Tough demolition job on historic Dom-Hotel, Cologne, Germany

Tough demolition job on historic Dom-Hotel, Cologne, Germany

August 2, 2019
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Spectacular demolition work is being performed in Cologne, Germany, as part of the refurbishment of the Dom-Hotel – one of the most prestigious and historic grand hotels in Europe. Simmerath-based Braun Transporte is currently working on gutting the entire building. Seeking to invest in a machine adapted to the challenges, Braun Transport turned to BSI GmbH, Authorised Genie Distributors in Dortmund who recommended a Genie® SX-105 XC™ telescopic boom lift. Combining a working height of 34 m (111 ft) with a dual lift capacity up to 450 kg (1,000 lb), the machine is proving its versatility on a challenging, long-term mission in space-restricted jobsite conditions.

Built in 1893, the Dom-Hotel is located just opposite the famous gothic Cologne cathedral in the old city’s centre called DomCarré. The entire project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2020, with the demolition alone planned to take until the end of this year. During the process, the hotel’s outer facade and majestic staircase are the only parts of the building that will remain intact before the rebuild begins. Director of BSI Sven Nielsen explains why the Genie SX-105 XC boom lift was chosen for this challenging project: “Demolition sites require equipment that combines high lift capacity, smooth operation and maneouvrability in a compact footprint. Due to the nature and dimensions of the site, scaffolding was not suitable for the application. Even if it had been, it would have significantly increased the costs.”

Featuring the brand’s 2.49 m (8 ft 2 in) wide mini Genie XChassis™ axle system, which is relatively compact for machines in this size category, the Genie SX-105 XC boom lift allows for excellent manoeuvrability on jobs where space is tight. Nielsen continues, “This machine can be transported on the standard truck that Braun already owns and is agile enough to be driven on the congested demolition site around and inside the hotel.”

According to Frank Braun, owner of Braun Transporte: “On this particular job, the compact dimensions of the Genie SX-105 XC boom lift are a key factor, without which we would not be able to access the confines of the hotel’s inner courtyard or the interior of the building. Working immediately in front of the cathedral that is busy with pedestrians and curious onlookers, we are working within a very limited fenced area on the façade of the Dom-Hotel, which add to the constraints.”

Thanks to its dual lift capacity of 300 kg (660 lb) across the entire working range and 450 kg (1,000 lb) restricted, the Genie SX-105 XC boom lift provides the ability to carry the necessary tools — in this case cutting torches and angle grinders, as well as two operators.

Following the initial use of a wrecking ball, the Genie SX-105 XC boom lift is helping a team of two operators to separate the different components of the building that will then be lowered and removed by an excavator. During the process, the Dom-Hotel original façade is being reinforced with strong metal frames. On the gutted inside of the building, the machine is also helping with the suspension of foil sheeting used as protection against falling debris and water that is being sprayed to settle the dust. For this particular task, the machine’s maximum 24.4 m (80 ft) horizontal outreach offers the advantage of ensuring that the unit maintains a safe distance from demolition work happening at other areas within the building.

Frank Braun concludes: “Working right next to the cathedral in Cologne’s historic town centre, the job is heavily monitored. This implies complying with strict safety measures, as well as making sure that we are keeping to schedule. With the Genie SX-105 XC boom lift, we can definitely say that we have a machine that is flexible and productive enough to respond to all our diverse working at height needs.”

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