Why and how China demolished 19 buildings in 10 seconds

China managed to safely demolish 19 buildings in 10 seconds, almost simultaneously, on Saturday the 21st January 2017. The 19 buildings standing next to one another in the Chinese city of Wuhan were brought down in just 10 seconds, using five tons of explosives.

The largest implosion project in China brought down the 19 buildings that had between seven and twelve storeys. The demolition in the Hubei province covered 15 hectares area and used 5 tons of explosives.

The 19 buildings were part of Hankou Binjiang housing estate in Wuhan city, China. The controlled explosion in China was carried out at night and managed to safely bring down an estimated 150,000 square meters of concrete, steel, and glass.

According to one of the demolition company’s directors, Mr. Jia Yongsheng, the demolition, carried out by a controlled explosion, was accomplished as planned. They had to do demolish the buildings in a controlled manner and ensure that they did not affect the nearby structures such as light railway line and an electricity substation near the buildings. These and other buildings were left intact after the demolition.

Why China demolished buildings

This is the third implosion which is a part of a major demolition project that has so far brought down a total of 32 buildings.

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The demolitions are being done in preparation for the construction of a marquee business district in the Wuhan city and will pave way for a huge business district in the city of Wuhan. This will have several tall towers as well as a 707-meter tall skyscraper. In addition, there will be an underground complex and a cross-harbor tunnel.

The construction of the new complex has so far attracted over £3.5 billion (30 billion yuan) in investments and will include one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers which will stand at 707 meters. In addition, there will be an underground complex and a cross-harbor tunnel.
The residents of the 19 buildings in the Hankou Binjiang housing estate were moved out of the buildings sometime late last year (2016), to pave way for the demolition.

Such large-scale blasting demolitions may affect other structures especially when the buildings are located in dense areas or near other public utilities. However, the general director of the demolition company, Jia Yongsheng said that his company had guaranteed the client of a successful result as well as strict control of the adverse effects from the blasting.

Demolishing buildings in China using implosion technique

The controlled explosion had to be designed in a way that it could not damage to affect the nearby electricity sub-station, a shopping mall, and a light rail viaduct – something that was achieved.
Mr. Jia Yongsheng said that a total of five tons of explosives were used. These were spread across 120,000 strategic locations and set to detonate within a few microseconds from each other.

This is the first time such an implosion technique was used in China according to a Mr. Wang Zuguang, an engineering expert from Chinese Academy of Engineering. Using the building implosion technique as opposed to the traditional demolition techniques saved the construction company for about four months and a lot of money.

The explosives were detonated at 11:50 PM and other than waking up the people who were nearby, everything else went on smoothly as planned. The demolition company used special muzzles that reduced the size of the dust cloud.