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Demolition of Spanish tower will take a year

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SPANISH OFFICIALS were this week working on a two stage plan to demolish Madrid's fi re ravaged Windsor Tower.

The fi st plan will consider the physical requirements for deconstruction.

The second is to control health and safety of workers, while protecting neighbouring buildings and the general public.

Two 40t capacity cranes, with 140m vertical reach, have been moved onto the site in preparation for the work, which is expected to start next week.

'The demolition will take about a year. First of all the crane that is on the top of the building will be removed, ' said Madrid Emergency Response team member César Gomez.

'Nobody will work inside the Windsor building. The workers will always work from the cranes, ' he said.

CE vice-president and Jacobs Babtie director Gordon Masterton told NCE that this work will be critical if contractors are to avert an uncontrolled collapse.

'Everything that they do will have to be very carefully thought out in terms of how it will alter the existing load path, ' he said 'The building might be stable but it is perhaps only just stable. It has to be engineered, not demolished, ' he said.

Spanish ffi cials said demolition will be a 24 hour operation with rubble and debris moved at night to reduce congestion in the busy business district of Madrid.

The no go area around the tower was reduced last weekend from a 500m radius to 60m.

Offi cials said that scaffolding and netting will be erected around the building to support it and reduce the likelihood of fl ying debris.

In addition Madrid's regional government this week started to inspect all 242 buildings over 50m tall, to check that the fi e prevention and detection systems met the regional code, set in 2003.

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