Before a building is demolished, a process called deconstruction must be carried out in order to remove all architectural and structural elements of the property and salvage any materials which can be re-used.
Deconstruction involves disassembling a building in order to recover the maximum amount of materials for their best possible reusability. It combines the retrieval of both quality and quantity of reusable and recyclable materials.
This aims to lower the amount of demolition debris going to landfills and deliver low-cost building materials to a community which may otherwise find the cost far too expensive.
Ideally, re-use is the preferred outcome as it requires less energy, raw materials and pollution than recycling in order to continue the life of the material. Deconstruction means there are many opportunities for recycling other materials during the process.
The benefits of reusing and recycling building materials during deconstruction include:
- Overall costs of building removals is reduced
- Provides lower cost building materials to the community
- Job creation within the community and economic development
- Protects the natural environment by reducing the need for the extraction of new resources
- Extends the life of landfills
The main factors to consider during deconstruction are safety, materials and site clearance. First and foremost is safety and ensuring all construction and environmental health and safety regulations and processes are followed to avoid any risk of injuries.
The first step to preventative safety is to meticulously check that any trace of asbestos has been removed from the building and that any possible biological hazards have been dealt with. Temporary building components must be completely safe and able to support the weight of the workers – they must not show any dangerous signs of collapsing wherever the workers may be present.
Any stabilising of sites must be completed before deconstruction takes place and as needed during the process.
All workers must follow the relevant health and safety protocol to the letter and make sure there is constant, clear communication between all site personnel to avoid any possible associated risks.
The environment can pose immediate hazards within the site, with weather playing a significant role in raising the probability of an accident occurring. Rain and excessively wet conditions must mean that no work takes place as there is a much higher risk of injury.
Extremely hot and/or humid conditions and lack of ventilation can lead to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, so it is essential to make sure all workers a drinking plenty of water during the day and try to remain in the shade as much as possible. It is also important not to overwork personnel to the point that they might make major mistakes.
As part of the thorough safety procedures that must be undertaken at every site, the correct supervision must be carried out so workers know how to spot hazards and what to do with them, communicating instructions in a safe manner.
All relevant training must be conducted, with refresher courses for existing workers and informative sessions for all new staff. Detailed training must also be provided for each fresh task and additional pieces of equipment.
Tools and Equipment
All workers must have the correct tools for the task at hand and must be fully trained in using these tools appropriately. The proper equipment must include:
- Grounding for electrical generators
- Harnesses for fall protection
- Warning tape
- Safety glasses
- Medical tape
- Steel-toed boots
- First aid kit
- Ear plugs
- Fire extinguishers
- Particle filter masks and half mask respirators
Tools such as these guarantee high level safety and the recovery of the maximum amount of reusable materials in a cost-effective way.
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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.