Any demolition job, regardless of location, comes with a fair amount of problem-solving and troubleshooting. However, when doing demolition work in an urban location, problems tend to take on a new and bigger form. Due to the dense population and close proximity to other buildings, urban demolition brings a multitude of other problems and considerations.
Urban areas will inevitably have lots of storm drains that lead to possible drinking water sources and natural habitats for lots of little critters. These storm drains are a chief concern when doing demolition in an urban environment. We want to make sure we’re keeping an eye on the dust, dirt, and debris that's making its way to these drains so we don’t cause any issues with the surrounding ecosystems.
Controlling traffic in and out of the site is a primary means of keeping pollutants out of storm drains. We want to make sure trucks and equipment aren’t disturbing soil and plants unnecessarily. Another way we control escaping contaminants is by controlling water. To knock down airborne dust, water is sometimes sprayed on material prior to demolition. If this water isn’t managed properly, the whole job site can turn into a swamp and the dirty water can go places it shouldn’t.
One great thing about demolition is that it’s an opportunity to recycle and reuse construction materials. This greatly reduces the need for new materials to be manufactured, which is ideal for the environment. In this instance, urban demolition is no different than any other demolition. Glass, concrete, steel, and some appliances can all be salvaged and reused in upcoming new construction projects.
After demolition, lots are often left empty for a long time until a developer can get going on a new project. By replanting grass and other plants, we can protect the lots from eroding away and becoming eyesores in the community. This extra step can all bring some much-needed greenery into concrete sprawls. Studies have also shown green vacant lots to be safer and less likely to collect trash.