Why do buildings get demolished?
Why do some aging, often sizable buildings in cities and suburbs face demolition while others are saved?
What determines the life span of a building? Whether a shopping center, a school or library, an apartment, an office building or a government administrative office?
What does the word ‘demolition’ mean?
I think we can safely say that it is the complete elimination of all parts of a building at a specific location and time – typically it is the end of life for the building.
It is interesting to note that partial demolition begins during the life cycle of buildings as maintenance and adaptation including the replacement of building parts result in a size-able waste factor.
Over a very long life-span the waste factor has been known to exceed demolition waste.
Here are the top reasons why buildings get demolished:
The structure and form of the building is outdated or old. Some buildings are unsafe due to lack of building control. While some problems are fixable, it is often too costly to repair an unstable foundation.
Political transformation processes are often accompanied by destruction and demolition such as the demolition of certain monuments in South Africa as they represented a certain era in South African history that are no longer popular today.
The function of a building for example a building becoming obsolete IE it can no longer perform its function because increased physical deterioration has rendered it useless.
The costs of renewing the infrastructure (streets, sewage, green space, etc.) resulting in developers favoring replacement after demolition instead of renovation
The application of building codes and regulations to existing buildings for example “green space”. This often entails expensive alterations which can make compliance through demolition and rebuilding a cheaper or more profitable option.
Plans to sell a vacant plot especially if the building on it is not in a good condition.
The Building contains dangerous materials. Older buildings may contain enough dangerous materials, such as asbestos, that require full or partial demolition
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