Demolition is something that happens more often than people realize. In most cities, new construction cannot begin until demolition has been done. Las Vegas was famous for its wave of demolitions that took down most of its iconic buildings and replaced them with new and bigger gambling palaces. When someone buys a piece of property with a building on it, then the building has to go before development can begin.
If you have ever seen a movie with a wrecking ball used as a symbol of destruction or a news report of the implosion of a building, then you know that there is more than one way to bring down a building. For contractors, it is important to understand the basics behind the four most common ways to demolish a structure to help make your project planning more comprehensive.
When a large building is taken down using explosives, it is usually a media event that the whole area looks forward to. The process is actually called implosion, because the effect of using explosives is to allow the weight of the structure to bring it down when the internal supports are destroyed with explosions. As the main supports are eliminated, the weight of the rest of the building causes the structure to collapse into itself. This type of demolition is usually used on large, heavy structures.
For smaller buildings, the most common technique for demolition is by hand. This is usually done on wooden or cement block buildings, and requires the use of a crane and/or a large bulldozer. For wooden structures, workers cut away large pieces and a crane moves those pieces to a disposal dumpster. The bulldozer is used for brick or concrete block structures to simply dismantle the walls so the debris can be removed by workers.
A wrecking ball is a 13,500-pound solid iron ball that is placed on a large cable from a crane and swung into the building’s walls to bring them down. The decision to use a wrecking ball is based on very precise calculations that determine if the work can be done safely using a ball and crane. While the cleanup work for a wrecking ball demolition can take a long time, a wrecking ball is often a safer alternative to explosives or any other type of demolition in densely populated areas.
Industrial structures are normally made of all metal, which means that the contractor wants to salvage the metal to get its market value. In situations like this, a deliberate collapse is used to prevent loosing too much metal. This is a very precise form of demolition that requires certain structural supports to be cut in a systematic order that causes the structure to slowly collapse. This type of demolition is very complex, but it allows for the largest amount of material to be removed for profit.
If you want to learn more about demolition methods and other contracting information, then start a course with PDH Contractors today. You can study for your construction supervisor’s license, or get up to date on all of the latest demolition methods and news.