3 Key Concerns Prior To An Environmentally Responsible Demolition

Demolition contractor doing site survey

For each of our demolition projects, environmental considerations dictate our processes and our approach. We place a priority on environmental stewardship and conservation, which means that additional planning is necessary before each project. Here are three key considerations we need to know before starting the demolition of a structure in order to leave the site in better condition than we found it.
  • What materials are present? 
The building owner should be able to give us a good idea of what materials have been used to construct the building by supplying blueprints and other documentation. We also conduct walkthroughs and site visits to verify those documents and look for hazardous materials. Lead paint or asbestos in older buildings is common, but not something you'd necessarily know without investigating. By identifying the materials we're going to encounter, we can accurately plan for safely removing and disposing of them, or plan for recycling or salvaging efforts.
  • Has the site ever been used for industrial purposes? 
This is a valuable question that could expose the need for additional site surveys and testing before a demolition can begin. If the answer is yes, it suggests that a number of hazardous materials may be present that aren't typical of a non-industrial site. This makes this question especially important if the site is no longer being used for industrial work. There also may be underground storage tanks present that will need to be part of our plans. Special procedures should be taken to remove these outside of the usual above ground demolition work. Underground tanks also may be leaking, which again calls for additional procedures and abatement of hazardous materials.
  • What's the history of the structure? 
Similar to finding out if there has been industrial activity on the site, understanding the history of the building gives you clues about what state the structure is in and what materials may be present. If the building has been abandoned for decades, as many sites planned for demolition are, there's a great potential for mold, and the possibility of a weakened structure. While the structure of a building rarely dictates environmental concerns, it is significant for the safety of workers and will dictate how the building is brought down. Additionally, looking through the history of permits for the building can tell you where renovations have been made, which may suggest the building isn't entirely consistent throughout. That again may force some alternative demolition methods.Through effective planning, demolition projects are efficient, safe and environmentally responsible. To learn more about the way we handle demolition at Demolition Technologies, contact us at 918-379-0966.