Demolition or Deconstruction? Which Is Right For You?

Demolition or Deconstruction – what exactly is the difference between these two terms?

Buildings and homes are demolished for a variety of reasons. Demolition is often seen as a quick and easy way to clear a site for new construction. Homeowners may choose to demolish a home rather than renovate if it seems cost-effective or time-effective. It isn’t necessarily the best option, however, considering that much of the material unnecessarily ends up in the Metro Vancouver Landfill or other local Disposal or transfer locations.

The other option would be deconstruction. As the name implies, deconstruction is focused on taking a building apart rather than simply knocking it down, and there are two primary ways to do this. The first method is selective deconstruction. This method involves removing high-value materials prior to demolition. This might include lighting fixtures, panelled interior doors, finish materials, and even appliances. Not only does removing these materials save them from going to the landfill, doing so reduces disposal costs.

The other type of deconstruction is whole-house deconstruction which includes salvaging the same materials as selective deconstruction but goes a step further by reclaiming other materials used in the structure, such as framing lumber and even bricks. Some experts say that as much as 90% of a home might be salvageable for re-use and recycling, representing a significant amount of material being diverted from landfills.

When demolishing or deconstructing a building, a Hazmat report must first be completed. This is to determine whether materials contain any hazardous waste which must be removed prior to or as part of the demolition or deconstruction taking place. Some hazardous materials that you might encounter in your home include asbestos and lead, which were often used in older homes, offices, and industrial buildings.

Asbestos is dangerous when inhaled or digested, becoming permanently trapped in the body where it might cause inflammation and scarring. It causes a type of cancer called mesothelioma, as well as other cancers and progressive lung disease. Lead poisoning can cause several health issues, and at high enough levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

Many homeowners today enjoy Do-It-Yourself projects and might be tempted to handle some or even all of the deconstruction process themselves prior to demolishing their home, but this is a prime example of a project that is best left to professionals. Deconstruction means that you will be dealing with more materials by hand, and hazardous materials require proper safety gear to deal with them properly.

Although deconstruction may cost you more than demolition in terms of time and money, it’s worth noting that materials salvaged during deconstruction can be used again, resold, or donated to non-profit organizations for resale or use in future community projects. These count as charitable donations and are thus eligible for tax deductions. This could result in you saving money, even if your initial expense is higher.

Deconstruction is an excellent alternative to demolition, as it not only helps to preserve the environment but might help your wallet as well. As experts in dealing with hazardous materials, we can safely remove and dispose of all materials, including hazardous materials. This allows your project to proceed safely and without worry. Call Progressive Environmental Today!