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Following the implementation of the measures to accommodate the introduction of the Schengen Agreement on 29th March 2009, further construction work is undertaken at Zurich Airport in Switzerland as part of the “Zurich 2010“ project.

The core element of the centralisation of security checks is the construction of a new four-floor central security check building between Check-in 1 and 2.

The alteration and reopening of the Dock B is the key part of the project, since it ensures that Zurich Airport can continue to provide top quality services after the implementation of the Schengen Agreement. The planned conversion will allow flexible processing of Schengen and Non-Schengen flights at up to nine aircraft stands. The reopening of the new Dock B is scheduled for 2012 and will cost around 150 Million Swiss Francs. The new building will be 215 metres long, 45 metres wide and the visitor platform on the roof is 25 metres above ground level.

The conversion work on Dock B started in July 2009. As the construction site is on the airside of the Zurich Airport, it had to be secured and fully fenced. To gain access to the site from the landside, Unique who runs the airport, built a temporary bridge for 5 Million Swiss Francs. With this solution there are no operational restrictions for the rest of the airport. The access-bridge is able to carry loads up to 40 tonnes and it will be dismantled again in 2012.

The Kloten based Eberhard Bau AG started the deconstruction of the Dock B and the old control-tower (both buildings were put up in 1975) in the second half of July 2009. The first step on the selective demolition project was the removal of all the technical installations such as heating, cooling and air conditioning. The second step was a soft strip, which included the removal of all non-structural elements and components. For this task Eberhard used several compact loaders and mini excavators including Cat 257B and 257BII multi-terrain loaders and Cat 303C CR and 305C CR compact radius mini hydraulic excavators. The stripped waste material was segregated on site and then dumped through the windows into big skips awaiting removal or piled up outside for rehandling by a wheel loader. 140 cubic meters of non-recyclable waste was transported to the Hagenholz waste burning facility and 55 cubic meters of plasterboard and gypsum waste was disposed. The total walled in space of the Dock B measured 86,000 cubic meters. Out of these, 66,000 cubic meters were soft stripped, leaving the main structural elements intact. The rest of the building was brought down to ground level.

The Eberhard crew used a Cat 385B L UHD large hydraulic excavator for the main demolition job. The excavator is equipped with a standard demolition boom from Caterpillar and offers a maximum reach of 30 metres and can carry a 6 tonne attachment at full working height. Without the concrete crusher or the scrap shear the Cat 385B L UHD weighs 93.6 tonnes. To bring down the 34 year-old airport tower, a large mobile crane lifted down the 46 tonne upper steel structure. Afterwards the “hat” of the tower was dismantled at ground level and cut up for scrap. The remaining concrete structure was still 26 metres high. But this was no problem for the machine operator Herbert “Herbi” Elsener and his Cat 385B L. With an unstoppable appetite for concrete the Montabert crusher started to lower the tower. As the walls got wider and the tower smaller, Herbi swapped the ultra high demolition boom for a shorter backhoe boom. Weighing in at 11,500 kg the ME1100 concrete crusher made short work of the remaining tower walls. The giant crusher was designed and built by Martin Eberhard, the youngest of the four Eberhard brothers. The 360-degree rotatable ME1100 has a crushing force of 375 tonnes and a maximum jaw opening of 1100 mm. The 700 mm wide jaws bite down in only 7.5 seconds. The Eberhard Bau AG uses Oil Quick coupling systems on every excavator. So it is just a matter of seconds for Herbi to exchange the ME1100 for a Rammer G130 City hydraulic hammer.

A fleet of equipment including Cat 325C and 325D track-type hydraulic excavators and a Cat 972G medium size wheel loader processed 10,391 cubic meters of concrete debris, chopped down 1,800 tonnes of scrap to manageable sized pieces for recycling, peeled off 1,421 cubic meters of blacktop and loaded 1,676 cubic meters of brick waste. A total of 48,000 tonnes of material was removed from the demolition site. 80 percent of the waste debris will be recycled. The brick waste and the concrete rubble were process at the Ebirec, Eberhard’s recycling plant just outside of the Zurich Airport. Ebirec produces about 1,000 cubic meters of RC-Concrete every day. Estimated 10 percent of the concrete used in the City of Zurich is made out of recycled concrete waste.

The 16th and the 23rd of September 2009 were special days for the Eberhard airport crew. Swiss national TV made a 15-minute long film about concrete recycling. The “Einstein” team showed how they dismantled the old tower. Concrete debris were loaded onto a truck and transported to the Ebirec BaustoffRecyclingZenter. After the waste was fed into the crusher, separated from rebar and mixed with cement, they showed how the RC-Concrete is transported to a construction site, where new concrete walls were poured. So parts of the old airport tower live on in the walls of a new building.

The Eberhard Bau AG finished the selective demolition project by the end of October 2009.

The Eberhard Company

The Eberhard Company was founded in 1954 and grew with the work they were able to do for the expansion of the airport. In 1972 the two brothers bought the first Cat D9G track-type tractor and some scrapers for the second expansion of the airport. Eberhard’s love for big dozers made them famous: Allis-Chalmers HD41 in 1976, Cat D10 in 1979 and finally a Cat D11N with Impact Ripper back in 1988. Today a Cat 385B and a 385C are their biggest pieces of equipment. Eberhard employs a workforce of 370 people. Since 2009 they also run their own gravel pit and a small quarry operation across the border in Germany. Eberhard is Switzerland’s biggest contractor for muck-shifting, demolition, site-cleanup and decontamination.