Construction and Demolition starting up again

Spring isn’t here yet – the weather up here in New England, in fact, is pretty damned cold, with temperatures going into single digits at night, and heavy winds. But for some reason, lots of outdoor work using heavy equipment has started up. Maybe it’s the lessening of coronavirus we’ve seen in recent days, or maybe, since it’s outside, that’s not a factor. For whatever reason, in the past few days I’ve seen

  • The demolition of a long-empty building that had been collapsing slowly, molding itself to the contours of the ground underneath it.

  • A pickup in the demolition of a complex I used to work in. All the exterior walls are gone now, but floors and ceilings and structural internal walls remain, so you can see through the buildings

  • They’ve started tearing down the trees across the parking lot from the building where i work. Yesterday, returning from lunch, I saw five trees go down in two minutes. Why they’re going to such trouble to apparently clear ways for additional buildings isn’t clear to me, because there’s plenty of unrented space in other buildings in our industrial complex. But they’re going to a lot of trouble and expense to do it. And in cold winter weather, at that.

Outside my apartment another apartment building is going up. In the summer of 2020 they demolished a warehouse that had been occupying the let, but come winter they went away till April. But since then they have been working away. Although they have mostly constructed a basement (which will doubtless be a garage) all the work is still outdoors and they work in the coldest weather. A week ago, the temperature hit -26 C (about -15 F) with wind chill in the -30s and there they were doing their thing, which consists largely of building the basement roof and laying concrete on it).

Truly amazing. Are people that desperate to get things built in a hurry?

When I went in this morning almost all the trees were down. I assume they left the others for “effect”. But now, instead of looking at an attractive curtain of woods, I see the backsides of some ugly industrial buildings.

They have a lot of high priced equipment (including a crane that must be close to 10 storeys high) that they are either renting or own but feel it necessary to utilize to the fullest. It is amusing to see a flying porta-potty. A year ago, there was no fancy equipment on site.

I don’t know what it costs to rent a crane, but a number of years ago, the air-conditioning unit in my office building had to be replaced. It was on the 13th floor and they rented a mobile crane at $25,000 a day, to take it out through the roof and put the new one in. They did manage to do it all in one day, not including repairing the roof.

I came in today and even more trees were gone – I thought they had left a few as decorative elements, when they finally got the place built up. But, no, they got rid of all of them, and are apparently starting with a fresh and very empty slate.

…and it was eight degrees this morning as I watched the excavators prowling around, like brontosauruses in the swamp.

Around here, even in winter the ground doesn’t get hard enough to preclude earth moving, so it’s BAAAAT. ( Build Anything Anywhere At All Times )

The city county seems determined to cover the entire metro area in asphalt and even a half-acre patch of woods seems an affront to Big Development and must be cleared to build…anything. Housing or retail space ( or you’d otherwise have to travel all of a mile and a half to find another ). They get extra bonus points for how much red clay the tag-teamed dump trucks track all over the roads.

Yeah I remember when construction crews took the winters off. I have been puzzled by a house being built near my house. Last summer they cleared off the lot, dug the foundation, and had pre-built roof rafters delivered. And then nothing, the stack of rafters sat there on the ground for months.

Then early this month right after a big snowstorm a load of cinder blocks was delivered about 6pm on a Friday and they built a block foundation. Walls went up quickly, then house wrap. I was betting they would use the rafters that sat outside for 6 months, and they did, the roof went on, at least the plywood but no shingles. Then another snow with about 2" of ice on top. The next morning the crew was up on the roof shoveling and leaf-blowing the snow/ice off the roof. I said to my friend “I bet they will have shingles on there by this evening.” And they did.