Viw Magazine


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A building structure is simply demolished or deconstructed due to its weakening, by normal wear and tear or even as a result of natural forces like storms, floods, fire and explosion. These buildings are not only fully deconstructed but can also be partially or fully demolished.

However, it is quite essential for the demolition contractors to fully plan, organise and conduct the construction practices in such a way that not only reduces the possibility of unexpected collapses of the building structure but also minimises the potential threats that it may cause on the environment and the health of the workers.

What do you mean by sustainable deconstruction?

Green and Sustainable deconstruction (GSD) takes the social, environmental and economic effects of the deconstruction of a building structure into consideration while carrying out a redevelopment project.

In this process, the deconstruction methods are selected and implemented to maximise the environmental benefits of the reuse and recycling of construction materials while ensuring that the costs are minimised.

Site deconstruction and demolition involves monitoring the waste generated, managing the hazardous materials and recycling the waste materials so that they can be used as a new form of resource.

Sustainable management of construction and demolition materials:

Construction and Deconstruction (C&D) materials include the debris formed during construction, renovation or demolition of a structure such as a building, road or bridge.

A Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) approach is promoted by the EPA which identifies specific C&D materials as commodities that could be used in new building projects reducing the need to mine and process unused raw materials.

Benefits of reducing the disposal of C&D materials:

Lowering the amount of C&D materials which are disposed of in the landfills can prove to be beneficial in several ways such as:

  • * Generate employment and economic activities in the recycling industry.

  • * Increases the business opportunities within the local community especially in cases where selective demolition and deconstruction methods are applied.

  • * Reduces the overall expenses on a building project due to the disposal costs and avoided purchases.

  • * Also, the transportation cost decreases due to the onsite reuse.

  • * It has the potential to reduce the associated environmental issues as a result of fewer disposal facilities.

  • * Lowers the amount of impact that is caused due to the extraction and consumption of newly produced raw materials.

Now, since we have already understood some of the benefits associated with the C&D materials, let’s have a closer look at how can we divert these materials from disposal.

How to achieve sustainability?

  • * Reduce

  • * Reuse

  • * Recycle

  • * Rebuy the C&D materials.

The C&D materials can be diverted from disposal by incorporating practices like source reduction, salvaging, recycling or reusing the existing materials and purchasing used products.

Let’s understand each of the points mentioned above:

  1. Source reduction/ reducing material use:

EPA gives the highest priority to source reduction to address the solid waste issues for reducing life-cycle material use, energy use and waste generation.

Source reduction is highly important as it prevents the waste from being generated in the very first place as compared to other measures such as reuse and recycling which can only manage the waste in a sustainable manner.

C&D source reduction includes measures like preserving the existing buildings rather than constructing new ones, ensuring that the size of the new building is optimised, designing new structures in order to increase their adaptability, facilitating the reuse of materials through different sorts of construction methods, reducing interior finishes, etc.

  1. Reusing C&D materials:

Demolishing existing buildings and disposing of the debris is not considered to be an efficient practice. Hence, recovering used but valuable C&D materials for other purposes can turn out to be an efficient way of saving money while preserving natural resources.

What materials can be reused?

The reuse of existing materials saves resources and energy and lessens the production of new materials.

Here is a list of some of the most common reused C&D materials and applications:

  • * Easy to remove objects like doors, hardware, appliances and fixtures can be used during the rebuilding process or for other purposes.

  • Wood cutoffs can be used in place of full-length lumber for cripples, lintels and blocking.

  • De-papered and crushed gypsum can be used in moderate amounts for soil amendments.

  • Excess insulation from the exterior walls can be used in the interiors for noise deadening.

  • Packaging materials can be easily reused.

Recycling C&D materials:

  • Asphalt, concrete and rubble can be recycled into aggregate or new concrete products.

  • Wood can be recycled into engineered products like furniture, composts, etc.

  • Metals such as steel, copper and brass can also be easily recycled.

Rebuying C&D materials:

Purchasing used C&D material and recycled components for use in new construction can provide the following benefits:

  • It helps to boost the local economy as the recovered items are sourced locally.

  • Reduces the cost of construction and renovations while maintaining the functions and performance of the building.

Looking for sustainable services with affordable demolition costs? Then trust our services at Merhi Group as we have a team of highly qualified contractors who would safely and efficiently perform the demolition process so that it leaves your mind at peace.


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