Complex Problems



MATOC FY20 Demolition, NASA Wallops Flight Center

Overview: Demolished the 15,163 ft2 NASA Wallops Island Launch Facility, including the Z-41 Assembly Shop. All concrete equipment slabs, concrete tank saddles and containment areas, concrete sidewalks, aboveground storage tank, and associated piping on the exterior northwest and southwest side of the structure were removed.

Project Highlights

Capabilities Delivered


We are pleased to serve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on key demolition and remediation projects. Serving as the lead contractor, we provided project management, subcontractor integration, project scheduling and controls.

Project Details

Perma Sort
The NASA Wallops Island Launch Facility is a rocket launch site located roughly 10 miles south of Wallops Island Flight Facility and is a secure area with limited access. Wallops Island Launch Facility is located along the Atlantic Ocean, on the outer banks near Assawoman, VA. Built in the late 1960s, Building Z-41 served as a rocket assembly facility. The main structure was made up of four separate bays with roll-up doors. Three of the bays had a maximum elevation of 22 feet while the larger high-bay was 53 feet tall. The building sat on a concrete slab and was surrounded by raised foundations where various machinery once sat.

A previous survey conducted by a Perma-Fix wholly-owned subsidiary, SEC, in October 2019 identified asbestos-containing materials in the form of caulk around the doors as well as floor tile and associated mastic. The survey also identified lead containing paint in the gutters, roll-up doors, door casings, and steel supports. Safety considerations prohibited an accounting of other regulated material which may have been present in the interior rooms.

Our Personnel and equipment were mobilized to the site in August 2020. The crew acquired access badges and a safety briefing with a review of all relevant aspects of the site safety plan was conducted. Temporary safety fencing was erected around the site and the laydown area was organized. Erosion and sediment control measures were installed per the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan and sanitary facilities were set up. Various equipment and implements would continue to arrive during the week as needed and a long-reach excavator was assembled as its separate components arrived.

Asbestos abatement preparations began straightaway, as well as other contaminated material removal. Exterior abatement activities were completed and critical barriers with a negative containment was constructed for the interior tile and mastic removal. All abatement activities, including clearance sampling, were completed in September 2020, and abatement equipment and waste was transported off-site.

Interior demolition and selected exterior demolition also began in September 2020 as debris, loose items, and fiberglass blow out panels were removed. Facility electricians confirmed power disconnection at the transformer at the rear of the building, power lines were cut and capped, and the transformer was removed. Gross demolition began in earnest in September 2020 as the building was brought down upon itself beginning at the east bay. The concrete walls of Building Z-41 crumbled easily with a pulverizer attachment on the long-reach excavator, while another excavator segregated and sorted materials. In September 2020, the first loads of waste and recyclables were shipped off-site and material shipments would continue intermittently until late September 2020 with the final roll-off containers of concrete debris. Once the glycol was transferred to containers provided by the base environmental department, the aboveground storage tank was removed and the remaining ancillary items at the north end of the site were removed as well. The area was subsequently backfilled, graded for positive drainage, and seed and straw were applied. With a diversion (recycle) rate of 95.3%, Perma-Fix exceeded the 60% diversion target at Wallops Island, saving the government $138,376.


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