The Yannuzzi Group, a third-generation, full service construction and demolition firm located in Kinnelon, New Jersey, was approached by Avalon Bay Communities, a national apartment housing developer, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, to design and perform a high-profile, delicate demolition project involving the dismantling of a seven-building medical center ranging up to eight stories in height, located in the center of the city of Princeton, New Jersey.

The developers were in need of a viable design that basically would generate zero-to-little dust and noise as well as fit within the time restraints and the very conservative regulations imposed by the city of Princeton and its very environmentally conscious residents. The city did not allow implosion or the use of a wrecking ball. Yannuzzi met with multiple city agencies and attended city council meetings that were open to public scrutiny. Yannuzzi was able to satisfy the concerns by residents and the city’s engineers as well as independent consultants hired to advise them and scrutinize the project.


The initial predemolition work started in August 2014. Yannuzzi Group performed the large asbestos abatement project necessary to clear the building for demolition in sufficient time. The company did this by utilizing a combination of its own asbestos crews from Yannuzzi Environmental Services in conjunction with two asbestos abatement subcontractors working simultaneously under Yannuzzi’s in-house superintendent Marvin Aguilar. The universal waste was addressed during the asbestos abatement process to consolidate multiple tasks within the same time frame, while Yannuzzi Utilities Co. performed termination and capping of eight separate water and sewer services feeding the complex.

Yannuzzi utilized a combination of a 132-foot manlift along with other smaller manlift units to remove all EIFS (exterior insulation and finishing systems) attached to the exterior of the building by hand, prior to pulling the building apart mechanically. This eliminated the possibility of Vermiculite and Styrofoam spreading beyond the limits of the controlled work zone.

Mechanical demolition was performed utilizing hydraulic equipment and ionized dust misting machines.

Mechanical demolition was performed utilizing hydraulic equipment and ionized dust misting machines. Sound monitoring equipment was mounted on telephone poles located on all four sides of the work site. These were connected to a real time off-site independent monitoring company that had the authority to stop work if the noise levels met the municipal threshold level. Dust monitoring units were located on all four sides of the work area with real time audio alarms along with electronic recording printouts that were transmitted to the city’s engineering department.

Yannuzzi’s high-reach excavator equipped with a multitool shear was used along with nine other Yannuzzi-owned excavators. Excavators were equipped with specialized attachments developed for the demolition industry. Also used were front loaders, dozers, rollers and street sweepers. The ionized water misting equipment was elevated to a maximum height utilizing a 60-foot lull to assure total saturation of the entire job site while using a minimum amount of water. This helped eliminate the danger of excess water run-off. The entire project was complete in February 2015.


Yannuzzi Group says it prides itself on its concern for the environment. The company maximized the recycling of debris from the site by sending all drop ceiling materials to Armstrong World Industries, where it could be recycled into new ceiling tiles. Additionally, Yannuzzi recovered all of the fluorescent bulbs, ballasts, thermostats and exit signs and sent them to National Lamp Recyclers in Connecticut for recycling and reuse in new products.

To recycle demolition materials that would have otherwise been landfilled, Yannuzzi used its in-house New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection-licensed class “B” recycling facility located nine miles away in Hillsborough, New Jersey, as well as Mercer Group International, a material recovery facility located 20 miles away in Trenton, New Jersey. Ferrous scrap generated during the demolition activity was recycled at Gerdau Ameristeel in Sayreville, New Jersey. Nonferrous metals all were recycled and are now serving a useful life in new products.

This article was submitted by Yannuzzi Group, based in Kinnelon, New Jersey.