When most people think of contractors, they think of builders. True, we do a lot of building, expanding, and renovating, but we also do some tearing down, too.
Some people are surprised to hear that our services would be needed for demolition projects. But demolition is more than “boom, done!”—it’s actually quite complex. Demolishing or even closing down a space requires a great deal of project management and organization, which is what we do as the general contractor.
When we’re doing a demolition in a building occupied by other tenants, we must coordinate extensively with adjacent businesses and residents, as well as with the building’s security personnel, to keep the project moving forward. It’s really not so different from any construction project.
Here’s what demolition typically involves:
When we’re closing down a space…
After a business closes or moves, the owner can’t just walk away from its space. For starters, there’s equipment and signage to remove—we call this “de-imaging” or “de-identifying.” This has to happen fairly quickly; it doesn’t reflect well on the owner’s brand to have a sign on a vacant space.
Sometimes equipment and signs will be used in a different location, so removing them requires much precision and care. Shutting down a space also requires disconnecting services like electrical and plumbing. There may also be lease language describing the condition that the space must be in when returned back to the landlord, which may necessitate other work.
When we’re demolishing a building…
Then there are the true demolition projects—the ones that require dropping a building to the ground. This is a major undertaking. Often times, it may involve demolishing a building located in the parking lot of a major retail complex, or on a busy corner lot.
In addition to dismantling the building, our team must fence off the area, safely disconnect utilities, keep dust under control, and properly dispose of debris. Through it all, we’re coordinating with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and other agencies to make sure we handle hazardous substances in compliance with applicable regulations.
BOOM! And so much more
While not as sexy as building, demolition deserves plenty of attention. Just like construction, it requires many steps and many people in order to be successful. So, the next time you see a building coming down, remember— the work involved in the process isn’t that different than what’s going up.