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One James River Demolition

Engineering services for the mechanical demolition, installation of a new earth retention system and implosion of the 23-story tower.

Lead Contact

Project Details

Project Partners
Hourigan Construction/Clayco, DH Griffin Wrecking Company & Controlled Demolition, Inc.
Dominion Energy
Richmond, Virginia
Completion Date
350 ft
Number of Stories
Implosion Analysis


Built in 1978, One James River Plaza - the former headquarters for Dominion Energy - was vacated in 2019 when operations and personnel were relocated to a new building.

We provided engineering services for the mechanical demolition of the building carried out in four phases, allowing for reinforcement of the existing foundations and installation of a new earth retention system to maintain stability of the surrounding area. The implosion of the building was completed on May 30, 2020 without incident. Our implosion analyses were critical to managing potential risks and addressing safety, which are concerns in any explosive demolition project.


  • We performed a lateral stability analysis to assess the adequacy of the superstructure to withstand temporary wind loads after the mechanical demolition of the below-grade parking garage was completed and the preimplosion structural weakening was performed. Based on the results of these analyses, we proposed several changes to the pre-weakening plan, which were then implemented by the contractor.
  • We performed implosion analysis to predict the progression of the collapse of the 23-story building and the extent of the debris field to ensure safety of adjacent high-rise buildings from the falling debris.
  • The mechanics of the damage and failure from the high fidelity local models of the waffle slab and the transfer girder were incorporated into the global model of the building in order to achieve reasonable computational run-times without sacrificing accuracy in the results.
  • We also performed a soil vibration analysis to ensure the structural integrity of the foundations of adjacent properties and buried utilities.