Environmental Stewardship and Industrial Demolition

Environmental stewardship is the conservation of our natural environment through sustainable practices. In the last few decades, industry after industry has adapted its procedures to better practice environmental stewardship. The industrial demolition industry is no exception. Today we’re taking a look at environmental stewardship in the demolition industry.

Industrial Demolition: Environmental Stewardship Practices

1. Recycling as Much Debris as Possible. Demolition contractors handle a huge portion of our country’s waste stream. Environmentally responsible demolition contractors look to recycle as much as possible from a demolition site. As examples, concrete may be broken down into small chunks for fill. Rebar and other metal elements may be scrapped. And building fixtures may be carefully removed and reused in a new capacity. Overall, the National Demolition Association reports, contractors recycle about 75% of the 115 million tons of demolition debris that America generates each year.

2. Environmental Remediation. Particularly when taking down industrial structures, demolition contractors prioritize returning the site to a natural state. This involves the specialized removal of hazardous materials, such as lead, from demolition sites. Because state and federal regulations dictate proper cleanup of hazardous elements, demolition firms often employ engineers, technical managers, and HAZMAT-trained laborers who are educated in how to safely remove dangerous materials.

3. Salvaging Architectural Elements, often through Deconstruction. From individual fixtures to whole buildings, today’s eco-conscious demolition contractors are experts at reusing architectural components. For instance, rather than tearing out old flooring willy-nilly, demolition experts may remove it piece by piece, for salvage reuse and sale. Some contractors are calling this methodological approach “deconstruction,” to distinguish it as more time-consuming and labor intensive than traditional demolition.

Industrial demolition, Portland OR to Portland ME, now includes environmental stewardship. There is a natural incentive for demolition contractors to adopt the earth-friendly practices described above. In addition to environmental regulations set by governmental agencies, industrial demolition contractors are motivated to salvage and sell as much as possible, offsetting demolition costs for clients.

[photo by: PEO ACWA on Flickr via CC License]

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