Laborers’ Local 300

Laborers’ Local 300

Relatively straightforward demolition project nonetheless had to meet today’s strict environmental standards.

Project Details

Project Type: Demolition
Location: Los Angeles, CA
General Contractor: Tower General Contractors
Contact: Brian Benson

Start Date: April 2011
Finish Date: May 2011
Contract Value: $90,600
Contract Type: Fixed Price

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Job Highlights

  • Building in historic district of downtown Los Angeles
  • Several permits required at several stages of job
  • Job could not exceed physical property lines, or additional permit required
  • Focus on pedestrian safety due to busy sidewalk fronting building
  • Extensive new construction awaited timely completion of demolition
  • Support for LEED standards a key requirement.


The historic significance of the Laborers’ Local 300 cannot be understated. The union has supported construction workers for over 100 years, and during that time has been closely involved in the growth of Los Angeles from a population of less than 100,000 at the turn of the last century to more than 4 million today. The Local 300 Union Hall, built over 70 years ago, has been an important part of a historic district in downtown Los Angeles, but at the same time was ready to be re-built into a structure that would better meet the needs of its members today.

With, quite literally, a whole city growing up around it, the Union Hall was located on a small property in a busy, and historically significant area of downtown Los Angeles. General contractor Tower Construction could not proceed with the extensive new building project – including planned six story underground parking structure – until Fast Forward had completed demolition of the building, its concrete foundation and footings, and the parking lot. However, nothing could happen until permission was obtained to demolish the building, including a mural that was painted on the building’s street side wall

With permits obtained, a sub-contractor performed removal of hazardous materials, including asbestos and lead which are common in buildings built during the time that the Union Hall was constructed. Following additional certification that such materials were removed correctly, and after the successful capping and tying off of live utilities, Fast Forward crews moved in and begin the relatively quick process of tearing the building down

Beginning with the larger meeting hall on one side, an excavator tore through the wall, moved inside and began demolishing walls and structural components from the inside out. Simultaneously, crews stripped out air conditioning, lighting and electrical lines and equipment from the offices, so that the heavy equipment could tear the offices apart and leave the resulting piles of concrete and brick relatively free of any material that could not be recycled, and ensure that recyclable materials, such as wood, drywall and others can be diverted from landfill into a separation facility. Such steps are not just “nice to haves”, but actually requirements if builders are to easily comply with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (or LEED) specifications that are increasingly required in forward-looking cities like Los Angeles. Fast Forward was ahead of many other demolition contractors in voluntarily recycling starting several years ago, and now is ideally positioned to support so-called “green” construction projects

After the offices were demolished, excavators tore up the concrete foundation of the building, including the footings. A Track Loader was used to remove the parking lot. As this work was done workers continued to separate various materials such as steel –including Rebar – asphalt, brick and concrete into piles so that they could be transported for disposal and recycling. On this project nearly 99% of the debris was diverted from the landfill.

Working mostly within the Local 300’s property lines, and ensuring both worker and pedestrian safety, Fast Forward completed the job on budget and on time!