Types of Demolition

Types of Demolition

Certainly, everyone has seen buildings being demolished, even if televised. Whether you have seen it on television or witnessed it yourself, it’s quite an amazing spectacle to watch. It takes proper planning and powerful equipment to be able to bring a whole building down. However, as you may have wondered, there are different types of demolition methods. The method to be used can be determined by the budget of the project, the location of the building subject to demolition and the size of the building. Demolishing a one-story house is a lot different than demolishing a 40-story building.

Mechanical Demolition

When it comes to mechanical demolition, the contractor first has to find the easiest way of bringing the building down. The label mechanical refers to the use of heavy machinery. This can include any or all of the following:


  • Cranes
  • Rams
  • Excavators
  • Bulldozers

They are used to knock down homes and buildings of small and medium size. When it comes to large buildings, contractors are still able to implement mechanical demolition, but they must use wrecking balls in order to bring the whole structure down. As you may have seen in the past, wrecking balls are humongous heavyweight balls that are swung using enormous cranes.  The main goal of a mechanical demolition is to break the structure into smaller pieces. This type of demolition is usually combined with undermining, which removes supporting pillars in order to make the building collapse easier.


One of the most powerful demolition procedures is the one that involves an implosion. It involves placing explosives in certain areas of the building. Of course, these spots are carefully picked beforehand by the project coordinator or director. Once the explosives are all set and securely positioned, the detonation button can be hit to allow the implosion to bring the whole building down. It’s similar to undermining, but a lot more powerful because its purpose is to bring the structure down in one take. This technique is not only used to demolish buildings but also to collapse the following structures:


  • Tunnels
  • Bridges
  • Towers
  • Smokestacks

Even though the term ‘implosion’ sounds as if it was the opposite of explosion, the name has been incorrectly used for years and people have grown accustomed to its new meaning.

Deconstruction is Green Demolition

A fairly new technique, known as deconstruction, has become extremely popular during the last few years. The reason behind this is that it’s starting to get known as “green demolition”, thereby making it a lot more appealing since it sounds eco-friendly. As the word itself suggests, deconstruction is in lay terms the opposite of construction. It involves a careful processing of dismantling a structure, first by setting aside everything that can be recycled or reused. The process, of course, is a lot slower than any other demolition technique. The main goal of using this technique is to protect the environment by minimizing the waste that will be eventually taken to the landfills and reusing some of the materials.