ASCI Company History
Our 125 years of experience has lead us to being a successful environmental remediation company and a top demolition contractor!
ASCI has created a thriving construction services company on 125 years of experience. At one time, their core competency was primarily in environmental remediation. The demolition side of the business, which is now equal in strength, has emerged from a very natural evolution. The need to consolidate the two processes of demolition and remediation, particularly in the Philadelphia area, became obvious to the company as well as to their clients. “It’s a perfectly natural marriage as there is always a strong demolition component to any environmental remediation job. Our resources were available and the talent was in place,” said Jim Vail, company president. Vail adds, “We have an excellent project management team that consists of people with engineering and construction degrees. Our success as an environmental remediation company translated easily into the realm of demolition.”
Of course, at first the company was perceived as just another asbestos abatement company trying to obtain extra work by honing in on demolition jobs, but their work on the former RCA Victor building (known as the Nipper building because it housed a stained glass mural of their canine marketing mascot, Nipper) in Camden, New Jersey changed that perception. They took on the responsibility of a complete interior demolition of this six-story, approximately 400,000 sq. ft. building, which once housed the headquarters for RCA Victor. The demolition and disposal of all partitions, ceiling systems, mechanical & electrical systems, and floor systems; demolition of four substantial elevator shafts, and miscellaneous slab removal. The project was completed on time and within budget, Nipper’s stained-glass mural remained safely intact, and the company’s reputation as a demolition expert was enhanced.
Another high-profile job that is helping place ASC in the realm of top demolition contractors in the Philadelphia area is the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts (located at the intersection of Broad & Cherry Streets formerly the “Federal Building”, which is being completed as of the writing of this article. This 11-story, 253,000 sq. ft. building is also a complete interior demolition project that includes environmental remediation. The demolition includes removal of all partitions, floor systems, ceiling systems, electrical and mechanical systems. There is a substantial amount of reinforced slab removal throughout the building, in addition to the removal of the elevator shafts and load bearing concrete stair towers. Additionally, ASC is demolishing a brick-enclosed mechanical equipment building on the roof (of the PAFA building) along with the existing cooling water towers. The environmental remediation is also quite substantial in this building, including asbestos and lead abatement as well as PCB removal. The job is near completion and will be done well within the time frame.
Performing demolition and remediation work in a vacant building such as the Nipper & Federal buildings requires its own project-specific methodology. However, when tasked with performing these services in an occupied (still functioning) building, the approach and methodology changes dramatically. The Strawbridges Department Store project, located in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, is a good example of a complicated, multi-phase demolition of an entire store that is being completed while the store remains in operation. This type of demolition project requires an extra level of attention beyond ASC’s already thorough safety and construction practices employed at the beginning of every project.
ASCI ’s focus on safety is evident as its EMR rating is one of the lowest in the industry. It is commonly known that demolition is a labor intensive business, therefore safe work practices are paramount. ASC has always prided itself as being a good, safety-conscious, service-orientated contractor. This approach is now applied to their demolition business. The feedback thus far from clients has been outstanding. ASC is currently providing demolition services throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and their client base continues to grow.
Reprinted from Construction Today, Summer, 2002 issue.