Demolition is the practice of tearing down a building or structure in a controlled manner. This process differs from deconstruction, because it is not taking a structure apart piece by piece, rather, it’s usually taking down a structure relatively quickly by means of controlled blasts or machinery. This practice is generally used when a plot of land with an existing structure, is planning to use that land for the construction of a new building. This is used quite frequently when a building has been condemned, or is otherwise unsafe to refurbish, thus lending the land to a brand new construction job.
Large Vs. Small Building Demo
Small building demolition, such as that used for residential housing, is a relatively easy process. In this case, heavy machinery such as bulldozers to excavators are used to either pull down or push over existing structural walls and foundations. Larger buildings, such as office and other commercial buildings, require a bigger setup, usually requiring the use of cranes and wrecking balls to take down. Because of the way that bigger structures are built, wrecking balls are especially effective, but they are typically harder to control.
With any kind of demolition, the top priority is always safety. Because of this, in manual demolition, a building being razed needs to fall in on itself, in a controlled manner. This eliminates the threat to surrounding buildings and people. In order to do this, a process called undermining is practiced. In this type of demolition, internal supports are weakened, to encourage implosion, or collapse in a dedicated and controlled direction. If this is not an effective manner of demolition, such as in large office buildings, wrecking balls and other tools, such as high reach demolition excavators can be used.
Another effective form of demolition is implosion. While, not always done by mans of explosives, implosion is typically carried out by a series of small, controlled blasts which cause the weakening of supports in order for a building to fall in on itself. This method is used for very large buildings such as smokestacks, arenas, sky-rises and bridges. This type of demolition enables a structure to be taken down very quickly, but it is also incredibly dangerous, because one wrong move or poorly planned explosion can send debris, or parts of the structure in to random buildings or populate areas.
Prepping for Demolition
Depending on the means of demolition being used, prepping for this action can take varying amounts of time. Usually structures have certain pieces removed, such as glass and all items of value like copper wiring and appliances. But, in manual demolition, this isn’t always the case. The area around a demolition project usually has to be warned and the project approved and permitted by the city. The area is then cordoned off so as to not let people stray in to the path of the project. Environmental attributes also need to be checked prior and proper disposal set up.