Methods of Demolition of Structures

Do you want to understand how engineers go about demolition of structures?

When a building has reached its design life, that is its structural lifespan, the building is no longer regarded as safe, and may need to be completely demolished if extensive renovations aren’t going to happen. This isn’t the only reason demolition takes place, however. A building may be condemned if it has lost its structural stability and its integrity is no longer certain. After natural disasters buildings may also suffer structural damage that renders them unsafe. In all these situations, the buildings will need to be demolished.

What is demolition?

Demolition is the breaking down, removal, and elimination of structures. Demolition of structures such as buildings is the dismantling of these structures in a carefully controlled and pre-planned way using set methods.

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Demolition methods for structures

When it comes to structural demolition, there are two major types of demolition methods employed:

  • Non-explosive demolition
  • Explosive demolition

Non-explosive demolition

This demolition method involves no use of explosives. Instead, other equipment and tools will be used for the demolition process. Some of these tools and machines include:

    • Bulldozers and excavators

If the building you want demolished isn’t several stories high, bulldozers and excavators are appropriate. On top of demolition, this machinery will also be used to remove soil and move the debris to rubbish trucks.

    • High reach excavators

If buildings exceed heights of 300ft (91m), high-reach excavators are employed in the structural demolition. Additional tools such as hydraulic hammers can be added to the high-reach excavator for the demolition of steel structures.

    • Sledgehammers

Walls and single columns can be systematically destroyed with these small handheld hammers.

    • Wrecking balls

Wrecking balls have been the traditional method of demolition for years. Their biggest disadvantage is that they are difficult to control. However, for destroying buildings that are at least 6 stories, wrecking balls are quite efficient.

Explosive demolition

Implosion is the term given to the demolition technique that involves the use of explosives to destroy a building. Implosion is a method that requires engineers to identify key structural points in the building, where the explosives will be laid to ensure a neat demolition. There are two major types of implosion, which are determined by the way in which the structure falls:

  • Falling like a tree

    If the surrounding area is free, this is the most common type of implosion used whereby the structure topples over on its side, resembling a felled tree. To ensure that the buildings fall in the right direction, steel cables may be tied to the lower part of the building to control the fall.

  • Falling in its own footprint

    If the area surrounding the condemned building is compact, and there is a need to preserve buildings near the demolition site, then this type of implosion is utilized. This is a specialist technique that needs to be perfectly timed to make sure the entire structure collapses at once and not in parts.

Are you in need of structural demolition services in Sydney?

Call Amigos Demolition Sydney’s leading demolition specialist for residential and commercial buildings on 0415 255 255 or send us an email at [email protected]. No job is too big or too small for us to handle.