With a growing emphasis on environmentally friendly solutions, virtually every industry has been looking for ways to become greener. While the construction industry is obviously focused on how buildings go up, they are paying more attention to how they come down as well. When faced with the need for a structure to come down, building deconstruction is the environmentally friendly way to remove an old structure.
The difference between demolition and deconstruction is considerable; while demolition – using a backhoe to knock a building down and pile it into containers to go to a landfill may seem like the easy way – deconstruction is concerned with recycling and reusing materials to minimize the impact upon the environment.
Demolition doesn’t necessarily require the destruction of an entire structure, but it involves tearing down walls, ripping up floors, and destroying materials that result in large amounts of dust and debris. There may also be several hazardous materials and chemicals released that can present a danger to not only the construction crews, but everyone in the general vicinity. For this reason, demolitions in or near residential or populated areas require a great deal of care and consideration.
Home construction and remodelling projects produce a tremendous amount of demolition waste, much of it coming from full-house teardowns. Recycling and reusing materials from these projects would provide tremendous benefit by diverting several tons of waste from landfills.
Much of the waste produced during demolition consists of hazardous materials that could become eligible for recycling or reuse if appropriate eco-friendly means are employed. Instead, they tend to be lost to demolition.
Today, small homes are often demolished and replaced with larger ones, making the need for recycling imperative to avoid the depletion of resources that must be extracted for construction. Older homes also often contain asbestos, which must be removed and safely disposed of properly. Reusing and recycling whenever possible helps prevent needless waste of natural resources. Deconstruction allows for this, whereas demolition prevents it.
Materials can be recycled multiple times. significantly reducing the environmental impact of construction projects. Deconstruction allows for door frames, wiring, and even screws to be recycled. In fact, an average of 60% of a house can be reused and recycled. In some cases, that climbs as high as 75% or more, demonstrating the considerable benefit that deconstruction provides.
In addition to the reduction in solid waste, deconstruction also reduces gas emissions, limiting the use of landfills and incinerators. It helps to guide the construction and demolition industry away from wasteful and hazardous patterns of disposal that result in considerable pollution, while also helping to preserve natural resources and limit pollutants in the air, water, and ground that come from extracting and processing raw materials.
Deconstruction offers us the opportunity to reduce waste, consume less energy, produce fewer greenhouse gasses, and more. It is the environmentally friendly way to remove a building and work toward a cleaner, greener future.
If you have a building that needs to be de-constructed and you want to do it in a more environmentally friendly way, please contact Progressive Environmental. We can discuss your options and priorities and provide a competitive quote for you.