According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, “Demolition is the opposite of construction: the tearing-down of buildings and other structures. It contrasts with deconstruction, which is the taking down of a building while carefully preserving valuable elements for re-use.” Clearly, the Wikipeds haven’t had many conversations with IR professionals, because ‘carefully preserving valuable elements for re-use’ pretty-much sums up our entire profession.

A best practices approach to demolition should include the goal of minimizing the amount of materials going to landfills. This “green” approach is applied by removing the materials by type and segregating
them for reuse or recycling. For example, on-site crushers allow demolished concrete to be reused as type 1 crushed aggregate as a piling mat for ground stabilization.

With proper planning this approach has resulted in landfill diversion rates that exceed 90% of an entire building and its contents in some cases. With the rising costs of landfills this method may be more
economical than traditional demolition, and contributes to a healthier environment.

Reprinted from ASSET 2.0, the Investment Recovery Business Journal, Vol. 6, 2008

© The Investment Recovery Association