The Very Interesting Daruma-otshi Demolition Method

When you think about the demolition process for a tall building, you’re probably imagining a huge mess. Whether you’re envisioning a wrecking ball or a series of carefully placed explosives, the typical end result for most demolitions is a pile of rubble and a cloud of dust. In order to combat the noise, the mess, and potential damage to surrounding structures, one Japanese demolition company has developed a new means of demolition: the Daruma-otshi Demolition Method — a demolition method that almost looks like a building is sinking into the earth. But how does it really work?

The Toy Origins of this Demolition Method

The Daruma-otshi demolition technique is named after a Japanese toy game by the same name and premise. The game consists of a toy tower made of wooden circular disks. Using a small wooden mallet, Japanese children would see how many of the lower wooden disk levels they could knock from under the structure of the tower without knocking it completely over — somewhat like a game of Jenga, only the player is removing entire levels instead of just thirds of a level. The game requires speed and agility in order to keep the tower from collapsing.

The Seemingly Upside-down Demolition Method

In a similar way to the Japanese toy game, the Daruma-otshi demolition method works by demolishing one floor at a time starting from the bottom floor. Though this seems counterintuitive, this demolition method almost completely removes dust, debris, and noise from the demolition process. Instead of a building completely imploding in on itself, leaving a gigantic pile waste to clean up, from an onlooker’s perspective, the Darum-otshi demolition would just look like a building is slowing sinking into the earth over the course of several months.

What is Actually Happening?

Why does it look this way? Because that’s essentially what is happening. The foundational supports for the bottom floors are replaced with computer-calibrated jacks that slowly lower the entire building as it is demolished by crews working floor-by-floor. Not only does this method almost completely reduce noise and debris pollution, but allows for many recyclable building materials to be sorted out from waste, increasing the recyclability of a demolition project by 90%.

While this style of demolition has not come to the United States quite yet, if you’re looking for cost-effective, environmentally friendly demolition solutions, your friends at DT Specialized Services, Inc. can help.