We place an emphasis on recycling, environmental stewardship and salvaging materials in every demolition project we're involved in. Doing so requires some upfront planning and site surveys, plus a company-wide commitment to these green initiatives. Our job can be made much easier, however, when the structure's original contractor had a similar commitment to the environment. An initial eco-friendly design leads to a more successful deconstruction and demolition process down the road. Here are a few reasons why:
When a building is in its initial design phase, it's important to consider what will happen decades later when the building needs to be demolished. Contractors should evaluate the materials used based on how they will likely depreciate over time. If high-quality building materials are used, these materials are more likely to be salvageable when it's time for deconstruction. Additionally, the plan should make it easy to separate these materials by using common dimensional standards with modular elements.
Using high-quality materials is a smart move for any type of construction project, but there are additional considerations to make when your ultimate goal is to ensure a structure is environmentally-friendly through the demolition process. For example, as much as possible, materials used in the project should fit into one of two categories. They should either be recyclable, or biodegradable. This way, very little material is left to take up space in a landfill. Using local and renewable materials is also ideal. A contractor can even contribute to the life-cycle of materials by getting them from a recently demolished structure and re-using them in the new structure. These materials can again be recycled or re-used when it's time to demolish the new structure and waste can be minimized.
It's unlikely that the contractor who constructed a building will still be around when it's time to demolish it. Likewise, it's unlikely that a demolition contractor will be intimately involved in the initial construction. That's why each phase and detail of the construction needs to be recorded and documented. Unexposed elements like the framing and utilities are especially important to document well. All of this information then needs to be stored safely so it can be recovered before a demolition project begins.While experienced demolition contractors can salvage and recycle materials from almost any structure, the process becomes more efficient and more successful when environmental concerns were taken into consideration during design and construction.To learn more about our capabilities and green initiatives at Demolition Technologies, contact us at 918-379-0966.