by Scott Prater
11/8/2012 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Contractor crews smashed Bldg. T-609 to bits Monday morning.
Giant backhoes toppled walls and pulverized large chunks of concrete,
steel and sheetrock into a mangled mess. But, first impressions might
have been deceiving in this case. What may have looked like a pile of
loose debris actually turned out to be a controlled recycling site.
Based on 50th Civil Engineer Squadron guidance, the contractor
demolished the temporary building, and former home of the 310th Space
Wing headquarters, in such a fashion as to save valuable copper, steel
and other recyclable material.
The demolition culminated more than a year of planning by members of 50 CES and the 50th Contracting Squadron.
"There are several reasons why we conducted this project the way we
did," said Robert Blevins, 50 CES chief of programs. "We have
regulations to satisfy, energy and efficiency standards to meet, and
operations and maintenance cost concerns."
First constructed for use by the Space Innovation and Development Center
in 2004, Bldg. T-609 eventually found its way into the hands of the 310
SW, which used it until construction on its permanent structure
concluded last year.
Air Force Instruction 32-101 states organizations are only authorized to
use a temporary facility while they are waiting for a new military
construction project to be completed.
"Temporary structures, by their nature, are also very costly to
maintain, own and operate," Blevins said. "Their energy
characteristics underperform compared to permanent facilities and they
don't incorporate LEED [Leadership in Engineering and Environmental
Design] construction standards for energy efficiency."
As soon as Bldg. 26 opened, 50 CES put word out on base that office
furniture and other useful materials from Bldg. T-609 were available.
The squadron also offered the building's modular furniture to any units
who could use them. The remaining furniture was disassembled and sent to
Peterson Air Force Base for use in future projects.
Squadron engineers removed the building's heating ventilation and air
conditioning units and electrical transformers for future use as well.
"We've been leveraging the value of that building for quite a while
now," Blevins said. "Gone are the days when a contractor would arrive,
demolish, scoop and haul everything away to the local landfill."
During the past few months, Bldg. T-609 delivered even more lasting
results as the Schriever Fire Department recognized an opportunity to
conduct fire training exercises on the roof and interior of the
building. Fire fighters were able to cut through floors, ceilings,
floors and walls, as well as break down doors and windows.
Thanks in part to the fire department's previous work inside, the
demolition contractor will level the building in the span of a week, but
it could take a few weeks to clear the site, which Blevins said will be
returned to its natural state.
In the meantime, Bldg. T-609 might just be remembered as the building that kept on giving.
"The overall demo of Bldg. T-609 will help Schriever AFB reach the Air
Force's mandated energy reduction goals," said Lt. Col. Trent Tuthill,
50th Mission Support Group deputy commander. "In the fiscally
constrained environment we operate in today, every dollar counts and the
demolition will directly reduce the overall Schriever utility bill.
Additionally, the recycled material will help the wing reach the AF
mandated goal of diverting 55 percent of non-hazardous solid waste by