One thing about construction projects like houses and buildings is that as they went up, someday they must come down. Nothing lasts forever, and that includes residential homes and buildings, as well as commercial structures.
When that day arrives and the building has become unsafe or just seen better days, it’s time to call in the building demolition experts. Every safe and successful demolition begins with the company you hire to carry it out. After you’ve hired a qualified and reputable company to do the job, the demolition process begins.
Here are a few things to consider before the actual Demolition:
Engineering Survey: The first step of this process is making an engineering survey. Make sure a competent person does this task, one who perfectly knows the condition of the building. This person must indicate in the survey, the condition of the floors, framing, walls and the possibility of unplanned collapse of any part of the structure.
Hazardous Material: It’s important to determine if any hazardous material like chemicals, gases or explosives have been used with any equipment in the structure. If such material is present, then testing and purging must be done first to eliminate this hazard.
Creating the Plan: Once your needs are determined, a plan is created. The plan will include how the demolition is to be carried out, as well as all of the equipment that will be used to do it. The ultimate goal is to get that building demolished in the safest and most efficient way possible while staying within budget. These decisions will depend on things like the size of the building, the building materials, the reason for the demolition and the location of the building.
Some of the demolition methods that might be considered include:
• Selective Demolition
• Traditional Excavator with grapple or “claw” and thumb
Once the plan is set, the demolition company will know the method, the equipment that’s necessary, the approximate cost, how much debris there will be, how it will be dispersed at the site and how long it will take to clean up. Backup plans and emergency plans will also be part of the overall demolition plan.
Getting Permits: Obviously, it isn’t possible to just stroll into any city or town and demolish a building without getting the proper permits. Removing any building from a site will alter the landscape and can even alter property values and property taxes in the area.
Surroundings: The site must be fenced or suitably barricaded to prevent public access during the demolition process. No part of any external wall on or within 6,000mm of the street alignment is to be pulled down except during times as specified by the building surveyor.
Move Your Property to Storage: Before any demolition project, you need to get your valuables out of there, of course. Usually, there’s at least something in your old building worth holding on to! Make sure your property is well out of harm’s way long before the demolition begins so you aren’t scrambling at the last second. Anything you find that you don’t need anymore can be sold for a profit or donated to charity.
Check Your Insurance: It’s always a good idea to check your insurance policy and notify your insurer before beginning a demolition project. If a water pipe bursts or someone is injured, you don’t want to be held liable.
Arrange Alternate Space: If you’re demolishing your home or an office building, you need to make sure alternate arrangements have been made well in advance. Where will you live, or where will your employees go? Don’t put yourself in a pickle by failing to address where the people will go to after their home or workplace has been demolished.
Arrange Alternative Accommodation: Before demolition begins, ensure you have arranged suitable alternative accommodation. You may have another property to reside in, or you may wish to rent, share or board with family or friends. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s all planned out well in advance of demo day.
Reuse Old Materials: Before you bring in the wrecking ball, consider whether any materials can be reused for your new property. For example, you may wish to retain the old pavers for an outdoor patio or keep some well-established garden plants. Indoors, you may want to keep some of the cornices or skirting boards for reuse, or even the internal and external doors – after all, it’s amazing what a coat of fresh paint can do. Remember, a saving here and there can add up to thousands of Rands in savings in total.
In a lot of ways, the building going down isn’t really an ending, but a new beginning for whatever structure is going to take its place.