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Brookfield Renewable Power (Former Deferiet/St. Regis Paper Mill)

What was the challenge?

Two abandoned paper mill structures adjacent to Brookfield’s hydroelectric powerhouse constructed over the Black River were dilapidated and in a state of disrepair. Each abandoned mill building had significant evidence of structural failure.  As such, they posed a safety concern to the active hydroelectric plant and building occupants. One structure, a sulfite digester building, towered four stories directly over the active hydroelectric powerhouse structure. Each abandoned structure shared a common perimeter load-bearing foundation wall. The common wall was required to remain. Brookfield chose to proceed with the selective demolition and subsequent removal of the adjacent structures jeopardizing their operation.  The former paper mill was an existing superfund site. The EPA had performed some asbestos containing material (ACM) sampling/removal and subsequent removal of hazardous materials.

Selective demolition with remaining hazardous building materials in place was determined to be necessary in a manner that would maintain operation of the hydropower plant, avoid building materials from being entrained into the Black River, and consider the health and safety of the public.

How did Barton & Loguidice provide a solution?

B&L structural and environmental personnel reviewed the existing conditions, imposing constraints, and compelling challenges the project entailed. Remaining regulated materials were sampled, categorized, and documented as allowed by structural concerns. The existing structural state was assessed and strategic shoring to allow for demolition and shoring solutions for remaining common walls were devised. Specific approval for procedures and allowances by a State regulatory agency for the demolition and removal of the buildings with asbestos containing materials in place was obtained. Plans and specifications for project were developed on behalf of Brookfield to obtain competitive offers for the remediation and demolition.

Why was the project a success?

The selective building removals were completed over a period of about four months with no health and safety incidents or interruption to the hydroelectric operations. No significant adjacent building damage was reported. The hydroelectric generating operation now operates without the threat of adjacent building collapse risk to employees.

Project At a Glance


New York


  • Industrial Hygiene

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