Demolition: Tearing Down to Build Up
Demolition: Tearing Down to Build Up
Whether you’re constructing a new building or renovating an existing one, demolition is commonly a key part of the process. After all, clearing away old, damaged, or no longer useful construction is the only way improvements can be made in many communities – especially in areas where available real estate is limited and at a premium price point.
Every project, from multi-story structures to undeveloped land, demands its own type of demolition equipment and machinery – including but not limited to hydraulic breakers, universal processors, drop hammers, torches, cranes, and wrecking balls. Demolition also requires a professional workforce with the necessary knowledge, experience, and ability to work as a team.
IN DEMOLITION, SAFETY ALWAYS COMES FIRST
For many, the word “demolition” conjures up images of tall urban buildings being imploded within seconds. But implosion accounts for only 1% of demolition projects and usually is used only on very tall, multi-story structures. Generally, demolition is a layered, selective process, dismantling structures piece by piece. But no matter how it’s done, there are always risks to consider and plan for.
The best way to deal with potential accidents is to prevent them. That not only involves making sure workers have the training and equipment they need, but also having experienced project managers and expert foremen who can develop well-coordinated teams that look out for each other.
DEMOLITION MATERIALS CAN BE REPURPOSED
Removing brick, mortar, wood, glass, steel girders, and all the other elements of a building during demolition isn’t necessarily an act of destruction. It often involves the reclamation of materials that can be recycled. For example, according to the EPA over 75% of all construction and demolition waste in the U.S. was recovered or recycled for use in other buildings in 2018. This included over 95% of concrete and asphalt concrete waste, the largest contributors to total C&D waste.1 Recycling as much as possible not only increases the cost-efficiency of a project, it also is important to the health of the environment.
Reputable construction companies observe conservation and safety standards covering the effective salvaging, recycling, and reusing of demolished materials. They also follow the guidelines set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Founded in 1970 by Congress under the auspices of the Department of Labor, OSHA’s mission is “to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.”2 Following these guidelines is especially important during demolition because the risk of injury during these projects is second only to roofing high buildings.
DEMOLITION: THE FIRST STEP TOWARD A BETTER COMMUNITY
Cities can only succeed and grow if they meet the needs of their businesses, residents, and visitors. If a building can no longer serve a need, it must give way to a structure that can. It may be that the structure was damaged too badly to be repaired. Or it has just deteriorated from use and age. It may also suffer from a faulty foundation or have been built with hazardous materials. Finally, its design or structure might no longer further the city’s plans for the future. In all these situations the best solution is to demolish the old structure, or portions of it so a new business, building, park, or even multi-family facilities can take its place. This is how modern communities continue to thrive and grow.
CCI HAS AN EXCELLENT RECORD FOR DEMOLITION
As a leading general contracting firm, we at Corporate Contractors Inc. (CCI) are very proud of our safety record and commitment to a green environment. Through the years we’ve partnered and collaborated with building owners, property managers, and municipalities on all types of residential and commercial demolition projects. To meet the demands of this work we’ve developed a fleet of sophisticated, cutting-edge tools to increase our efficiency, cut costs, and ensure the safety of our workers. So, we’re fully prepared to do whatever it takes to meet and exceed the expectations of our clients on every project. Learn more here.
Be sure to contact CCI before you begin your next project. Because, as with any building endeavor, the secret to success is careful planning right from the start. And we’d be delighted to help you in any way we can.
1. BigRentz, “23 Construction Waste Statistics & Tips to Reduce Landfill Debris,” April 2021
2. About OSHA, United States Department of Labor