Former Harris Scarfes Building Redevelopment

Project Overview

High profile inner-city asbestos removal, demolition and civil project.

In early 2011, McMahon Services were engaged to undertake the challenging demolition of the former Harris Scarfe site in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD.

With more than 60 people working around the clock it took almost two months to complete the mechanical demolition of the site, which included buildings up to seven storeys high.

At any one time, we had personnel working on propping detail and bracing, asbestos removal and mechanical demolition, meaning our team was working immediately next to buildings that were in the process of being demolished.

Safety procedures and evacuation plans were revised daily to account for the constantly changing access points. Site personnel were also required to attend regular briefings to ensure everyone had the latest information and were aware of any changes.

The project called for the latest addition to the McMahon Services’ extensive fleet of company-owned plant and equipment – the Komatsu PC 1250 Ultra High Reach Demolition Excavator.

At full configuration, the machine has a reach of 45 metres and the capacity to operate a 2.5 tonne demolition shear at this height. Structures up to 15 storeys high can be deconstructed from ground level and the unit is readily transportable for use at any location across Australia.

McMahon Services also completed the construction of 503 retention and building piles, and excavated 7,000 square metres of soil to five metres below street level.

Further work included underpinning the adjacent transformer substation, construction of the rubble platform beneath the new basement slab, and detailed excavation for pile caps, footing, ground and edge beams, and pits.

The project also received a significant boost to its green credentials, with original materials from the demolished site being reused by McMahon Services to lay the foundations of the new building.

This precision deconstruction process generated more than 25,000 tonnes of materials, including heavy items such as concrete and steel, as well as some lighter fractions such as wood and plastic.

The material was removed from the site and taken to ResourceCo’s Wingfield premises where it was crushed and recycled into base material and aggregate for 3,500 cubic metres of concrete to construct the 503 building and retention piles for the redevelopment.

The recycling and re-use process dramatically reduced the $385 million Harris Scarfe project’s carbon footprint and prevented several tonnes of material from going to landfill.

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