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Devere Construction Case Study

The Client

Devere Construction Company


The Project

Devere Construction Company needed to demolish an existing concrete building owned by Lafarge North America. The building, located in Alpena, Michigan, was joined to another building which was not to be damaged during the demolition process. The two structures had seven, fifty foot tall, 3 foot-thick concrete pillars in common. Each of these pillars had to be demolished without harming the remaining structures.

The Plan

To separate two five-story-high buildings that were joined together by a series of three-foot-thick concrete columns.

The Process

Because of the amount of cutting to be done—1,050 square feet through columns of more than three-feet of concrete—safety was of paramount importance. After careful analysis of the project and client needs, Diamond developed a plan to integrate diamond wire-sawing and core drilling technologies to accomplish the client’s objective. The plan allowed for strict adherence to the Mine Safety and Health Administration codes (MSHA), while safeguarding the structural-integrity of the adjoining, remaining building. The plan also satisfied the need to finish the project within an established budget and time schedule. The plan entailed:

  • Cutting in half seven, 3 foot thick concrete pillars, each 50 feet tall and separating each from an existing building that was to be preserved.

  • Using diamond wire sawing technology to avoid transferring potentially damaging vibration to the remaining structures. By isolating the two structures through diamond wire-sawing, conventional demolition techniques could be used on the separated structure without transferring energy to the remaining structure. 

The Outcome

“We had a tough job ahead of us,” said Brock Johnson, Vice President for Devere Construction, a general contracting company. “There was no way we could hammer this building away without destroying the other building. Frankly, we called Diamond and gave them our problem. After meeting with us, they came back with a plan to solve our problem. The plan worked.” According to Johnson, the professionalism and skill that Diamond brought to the job was outstanding. “Their people aligned with our on-site people. They were real easy to work with and worked hard to meet all of our needs. They finished the job according to plan, schedule, and budget. As a bonus, they solved another problem for us by horizontally cutting an old 40 feet long by 11-foot-thick concrete footing. The whole project went like clockwork,” concluded Johnson. “Diamond’s knowledge, quality, service and people were excellent. We could not have done it without them.”

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