Demolition refers to the destruction, tearing down, breaking up, and removal of entire parts of a building when the building has reached its end of life or during a renovation project.
Demolition is deemed necessary if a structure has lost its structural stability or has structural problems.
Demolition is often undertaken when the life of a building has expired or when a new structure is being built to replace an older one.
Important types of demolition techniques are listed and explained in detail below.
- Non-Engineering Demolition ( Manual demolition)
- Engineering Demolition1, Mechanical Method2, Implosion3, Deconstruction Method
Non-Engineering Demolition or Manual Demolition:
This approach is primarily used for demolishing tiny single or double-storey structures and may be performed by anyone experienced with a portable jackhammer.
Sledgehammers, crowbars, and drill machines are all examples of manual tools that can be employed for this purpose.
What is engineering demolition?
The next important type is engineering demolition which comprises many methods. From the more common wrecking ball method to the deliberate collapse method and pressure jetting.
This method is much faster than non-engineering Demolition or Manual Demolition. Here a steel sphere weighing between 500 to 1000kgs is connected to a heavy-duty crane using wire rope. This massive steel sphere is swung at the targeted building.
The mass and sheer force of the swing helped to break down the building.
These are typically huge hydraulic jackhammers mounted on the boom arm of earthmovers. These are very effective in getting the job done. The hydraulic crusher can be silently operated from the ground outside the building.
Appropriate for hazardous structures, such as silos and other industrial facilities.
Pusher Arm Technique:
The pusher arm approach must only be used on structures that are less than 15 metres tall. It is usually a hydraulically powered pusher arm machine mounted on a tracked or wheeled chassis. This method is appropriate for minor brick structures.
At all times the machine should be stable and on level ground, with the pusher arm moving in a controlled manner to provide force.
Thermic Lace Technique
This method melts the reinforcing of concrete structures with ease. It’s the best tool for cutting concrete, special steel, cast steel, pig iron, slag, and refractory materials. The apparatus requires simply oxygen gas as a source of heat.
It requires proper planning and PPE for protection.
Hydrodemolition or Pressure Jetting
High-pressure water jetting is a precise and quiet alternative to conventional jackhammers, to cut and remove concrete slabs, beams, columns and similar hard surfaces.
Concrete Sawing Method
The structure is demolished with the help of a Large concrete saw blade, which works on a high power source and allows for quick demolition. This large cutting machine is operated by trained professionals and is widely used in India.
It can do precise cuttings of the concrete structure which helps in renovation projects. Unlike other methods, it will not disturb the surrounding areas or cause cracks.
Expanding Grout method or Non-explosive Demolition
At the area of separation which is pre-planned several holes are drilled with a power drill. Then the hole is filled with self-expanding slurry. a special material that normally expands upon contact with water. The expanded grout causes cracking on the structures and helps in the demolition process.
It is the most suitable method to use in environmentally sensitive areas. With the use of the above method noise, vibration and flying rocks from blasting, human discomfort, and structural damage caused by air blast pressure can be avoided.
The building’s supporting framework is destroyed at a critical point, by which the structure becomes unstable and crumbles down. Once the building falls to the ground it is easy to break down into smaller pieces using hydraulic jacks.
This implosion is achieved by using high-power explosives strapped to the strategic point on the structure of the building.
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