Contrary to popular belief the demolition process is far bigger than just blowing up stuff. Ok, yes you get to destroy buildings but the process of demolishing something is far more science than explosive chaos.
But let’s back up a bit.
See, if you were to get hold of a sledgehammer and started taking out a few walls around the home would be easy.
If you have a friend who has a wrecking ball laying around and a few excavators, knocking over a five-story building is tricky and requires some prior knowledge, yet it is not too difficult. However, if you needed to remove a massive 20-story skyscraper or something even larger, you are going to need to bring in a true explosive demolition expert.
Explosive demolition tends to be a great method for safely and efficiently demolishing larger structures. Yet, it goes much deeper than that.
Think about it.
If you have a massive building surrounded by other buildings you need to find means to properly implode the building. Nevertheless, a great demolition expert needs to understand all these methods and when to use them
Today, let's learn what it takes to be a demolition expert and also gain some insight behind the science of the demolition process.
It was probably instinctual as a child. You probably like building things up only to destroy them later. Demolition itself is a very exciting aspect of construction work. In short, demolition is the process of dismantling a building by pre-planned or controlled methods; involving highly trained experts working with debris, weather conditions, materials, mass, and physics.
If this sounds like something you would be greatly interested in. We have some great news for you. According to Big Rentz, demolition related jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 3.3% through 2022. Now how do you know if you are ready for demolition work?
Well, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) you cannot just show up with a ton of explosives looking to blow up something.
Should I Become a Demolition Expert?
O*NET Online recommends you have good critical thinking skills and judgment, with the ability to make the most appropriate decision in a professional setting. As expected, you need to be able to effectively solve complex problems as well as have effective communication skills. Going even further you need to have great manual dexterity and good vision.
Hand-arm steadiness is also a requirement for the setting of charges and the performing of other basic functions of the job. And of course, you need to be able to work under pressure as demolition work can be highly stressful.
Training will be required for this job. Demolition experts have been known to have at least a high school education with workers also having a post-secondary certificate, and of course, an engineering degree is a huge plus. Those who learn the trade in the military complete standard military training and then receive 39 weeks of specialized training. Some cities require a certification or license.
The Science of Demolishing a Building
Demolishing a building is an important part of our communities. The process of demolishing a building requires comprehensive planning and the right tools for it. First, let’s breakdown the pre-demolition process.
Each demolition process is customized for each project, yet the demolition process tends to be the same. First, there is a building survey. Experts thoroughly explore the different aspects of a building such as the materials building usage, method of construction, condition, draining conditions, traffic conditions, building codes, and neighboring communities. This information dictates how the building will be destroyed.
Next, the hazardous and dangerous materials are removed from the building prior to demolition. Some of these materials include asbestos minerals, radioactive substances, flammable materials, and petroleum contamination.
Using all this information the experts come up with a well-detailed demolition plan that usually entails how it will be carried out, the equipment that will be used, and how much debris they will need to clean up.
Finally and most importantly the right safety measures are put into place to ensure the process is safe.
Destroying a Building
This is what you have probably been waiting for. Though implosions are epic and look amazing, implosions are used in less than 1% of demolition projects. For the uninitiated, implosions are the process of using explosives to knock out a building’s main supports, causing the building to collapse from the inside out.
Usually led by “blasters” or implosion experts, various precautions and preparations are taken to ensure the building is properly destroyed. First, blasters take the time to properly study the blueprints of the building to determine which areas need to be blasted.
Next, the site is prepared. Experts take out the non-load-bearing walls, weakening supporting columns, and wrapping columns with fencing for a cleaner fall with less flying debris. Then the right explosives are selected for the task. Finally, the explosives are loaded into the right places and are set for detonation.
Other Popular Demolition Methods
To tackle smaller buildings like homes and offices and excavator is the perfect tool for the job. Even more so, buildings over 60 feet tall made from materials like masonry, concrete, and steel, require what is called a high reach excavator. This form of demolition is considered a cleaner, safer way to dismantle structures due to the fact that there are much less debris, dust, noise, and risks to the operators.
You have seen the wrecking ball at some point in your life, it is the poster child for demolition. Weighing in at 12,000 pounds, the wrecking ball is made of steel and suspended on a crane. The massive ball is able to take down just about anything in its path including an entire building, just from its momentum alone.
Finally, selective demolition is another means of taking down a building. A more eco-friendly method of demolition. Selective demolition removes specific sections of a building while retaining the structure rather than destroying it in one single blow.
Each demolition method serves many purposes and gives demolition experts plenty of options. As an expert, your demolition will be a crucial part of the cyclical nature of cities.
Are you interested in becoming a demolition expert?