A DustBoss Atom device manufactured by BossTek, based in Peoria, Illinois, was deployed to help a demolition company protect workers and the surrounding community from potentially hazardous dust during indoor demolition.
As mini diggers demolished the interior of a former shopping mall, Moyock, North Carolina-based East Coast Abatement & Demolition (ECD) deployed the Atom, which uses atomized misting technology, for automated particle control. Without needing to designate a person to hold a hose, the Atom prevented dust emissions from remaining airborne or leaving the area.
ECD is a hazardous materials abatement and demolition contractor serving Northeastern North Carolina and Virginia. The company was contracted to demolish, recycle, clean up and prepare the former site of The Village Shops at Kingsmill in Williamsburg, Virginia. Due to its proximity to local residential communities and businesses, the responsible general contractor chose ECD for its experience in proper hazardous materials handling and dust suppression methods.
“Homeowners, general contractors and developers choose East Coast because we provide worry-free, turnkey services,” said Ricky Webb, ECD’s Chief Operating Officer. “We initiate, build and execute projects of all sizes and complexities for the private, municipal, commercial and federal markets. We take environmental risks very seriously because we want to be good stewards of the communities we serve. From a best practice perspective, experience has taught us that atomized misting equipment for dust suppression is one of our fleet’s best safety and compliance tools.
The project involved the demolition of seven structures with a total of approximately 81,000 square feet of building space and over four acres of flat asphalt. The estimated time was 10 to 12 weeks to dismantle the structures composed mainly of cinder blocks and bricks on a concrete foundation. Using a fleet of 12 tipper trailers, site preparation involved a thorough clean-up of all debris except for the crushing of stone into aggregate for on-site storage.
One of the challenges of the project was the removal of the roofing and floor tiles, both of which contained asbestos. The task of “soft blasting” these items is often done by hand to avoid generating excessive dust, but to mitigate potential worker exposure to asbestos fibers, the company used heavy equipment and the BossTek Atom dust control unit.
According to BossTek, using equipment instead of labor for demolition and dust suppression improves safety and significantly reduces the time required for internal stripping.
Since the Kingsmill project had restricted areas that needed to be treated with precision, the DustBoss Atom was chosen for its ability to produce a highly pressurized stream of water that fractures into a fine mist that can be directed directly at the source. of dust. Using its oscillating head, the compact unit provided both aerial and surface suppression using what BossTek calls “a fraction of the water volume of manual spraying”, helping to minimize oversaturation and runoff.
A standard ¾-inch portable hose attached to a fire hydrant typically delivers up to 22 gallons per minute (gpm) of water. Instead of relying on water pressure, the Atom uses a 1-inch hose connecting a water source to a pump powered by a 9.1 horsepower diesel engine. Increasing pump pressure, rather than relying on hydrant pressure, means the design only uses about 7 gpm. “This greatly reduces waste water runoff and the amount of standing water in the area, allowing the machine to be further away from the water source while providing superior dust control,” says BossTek.
With a range of about 100 feet, the device’s vertical adjustment of 0 to 65 degrees and maximum oscillation range of 100 degrees increases the coverage area to 6,100 square feet, according to BossTek. Using the hand-held remote, operators can adjust the oscillation range from the cab of their machine or from a safe distance from the demolition area.
“A single worker was able to spin the Atom by hand, place it, determine the optimal settings, and move on,” says Webb. “The versatility is great because if we need dust control in another building or on the stockpiles, we can get the unit there quickly, turn it on and go. The labor savings alone are worth the effort, but the security and ease of use are huge benefits.”
Another advantage, according to BossTek, is that workers can stay protected in enclosed cabins and change Atom settings with a remote control. Another is the effect of dust on equipment. In the past, workers performing demolition inside structures had to clean excessive dust buildup from equipment air intakes and radiators to prevent engine failure. Since the dust is treated at the point of emission, this activity is greatly reduced, saving maintenance time and protecting valuable equipment.
There were no dust-related complaints from neighbors and local businesses during the project, according to ECD. This had a positive impact on the general contractor’s impression – as well as the local environmental inspector’s assessment – of the company.
“From a perception perspective, when the public and the city observe these DustBoss units in operation, they are immediately more comfortable seeing that the dust is properly contained,” Webb explains. “From a business perspective, general contractors know we have the equipment, safety and compliance measures in place to get the job done right.
BossTek also says the compact diesel-powered DustBoss Atom takes up little space, is useful on any site, and is easily manoeuvrable by a single worker on flat surfaces.
“It was great working with the BossTek team to get us the exact machine we needed to get the job done right,” comments Webb. “This equipment has actually helped us win new business. This is the value they bring to our business.