Demolition: Achieving a Reclamation led approach – Part 1

27th April 2016 by ProDEM

With increasing concern on the impact landfill sites have on the environment, reclaiming and recycling items has never been more important. An estimated 90 million tonnes of waste are produced by the construction and demolition industry in the UK each year, with approximately 69% of this recycled or reused.



Here at ProDem, our teams firmly believe in a reclamation led approach to demolition projects, focusing our planning of each project with materials that could be re-used as a priority. There are many benefits to reclamation, including cutting carbon emissions, saving money, reducing the demand for new products to be manufactured, and reducing the amount of virgin materials that need to be sourced for other construction sites.

In order for both clients and contractors to work together on a demolition project with a reclamation led approach, the following factors should be considered and planned for:

Reclamation surveys provide the opportunity to identify any materials that can be reclaimed. The survey can be conducted whilst the building is still in use, and is a non-intrusive, visual examination of aspects of the building. These surveys should ideally be carried out as early as possible, so that an inventory of materials to be reclaimed can be produced, detailed with photos, measurements and descriptions.

Reclamation surveys can be extremely useful to influencing how a project is organised, with certain structures chosen to be dismantled first based on how much can be reclaimed.

Pre-demolition audits will verify all the materials that are due to be demolished, not just the materials that are reclaimable. This process is more in-depth than a survey, and as such is normally carried out once the building is empty so that all materials can be categorized into reclaimable, hazardous, and landfill materials.

A reclamation led approach to demolition should fit the additional time it will take to identify materials that can be reclaimed, and for those items to actually be reclaimed throughout the work into their timeline. Whilst many projects are rushed through as quickly as possible to minimise costs, the benefits of reclamation are often unknown, and can even save clients money in the long term by opting to re-use materials on site.

A reclamation led project should also ensure that suitable space has been made for reclaimed items to be stored. This could be provided either on or off site, but if stored away from the demolition site then additional transport must also be planned for.



We’re committed to ensuring that as many items are reclaimed or recycled as possible in all of demolition projects here at ProDEM, offering customers throughout the Midlands region affordable building materials to reuse as a result.

To discuss your demolition project, or if you’re looking for affordable building materials for your site, simply contact the friendly team at ProDEM today and we’ll be more than happy to help you.