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Calif. Demolition Veteran John Weber Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Wed May 14, 2008 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

John E. Weber, demolition industry veteran, inventor, and one of the charter members of the National Demolition Association (NDA), was saluted by his peers with the Lifetime Achievement Award at NDA’s 35th Anniversary convention.

The retired president of ICONCO/LVI Demolition Services in Oakland, Calif., Weber played one of the most influential roles in the growth of the NDA from a handful of member companies in 1973 to more than 1,100 in North America today.

“During John’s 35 years as a member of the National Demolition Association, he served on the board of directors and in every executive position — including president — and at least once on every one of our committees,” said Michael R. Taylor, executive director. “His contribution to the growth of our association cannot be measured.”

Weber began his career in 1959 as a laborer and office manager, joining ICONCO in 1964 as an executive. In his many years in the industry, he handled the demolition of high-rise structures up to 30 stories both by conventional means and by implosion; demolished at least 10 wood pulp mills in the state of California; and more than 10 power plant facilities. His firm also was responsible for the demolition of well over 100 bridges.

Among the most noteworthy of the projects Weber handled was the demolition of 600 buildings in the town of Port Chicago, Calif., for the U.S. Navy. In the 1980s, he oversaw the demolition of the top 12 floors of the Crocker Bank building in downtown San Francisco, while the bank stayed in business on the bottom two floors.

Most recently, he handled the demolition of a 350-ft.-tall (106 m) cooling tower at the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant in Rainier, Ore., and the 30-story St. Regis Hotel in Century City, Calif.

In the 1990s, Weber invented the “HEPA-Vent” filter device to keep asbestos removal work areas safe and sanitary and donated the patent to the public domain.

“At the time, I wanted to give demolition contractors an alternative to a very expensive existing device,” Weber explained.

During Weber’s tenure with NDA’s Insurance Committee, he was responsible for working with the California Workers Compensation Rating Bureau to help lower the workers comp manual rates from 78 percent of the payroll to 8 to 10 percent. Eventually the new system was adopted by other states to lower their demolition rates.

Weber’s work in the Oakland-area community has also been noteworthy. In the 1980s, he participated in a Hayward, Calif. — San Felipe, Mexico Sister City Program to collect and distribute all types of products and materials for the San Felipe people.

The NDA is a non-profit trade organization representing more than 1,100 U.S. and Canadian companies and many international firms that are involved in the demolition process. Membership includes demolition contractors, general contractors, civil engineering firms, and recycling, landfill, and salvage operations.

The NDA’s efforts help members stay abreast of regulatory and safety matters, keep regulators informed about issues facing the industry, increase public and industry awareness, and provide members with networking opportunities and information on the latest technical advances in equipment and services.

For more information, call 800/541-2412 or

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