guilty until they can demonstrate their innocence. This puts CDI at extraordinary risk with regard to litigation, as the company’s insurance and reputation are first in line for claims.


Historically, the relationship between regulators and the demolition industry has been a tenuous courtship. “Regulators are accustomed to industries that rely on mathematical analysis and computer programs memorialized in technical publications and books,” observes Mark. While construction disciplines are taught in universities and there is a well-documented history of how to control a design/build process when a structure is erected, the same can’t be said for taking a structure apart. This is largely because the data on what actually exists in older, fatigued structures is too uncertain, and there is no large body of data or industry-sponsored groups to vouch for the data, as is the case in the construction industry. As a result, the National Demolition Association spends a great deal of money to educate regulators and maintain clear lines of communication.

“Regulatory agencies in our field don’t know as much about what we are doing as we do, particularly with regard to new and cutting-edge concepts. As a result, regulators tend to be more reactive than proactive, and show up once a problem has been identified at a demolition project.

Mark Loizeaux, CDI President


About a year before the credit crisis a small episode took place in the CDO market. There was a worry that the debt ratings on Ford and GM would be dropped below investment grade, causing a massive realignment of correlations. Some instruments were subsequently priced far outside of what the models had predicted. For a few weeks the market was quite concerned about these implications, but, ultimately, the expected downgrade did not occur and the market moved on.

Periodically situations like this occur where a small market disturbance suggests an underlying issue of model failure. Since no bank went under in these transactions and markets returned to normal, the models were not examined further. One possibly harmful outcome from the continued use of these models was that a false sense of security took hold, a behavior that practitioners in social and physical sciences must seek to avoid.

“I think it is more appropriate to say that what I learned from the financial industry is what I apply to the demolition industry: never risk more than you’re prepared to lose.”

Mark Loizeaux, CDI President

In the nuclear industry this phenomenon is referred to as normalization of deviance. Gee cites an example from the aerospace industry that underscores the potential damage a false sense of security brings. “NASA was using foam insulation to protect space shuttles from the heat caused by reentry into the earth’s atmosphere. The foam was known to come loose and damage the craft’s thermal protection system. This had happened four or five times and NASA management was aware of it, but it did not lead to a change in behavior.” As a result, a deviance occurred and became accepted as normal until an eventual catastrophe occurred and a shuttle disintegrated during reentry.

Cooling Tower Demolished in SRS Footprint Reduction

-Original article in the Aiken Standard-

In a matter of seconds, a $90 million structure that took three years to complete was reduced to millions of pounds of rubble as the cooling tower at Savannah River Site’s K-Reactor was imploded Tuesday.

The 450-foot-tall, 345-foot-wide tower was safely demolished Tuesday as part of the sitewide Footprint Reduction Initiative funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The second-largest cooling tower to be demolished worldwide, K Cooling Tower was completed in 1992. It was conceptualized to cool the water in a reactor in support of national defense initiatives, which were ceased soon after.

The demolition was managed by American Demolition and Nuclear Decommissioning Inc. with specialists Controlled Demolition Inc. handling the placement of explosives and implosion.

The total cost of the project is $3,982,430, which includes bringing down the tower, breaking up the larger pieces and then transporting the rubble to SRS’ on-site landfill.

“The cooling tower demolition project is unlike any other closure initiative taking place at the site,” said Dewitt Beeler, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) director of Area D&D Projects. “It isn’t every day that we deal with the demolition of a structure the size of the K Cooling Tower, and it was clear early in the process that we needed expert help.”

In all, more than 3,860 holes were drilled at strategically selected spots on the tower and loaded with explosives. The charges were detonated in a controlled fashion involving precise sequencing and timing to ensure the tower fell in a selected impact-zone.
“The demolition of the K Cooling Tower marks the achievement of a significant milestone in the Recovery Act mission at SRS,” said Rita Stubblefield, deputy federal project director for the Department of Energy. “It has allowed us to create new jobs while reducing the site’s cleanup footprint.”