Advanced Demolition

Advanced Demolition

It may surprise people who've never worked in construction, but demolition isn't as mindless of a destructive task as you may think. In tight urban environments, the wrong charge or too much explosive power could send giant boulders of concrete hurtling into surrounding buildings!

When Structure Demo Isn’t Cut and Dry

There are circumstances that demolition experts have to work around when it comes to some building locations and types. As stated, urban environments are tricky because buildings are packed tightly next to each other and a miscalculation can result in a potentially life-threatening situation for pedestrians and inhabitants of the surrounding buildings. There are other difficult structure specifications for demolition. For example, some buildings are erected using extremely durable, hard materials in efforts to withstand potential disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes. Because these structures possess the following traits to resist inclement conditions,


  • Thick walls
  • Hardened steel
  • Reinforced structural supports
  •  Bolted and welded joints

They often require the top-of-the-line steel shears to cut through their frame and extremely powerful jackhammers to break up the concrete in both the foundation and walls. Another example of a tough job is where local ordinances forbid the use of explosives. In this case, a team of demolition experts must start from the top story of the building and literally demolish it one story at a time. This is extremely expensive compared to using charges.

Floor by Floor Manual Demolition

It’s not often that you come across a city that won’t allow professionally trained demolition experts to use explosives for their demolition, especially when the building is large like a skyscraper or a stadium. When floor by floor manual demolition is required, often it is because the city or local municipality has laws against the use of explosives and these laws are almost always a direct result of the misinterpretation that explosive demolition is bad for the environment. Indeed, if a building contains asbestos, floor by floor demolition or deconstruction may be the only way to safely demolish the building but for most structures across the States, having timed charges placed at key structural weak points saves hundreds of thousands of dollars on the demo project.

Structural Analysis Software

Through technological developments allowing contractors to plug data into computers about the building they need to demolish, it’s possible through custom software to find out exactly where charges must be placed in a building as well as how strong they need to be so that the building effectively implodes. Rather than explode, a building must implode, (falling within itself into a manageable pile of rubble rather than send debris flying outward from the demolition site). Structural analysis software allows demo experts to watch how properly placed charges will effectively implode a building in 3-D virtual reality simulations first, (or video may just be a computer monitor depending on the quality of the software). The program uses physics to accurately replicate the outcome of a demolition and will even recommend the best places to set explosives!