Episode 5: Demolition
What is the most misunderstood part of your job?
Lorenz: I guess it’s convincing people about the environmental issues involved. We consider ourselves stewards of the land, so we explain to folks that they have to get an asbestos survey and that all asbestos must be removed. We go in and move mercury thermostats out of buildings. We remove all the fluorescent light bulbs, the ballast for the fluorescent light bulbs and exit signs that have Tritium batteries. If there’s any paint in the closet or garage, we remove the paint. We always pull proper permits for septic tank removal. If there’s a barrel of oil in the back for a burner or something, we make sure that we secure the barrel by putting plugs in it and getting it out of there without a spill. There’s only one Earth and if we do our best to protect the Earth, then people will recognize that.
What do you love most about demolition?
Lorenz: The adrenaline — it’s just the most fantastic thing in the world. Also, I think the relationships mean a lot in this business.
What is the biggest project your company has ever taken on in your years of demolition?
Lorenz: I would say the Mercado Shopping Center on International Drive, which is our tourist corridor going through South Orlando. It was about 20-years-old, a big tourist trap with movie theaters, about 30 restaurants, a big courtyard, and a huge concrete tower on about 18 acres. The project took about six and a half or seven months.
What is your number one priority while on the job?
Lorenz: Safety. I can’t emphasize how important it is to us. We have a saying here, “Every man, every day, goes home to his family every night unscathed.” We’re nearing like 970 days without a loss time accident. The former record was 470 days. We take safety very seriously. Everybody makes sure that they’re in hard hats, boots, no short sleeve shirts, safety glasses, and proper clothing for protection each and every day. We spare no expense on training.