Controlled Demolition

Controlled Demolition

Demolition refers to the process of breaking buildings or structures apart. It is the exact opposite of construction, which pertains to putting all parts and pieces together. Deconstruction on the other hand is another method which may be similar to demolition due to the tearing down of buildings. The only difference is that in deconstruction, valuable components are salvaged and are saved in case they can be recycled. Most demolition jobs are messy and may even become dangerous for both the demolition team and innocent passersby. In this case, controlled demolition is preferable and is applied by most companies that are about to demolish a building.

Building Implosion

Building implosion is one of the methods used for demolition jobs. This process involves the use of explosives. In this way, a more controlled demolition process is achieved. Older and traditional methods employ the use of tools and/or heavy machineries to demolish buildings. Here, demolition is manually done by team members wherewith either force is applied through tools or equipment are maneuvered against the buildings for a greater amount of applied force. Manual demolitions may be applicable to smaller buildings in less populated areas. Structures with towering heights particularly on highly urbanized places cannot use this method though. Thus, controlled demolition is applied.

How Building Implosion Work

In the process of building implosion, explosives such as dynamite are implanted on the upper levels of the structure as well as on its lower grounds. When all is set, a detonation device is triggered and the implosion causes the upper portion to fall. If the weight of this area is heavy enough, it will bring down the middle part. The explosives below are then ignited to complete the collapse of the building. In this method, it is not actually the explosives which cause the building to be demolished; it’s the force of gravity which eventually pulls the building down. Controlled demolition through this method is also a lot more convenient. After all explosives are set in place, the actual blasting lasts only a few seconds. It’s also safer for both team members and individuals who are close to the building. There is no need for anyone to be present anywhere close to the demolition site itself. Team members can actually position themselves in a safe distance. Bystanders on the other hand are in no danger since the blast will cause the building to collapse in a vertical position.

Alternative Methods

Other methods for controlled demolition are also being used, and most of them do not use explosives. Some of the alternative methods include the use of the following:  


  • Hydraulic and high reach excavators
  • Wrecking balls
  • Loaders
  • Bulldozers

These are just a few that are worth mentioning, since it’s also quite common to find most of them in regular demolition projects. The use of a wrecking ball is the messiest among all the alternative methods. The use of excavators on the other hand is able to control the direction by which the building will collapse.