Thursday, August 27, 2009

Demolition and Recycling

By Matthew G Smyth

Lots of buildings are built with a limited lifespan or simply become unusable and unsafe over time. When this happens, the land space that the old building is taking up is often worth a lot more than the building itself, and so the building must be safely deconstructed so that the next construction project can take get underway.

Demolition is a system of controlled destruction of such buildings, allowing for the reuse of many of the component parts of the old construction. Reclaimed building materials are much sought after so are cleaned and repackaged in order to be resold within the construction industry. In many instances, tough planning restrictions will stipulate that any new building will have to be constructed of identical brick to the existing structure, so it is then essential to salvage all the materials possible.

Health and safety is obviously a priority on a demolition site, particularly that of the workers on site. On a demolition site, as with any construction site, workers are required to wear a hard hat, a high visibility jacket, protective footwear as well as in some cases, eye and ear protection. Another factor to take into account is that asbestos might be present; if it is then the site must be properly decontaminated under very strict conditions.

Most of the composite parts of a demolished building will be recycled either as building materials in the case of some steel, bricks, tiles, slates etc while steel that cant be reused as is will be sold for scrap to be reused in a different form. Footings, concrete, roadways etc will all be broken up and then put through a crusher in order to make material suitable for new roadway construction projects.

How much it will cost to demolish a building greatly depends on the man-power required to sort the raw materials for recycling. If a big brick building needs to be taken down and the bricks need to be cleaned and stacked on pallets, then the cost will be considerably higher than that of a concrete building being pulled down by a crusher.

Choosing a quality demolition company can be a difficult process. Finding a good company with an established track record will allow you to delegate your demolition process with full confidence.

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