Building blast a bittersweet moment

Last updated 05:00 06/08/2012

Implosion announcement

Inside the Radio Network House

Christchurch implosion

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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It was a bittersweet moment for Greg Hedges as he watched Radio Network House collapse into a pile of rubble.

He hopes that now the technology has been proved to work, others will follow in his footsteps.

Hedges, chief executive of Nor West Arch No 4 Ltd, has owned the building for the past 12 years.

The firm had invested in a million-dollar upgrade just before the September 2010 earthquake struck. "There have been good memories with that building. To see it like that it's difficult," he said just after the blast.

He hoped the speedy demolition would inspire other building owners to consider a similar route.

"I think it's great, you know, not just because we're using this technology but because it's going to be available for others," he said.

"You can see how quickly we have managed to get rid of that building . . . Now they can set about removing the rubble in a more orderly and more rapid fashion than they might otherwise have been able to do with a mechanical deconstruct."

Hedges had been considering an implosion for the past eight months.

But it was not until the technology was brought to his attention about three months ago that the ball started rolling.

He likened the "difficult" consent process to Christopher Columbus's 15th century voyage to America.

"I was a little bit like Columbus when he left Europe and tried to sail around the world," he said.

"There were all these people telling him he was going to fall off the edge and that's probably the same issue here.

He said the implosion, while not a cheaper option for his company, would save others thousands.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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