Save Money (and the World) with Selective Demolition

Save Money with Selective Demolition

Your wallet, town, and planet will thank you

You’ve been hired to give that home or business a much-needed fix. Need to widen the entryway? Turn that abandoned industrial plant into a new school? Take care of overdue asbestos or lead removal? Don’t bring out the wrecking ball just yet. Consider selective demolition as an alternative.

Also known as interior demolition or deconstruction, selective demolition involves dismantling specific parts of a structurally-sound building or complex, often with the use of specialized equipment, rather than knock the facility down completely. This is most often useful when building owners or managers need to update the interior (remove a stairwell, put down a new flooring, rework the wiring or piping) or modify its exterior (add a terminal to an airport, preserve historic features, retrofit for seismic activity).

Eighty-five to 90 percent of a house (on average) can be recycled or repurposed, including flooring, appliances, toilets, and roofing. The few exceptions are broken marble or ceramic tile, drywall, or rotted materials. If it’s the right fit for your project, selective demolition may provide valuable benefits to your bottom line, your community, and the planet.

It can save you (and your clients) money

While there may be more up-front costs to your client when deconstructing a property, the potential tax savings from donated materials often far outweigh them, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

Your client will likely bring on a deconstruction appraiser to determine what is salvageable and assist with the valuation of materials. The appraiser will also help prepare the appropriate tax paperwork and be a resource for potential non-profit recipients of the donations and for the IRS, should they have any questions.

Your bottom line can benefit as well. In addition to using fewer supplies, selective demolition often yields leftover raw materials which can be reused on your next job, reducing costs on future projects.

In short, deconstruction can turn a liability into a real asset. Construction companies and homeowners would be wise to consider it or risk leaving money on the table.

It can help your community

Selective demolition has many benefits that transcend your individual project and can reach out into the surrounding community.

  • It can be a valuable tool in historic preservation, from pillars of old-growth wood to rare fixtures, or even spaces with key historical context. Retaining key architectural elements of a building that would be lost in total demolition sends a powerful message to long-time neighborhood residents who value their past as well as their future.
  • Raw materials that may look like leftovers in your space may be gold to local schools, low-income housing units, artists, or area non-profits, all of which may be strapped for cash to purchase new materials for projects or much-needed upgrades. Furniture makers are always on the hunt for after-market wood, and lumber is often in demand for raised plant beds in schools and other community buildings. Recycling these materials back into your area at low or no cost helps neighbors in need and demonstrates your commitment to the community.
  • Deconstruction often requires more labor than traditional demolition and increases the likelihood that you will need to hire new workers. Those new recruits will need specialized training and will learn valuable, lifelong skills in the “green job” economy.

It can help the environment

Perhaps most important, selective demolition can help preserve the natural world by cutting down on waste, maximizing efficiency, and reducing your project’s carbon footprint. With construction waste expected to double by 2025, this benefit is more crucial than ever.

A reduction in waste output can also bring down the greenhouse gas emissions given off by landfill incinerators. Less trash in landfills reduces the amount of space needed for them, causing less dust in the air and a decrease in contaminated groundwater. In addition, the reuse of materials from previous projects brings down the need for newly manufactured materials, energy consumption, and the amount of fuel needed to ship those new supplies. Finally, when we produce less waste, we need fewer facilities that dispose of it.

The Sherpa solution

Considering selective demolition for your next project? The Sherpa ECO and Sherpa EHD are small, compact options that make deconstruction safe and easy. They are the battery-powered, fume-free, little engines that could. Our cost savings calculator can show how fast a Sherpa battery-powered mini skid steer can pay for itself and contribute to your bottom line. Contact us for more info.

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