What would happen if we didn’t demolish any more buildings?

8th September 2022 by ProDEM

With several architects saying that structures should be protected rather than knocked down, many people are wondering “What would happen if we didn’t demolish any more buildings?” Read on to find out more. 

What are architects saying about demolitions?

Many architects are saying that structures should be protected since this can help to fight climate change. They are widely in agreement that property owners should opt to upgrade draughty buildings rather than simply knock them down. The reason for this is that large amounts of carbon are emitted when steel, cement and bricks are created for new buildings. In the past, many believed it was more eco-friendly to demolish an old building due to the amount of energy it used. However, this is now considered a mistake due to the quantities of carbon used during the construction process. A considerable amount of waste is created when demolishing a building too, which can lead to climate change and air pollution. 

How much carbon is used when constructing a building?

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) estimates that as much as 51% of the lifecycle carbon from the development of residential premises is emitted before it’s even ready to be lived in. It says the figure for an office building is 35%. If these calculations are correct, it can be decades before new buildings pay their carbon debt by saving more emissions than they created. Since carbon production must be reduced in order to protect the environment, it’s important that buildings are protected wherever possible.

How much waste is produced when demolishing a building? 

Demolishing a building produces large quantities of waste, ensuring it has a detrimental effect on the environment. Demolition waste includes varied mixtures of building materials, including aggregates, concrete, metal, wood, paper, insulation, and glass, much of which is likely to be contaminated with paints, adhesives, fasteners, insulation, wall coverings, and dirt. The composition and quantity of demolition waste depend on a variety of factors, including the type of structure being demolished, the type of building materials used, and the age of the structure being demolished.

When do buildings need to be demolished?

Even though we know what would happen if we didn’t demolish any more buildings, sometimes demolition is unavoidable. No matter how much maintenance work you carry out on an old building, it simply needs knocking down in order to make way for a new, safer building. Perhaps its structure is disintegrating or it’s riddled with violations. If so, the owner really needs to start thinking about demolishing the building for safety reasons. Here are some signs that a building should be demolished. 

360 Excavator hire in NottinghamDemolition in Nottingham

It’s interesting to think about what would happen if we didn’t demolish any more buildings. However, it’s often unavoidable. If you require demolition in Nottingham, look no further than ProDEM. We’ve been carrying out demolition work in the area for over 60 years, building a great reputation for our services. We can undertake demolition projects of all types and sizes, catering to a wide range of needs and budgets. Whether you need high-reach demolition, soft strip-outs, or refurbishment projects, we can assist. We aim to carry out our work in the most eco-friendly manner possible, removing hazardous materials safely and recycling as much waste as we can.

Eco-friendly demolition services 

At ProDEM, we pride ourselves on our green credentials. We aim to carry out demolition work in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. To reduce the environmental impact of our work, we use a re-use, recycle and recover approach. This means we retrieve as many valuable materials as we can, ensuring that they can be used again. Many aggregate materials can be recycled, including sand, gravel, granite, and concrete ballasts. Rather than sending them to a landfill, they can be turned into reusable materials.

What can be recycled?

Many materials can be recycled during a demolition project. For example, wires from buildings are often made from items that can be reused for other projects. These can include steel, silver alloy, copper, gold and aluminium and copper. Since there’s rising demand for recycled wire, it shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who wants your recycled wiring. Demolition projects can create large quantities of scrap metal too. The Environmental Agency has set guidelines for treating scrap metal as a recyclable material rather than as waste. Not all the materials generated during a demolition project can be recycled. For example, wood that’s been damaged by water may not be able to be reused. 

Contact us 

If you require demolition in Nottingham, get in touch with ProDEM today. We can provide 

professional and affordable demolition services in your area. Call us on 0115 775 0307 to discuss your requirements with one of our team. Alternatively, feel free to send us a message via our website and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.