Why Soft Strip & Building Derating is Good for the Environment
Building derating is the most environmentally sustainable service that a demolition team can offer. Known as ‘soft stripping’, building derating is a form of deconstruction where crews ‘harvest’ reusable materials and leave a building’s structural framework intact.
Following this method, an outdated, but structurally sound building is stripped back to its foundations, walls and floors, and is left as a blank canvas for top-down regeneration. It is an exciting part of a building’s life cycle that greatly reduces waste in the construction and demolition industry.
A mountain of material can be salvaged from a derelict building. Tonnes of timber, metals and plastics make up the internals of any structure and by selectively dismantling, crews can consider each component for its recycling potential. To give an idea of what ProDem must remove during a building derating, here is a list of the most common materials that can be recycled in most cases:
Fixtures and fittings
- Bathroom fittings
- Doors/ door frames
- Kitchen units
- Skirting boards
- False ceilings
- Non-load-bearing walls
- Partitions (breeze block, stud and brick)
Mechanical and electrical (M&E)
- Air conditioning units and ducts
- Central heating units and conventional boilers
A building that reaches the end of its useful life is a vast resource of recyclable material. On average, 95% of materials salvaged from building derating can be reprocessed for use in new construction projects. Recycling means fewer virgin materials are required, thus decreasing the carbon footprint of a new development.
Further reductions in emissions are achieved because recycled materials are not decomposing in landfill, where they would otherwise release large quantities of methane gas.
Soft stripping has other less obvious benefits, such as its economic impact. It is more labour-intensive than outright demolition and for every worker required for demolition, there are typically 3-6 workers employed for deconstruction.
The additional labour costs and turnaround times appear to be drawbacks to the uninformed client, but costs for building derating can be entirely recovered.
Here is a list of hidden savings:
- Reclaimed materials can be sold
- Savings can be made by reusing materials on site
- Income tax write-offs can be agreed by donating materials
- Transportation costs are reduced by reusing materials
- Fees for building waste disposal are significantly decreased
Building derating is becoming popular as the world becomes increasingly environmentally conscious. It surprises clients that investments in time and labour can be cost effective and will minimise construction waste that accounts for 20% of the ‘solid waste stream’.
Giving materials a second life by directing them back into construction is the best strategy for eco-friendly demolition and building. Everyone has to do their bit to protect the planet from unnecessary waste and it’s not often thought that big business can fly the eco-friendly flag.
But the opposite is true; reputable demolition companies are proud of their green credentials and will always invest time and energy into implementing and improving practices like building derating and soft stripping.
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ProDEM are proud to be one of the best demolition contractors Nottingham has to offer. We take every precaution to ensure that any demolition project we undertake, large or small, is performed to the strictest standards of safety and efficiency.
Our highly trained, experienced team work professionally at all times so if you need safe, effective and affordable demolition work carried out, get in touch with the friendly team at ProDEM today.