Top 5 Site Demolition Steps You Should Know

In 2021 the global construction and demolition waste management market reached a value of $212.8 billion. Site demolition is one of many aspects of earthworks, and a crucial component to starting any construction job. Even a ruined building needs a carefully handled demolition process to get the job done efficiently and safely.

For a rundown of 5 of the main steps of site demolition, keep reading.

1. Surveying

If you need to demolish a building the first step is assessing the structure and the surrounding area. There are two primary types of surveying that are possible.

Building Surveying

This looks at several aspects of the building:

  • Construction material
  • Previous and current uses of the building
  • Presence of hazardous materials, wastewater, flammable materials, radioactive materials, etc.
  • Drainage and potential water issues (pollution, flooding, and erosion)
  • Facilities shared with adjoining buildings
  • Adjoining traffic (vehicle and pedestrian)
  • Neighborhood factors such as noise, vibration, dust, and traffic impact.

Structural Surveying

This focuses more on the structure of the building:

  • Construction method
  • Sub-ground structures (basement, storage tanks, vaults, etc.)
  • Structure system from the original design
  • Building condition

2. Removal of Hazards

If any hazardous materials are present on-site they need to be properly removed. This can include things like asbestos, radioactive metals, and petroleum contamination.

Due to the dangers present with these materials, specialists will take care of their removal before work can continue.

3. Preparation of Demolition Plan

Before the demolition takes place a plan is made. This plan needs to cover the location of the building along with its distances from any nearby buildings, structures, streets, or anything else that may factor in. For the building itself, the structural support system must also be noted.

The plan will show the demolition procedure along with the sequence and method of the demolition. This must contain all precautionary measures relating to the public including the following:

  • Covered walkways
  • Hoardings
  • Catch fans
  • Catch platforms
  • Protective screens
  • Safety nets
  • Scaffolding

The plan will also contain details of debris removal, and finally a timeline for the entire process.

4. Safety Measures

For any earthworks project, safety is paramount. Demolition is no different, as there are many potential hazards present. All members of staff need to be aware of any potential hazards and the demolition process.

All flammable materials are removed, excluding any that are part of the demolition process. Fire prevention measures are still taken by placing firefighting equipment on site until the demolition is complete.

All workers must have suitable PPE and any other necessary measures are put in place to protect them from dust, chemicals, noise, etc.

5. The Demolition

The demolition processes used will have already been determined. The two main types are non-explosive and explosive.

Non-explosive demolition utilizes equipment such as sledgehammers, bulldozers, excavators, and wrecking balls to destroy a building.

Explosive demolition involves fixing explosives to the structures of a building. When set off the building will either collapse into its footprint or sideways like a tree. The chosen collapse style is set out during the plan.

Conducting Site Demolition

Site demolition is not an easy task. It requires careful planning, well-trained staff, and suitable equipment. If you need to carry out a site demolition you will need the services of a professional earthworks company.

BuildPro STL has years of experience in all kinds of earthworks and is fully prepared for any kind of project. To find out more about what we can do, click here to contact us today.

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