Most Common Site Demolition Methods: A Closer Look

Site demolition

As of 2021, the global construction & demolition waste market has an estimated value of $26.6 billion. Site demolition is the first step in may construction project, as you can’t start building a new structure if there is a ruined building standing in the way.

There are several demolition methods available. For a rundown of the main ones, keep reading.

Total Demolition

This is when you need to completely demolish a site or structure, generally for a completely new project to take place. Before beginning this, or any other type of demolition, you must prepare the site.

This is most common when there is a building or multiple buildings on a site, and they are being replaced by something with a completely different function. A typical example would be the demolition of an unused shopping mall to make way for residential housing. 

Selective Demolition

If a building does not need to be completely demolished, selective demolition may be the best choice. This is usually if the new building planned for the site can make use of the existing structure.

For this, the old building must still be structurally sound, and suitable for the application of the new building.

With selective demolitions, you can demolish specific sections of the site. If one part is much older than the rest or is not in a useable state, you can demolish that part, leaving the rest of the structure intact.

Sometimes there may be restrictions on how much and what parts of a building you can demolish. If this is the case, you will need to select what part is most suitable to destroy and reconstruct upon.

Interior Demolition

This is generally a slightly smaller scale, as it involves demolishing the interior components of a building while leaving the main structure intact.

Parts that may be demolished include:

  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Partitions

You may do this if you want to keep a building but make changes to the interior such as creating more space or removing undesirable sections.

Explosive Demolition

Explosive demolition is generally used to completely demolish a building or structure that is particularly tall. Explosives are placed on key structural points, and when detonated the building will collapse. 

This type of demolition is highly specialized. Accurate calculations need to be done to ensure the building collapses as intended. This can either be to the side like a tree, or the building can collapse into its own footprint.

Whichever way the building is intended to collapse, it is important to get everything right. Any mistakes could result in major risks to other adjacent buildings or the safety of anyone in the area. 

Dismantling or Deconstruction

This is perhaps the most careful method of demolition, used when you don’t want to completely destroy a building. You should use this method if you want to keep the structure of a building as well as certain parts. These parts may be recycled, refurbished, or reused if they are in good condition.

It is usually more labor-intensive than other methods, but massively reduces the amount of waste.

Choosing the Right Site Demolition Method

Depending on the site you’re working on, and the future plans for that site, you may need to decide between multiple demolition methods.

BuildPro STL has years of experience in demolition and many other types of earthworks. If you need any assistance planning your site demolition and carrying it out, click here to contact us today.