Informative and encompassing EDA conference in Vienna

Published 3/7, 2018 at 13:07

The European Demolition Association, EDA, gathered contractors, manufacturers and associations from the European demolition industry for its annual convention, which was held from 7 to 9 June 2018, in Vienna, Austria.

The European Demolition Association, EDA, held its 2018 annual convention in Vienna, Austria between 7 to 9 June at the Marriot hotel and convention centre. Contractors, manufacturers and associations representing the demolition industry in Europe came together with the aim of protecting its interests around the continent.

Marking the event for the 150 participants was the high quality of the speakers, the number of major companies represented in the exhibitors’ area, an excellent gala dinner, and highly enjoyable leisure activities. The main sponsors of the event included Liebherr, Epiroc, Caterpillar, Hydraram, VTN Europe, Rotar, Mantovanibenne, Braun, AMS, Hainzl, GIC 2018, Kiesel, Volvo, LaBounty, NPK, Konverma, Kocurek and Arden Equipment.


Workshops and welcome cocktails

The first activities of the 2018 convention were two workshops: one called, “Demolition estimating, how to prepare the most qualified bid”, and the second, “Demolition project management: set up, implementation and closing the job”. Both workshops were led by Michael Casbon, from the company ERM, USA. Following the workshops, and just before the welcome cocktails, the EDA General Assembly was held with the objective of creating an overview of the demolition industry in each country. EDA president, William Sinclair, welcomed the assembly with a speech where he thanked everyone who had contributed to the event. The welcome cocktail was the last activity on Thursday, where all the participants had the opportunity to enjoy food, drinks and live piano music. 


Conference day

Andreas Pocha, general manager of the German Demolition Association, DA, and member of EDA, moderated the conference which started with a welcome by William Sinclair. This was followed by the first presentation, “Business intelligence about the European DDR (demolition, decontamination and recycling) activities”, by Martin Seban, IHS MARKIT. This comprised of data concerning the European decontamination and demolition market, breakdowns and forecasts. The second speaker was Fritz Kleemann, member of the Austrian Environment Agency, who showed city wide monitoring of demolished building and material through aerial images and models. It was then time for the first case story of the conference presented by Johann Ettengruber and Michael Appel, from the company Ettengruber, who explained ‘extreme demolition’ in the heart of Munich, Germany.

The day continued with Olga Mala, PWC Luxembourg, who gave a speech titled, “European construction sector observatory: general trends for resource and energy efficiency in construction”. This looked at the ageing of the building stock and related investment needs, household renovation issues, construction waste generation and recovery and the policy response for resource and energy efficiency in construction. Following on, the acting section head of the Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation Section of Nuclear Energy Department of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Vladimir Michal, spoke regarding considerations concerning the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, focusing not only on decontamination but also on dismantling and demolition.

Before lunch, Jakob Walchetseder, of the company Braun, spoke about the requirements needed in the dismantling of nuclear power plants. He outlined dismantling procedures, the modern technologies required for the dismantling of contaminated structures and the dismantling after decommissioning.

After lunch Julia Schimek, PORR Umwelttechnik, opened the third session of the day with a presentation titled, “Identification of materials (including hazardous substances) prior to demolition: the new Austrian regulation”. This detailed the new Austrian regulations for recycled building materials, with special attention given to rule NORM B 3151. Michael Casbon then presented a topic titled, “Development of a safety manual for demolition operations, practical materials and better communication”. This explained the development behind the safety manual for the demolition operations of the National Demolition Association in the US. Prior to the last coffee break, Joe Brinkmann presented another case story, this time, from JET Demolition. The subject was “Decontamination and demolition of petrochemical plants in South Africa”. 

The president of the French Demolition Association, SNED, now SEDDR, Nathanael Cornet Philippe, began the last session explaining the evolution from one association to another. The last paper of the day was another case story called, “Engineering analysis and demolition modelling for the GA Dome, Atlanta”, by Mahesh Raju Bailakanavar, from the company Thorton Tomasetti. 


Gala dinner, change of 

president and ‘Club of Honor’

In the evening, the participants enjoyed a gala dinner at the Palais Pallavicinni, which provided a relaxed atmosphere. This was followed by speeches and announcements, which began with the president of EDA, William Sinclair, naming Jan Bork as a member of the ‘Club of Honor’. Bork has been involved with the foundation of one of the predecessors of the Association of Demolition contractors, which merged in 2009 into the new association VERAS. Since 1997 Jan was a board member of the former demolition association, later becoming chairman of VERAS in 2010. He held that position until 2017 when Keeps de Groot succeeded. Jan has continued his membership of the VERAS board, and during that time VERAS has become a member of EDA.

The gala dinner was also the last official activity for William Sinclair as president of EDA. Sinclair announced Spain’s Francisco Cobo as new president of EDA. Cobo thanked Sinclair for a job well done, and committed himself to continue the improvement of the association. Cobo was the first secretary general of the Spanish Demolition Association, AEDED, and has been a member of EDA from its foundation in 1981. Since 2007, Cobo has been the treasurer of EDA, a role he still holds, and from 2013 to 2016, he was the president of the international committee of the association. The first action of Francisco Cobo as president was to induct William Sinclair as a member of the ‘Club of Honor’.     

Join our Newsletter