Sundt spent months planning a building demolition that took all of 12 seconds to complete on the California State University, East Bay campus in Hayward. More than 450 pounds of high explosives brought down the 13-story Warren Hall in the blink of an eye as dozens of onlookers watched from beyond the 1,300-foot safety zone. The operation also safely and efficiently brought down a two-story bridge that arched over a busy roadway and connected to an adjacent library.
The decision to implode the aging (and seismically vulnerable) administration building wasn’t an easy one because of all the risks and complexities involved. Warren Hall is closely surrounded by other buildings and campus infrastructure, all of which were vulnerable if the operation didn’t go as planned. The university needed to trust us unconditionally before we could “throw the switch.” With a specialty demolition subcontractor, we successfully planned and managed the tricky implosion demolition, which saved an enormous amount of time and was safer than the traditional method of tearing down a multi-story building.
Scientific research also benefitted from the implosion. With Warren Hall sitting little more than a mile from the Hayward Fault, the U.S. Geological Survey – in cooperation with the university – observed and recorded the implosion on hundreds of seismographs temporarily set up within a one-mile radius of the demolition. The data gathered will help characterize the underground geology around the fault in three dimensions.
California State University, East Bay
Warren Hall Replacement Building