In prior decades, demolition was as simple as calling a contractor, getting an estimate, tearing down the building and removing the debris. Today, there are many concerns over the environmental impact of demolition projects.
Often times the material in the debris contains PCB’s, asbestos, lead and other hazardous materials. The handling of hazardous materials that remains in the facility from prior operations, along with the potential for ‘in the ground’ environmental toxins from spills at or around the facility drive much of the cost of a demolition projects. This has caused many projects to be channeled through facility management teams, or directly via the environmental, health, and safety departments to draw on the collective expertise regarding environmental issues that occur in any demolition project.
While these departments are more capable of responding to the environmental impacts, they don’t have the expertise or staff necessary to coordinate and manage the demolition. Having worked on many demolition projects with all of these considerations in mind, here are some recommendations for planning and handling them:
- Develop high-level budget estimates for each project – if external pressures come into play (fires or other accidents, local political pressure, M&A activity, etc.), you will be prepared to move quickly.
- Establish a clear list of priority projects so that when the budget becomes available you are ready to move.
- Any delay once a project is underway due to unplanned environmental issues is extremely costly, and improper or inefficient disposal of hazardous materials can mean fines or wasted costs. Be assured, we have the experience and expertise to handle environmental issues as your partner for the projects.
- Contingency planning is a must. It’s an essential part for any demolition project where unforeseen difficulties could arise. Contingency costs can be estimated based on predicting the probability of an issue as well as analyzing the associated costs on past projects. We work closely with your team to develop planning to that end.
- Work contingences are also a factor. These include delays or deviations from the original project because of developments not originally planned. Similar to a financial contingency plan, a work contingency plan could compensate for potential delays.
It goes without saying that any demolition project comes with safety risks. Not only in the actual take down of the structure, but also the environmental hazards that could be in place. We regard the safety of your employees, as well as ours, very highly. Because of that, we will make sure that all necessary studies have been done, that the demolition will be carried out properly, and that the removal of hazardous materials will be done safety and effectively.