The Taskforce and contractors have been engaging with neighbours through the demolition process and there are some common questions which emerge.
The demolition process is undertaken safely by experienced licensed asbestos removalists and assessors and demolition contractors and is tightly regulated by Worksafe ACT.
What can I expect?
Neighbours will receive a letter from the contractors before works begin providing contractor information and highlighting that there will be some noise and local traffic disruption as equipment moves to and from the site. The taskforce may also knock on your door to have a chat about the process and provide more information.
What will I see?
A fence will go up around the perimeter of the site and fence wrap with ACT Government branding and contact information installed. Generally, a few weeks after site set up, the roof will be wrapped in plastic and decontamination units installed along with negative air units to create a safe sealed environment suitable for internal asbestos removal. Toward the end of activity, heavy equipment will be brought to the site and a misting water cannon or other dust suppression measure installed ready for demolition. It is at this stage that you will see the structural demolition of the site. The site will remain fenced until the soil has been tested and cleared.
What will I hear?
Initially you may hear power tools as fixtures such as down pipes and awnings are removed from the property to prepare for demolition. Depending on your proximity, you may then hear the sound of the negative air units which will operate 24/7 for up to a week and sound similar to an air conditioning unit or pool pump. On the day of demolition you will hear the sound of heavy machinery undertaking structural demolition and truck transporting rubble safely away from the site.
What safety measures are in place?
'Mr Fluffy' demolitions undertaken by the ACT Government are regulated by Worksafe ACT. Contractors are required to prepare extensive plans prior to activity on each site to ensure that each house has received appropriate considerations. While on the site, contractors need to adhere to strict safety condition. Air monitoring is installed on the perimeter fencing.
How long will demolition take?
The demolition process will take between four to six weeks on each house depending on weather. The demolition itself takes 1 to 2 hours.
Key tip: by the time the house is demolished, all loose fill and bonded asbestos has been removed and it is like a normal house demolition.
Interesting fact: the inside of each house is painted with coloured PVA glue sprayed to seal any remaining fibres to the structure before demolition.
Myth: sometimes neighbours say they see 'white dust' during demolition. This is not dust but light reflecting on water from the dust suppression water cannon.