Is there such a thing as “green demolition”?
A high-rise construction boom in Japan during the 1960s and ’70s has
resulted in a large amount of aging towers. Building owners have an
interest in demolishing the old structures to replace them with more
modern, safe, and work-friendly building, but there are several issues
to address in this process.
The Taisei Corporation,
a Japanese construction company, has developed a way to demolish high
rise buildings over 100 meters in a more ecological, quieter, and
healthy way, rendering wrecking balls a thing of the past.
Termed the Ecological Reproduction System, the disassembly process works
from the inside out, in an enclosed space as opposed to traditional
methods which work with an open roof.
After all of the reusable and recyclable materials are removed from the
building, the company attaches a structure with cranes and steel beams
around the top floor, fitting snugly like a cap. Then, demolition crews
begin cutting holes in each floor, providing an open shaft all the way
to the foundation.
From there, the highest floor and the supporting walls are then
dismantled systematically, piece by piece, and winched down the interior
shaft. After each floor is removed, hydraulic jacks slowly lower the
cap structure to the next floor and the process is repeated all the way
to the ground in a matter of months.
What the Tecorep method loses in speed and spectacle, it gains in better
safety and cost reductions, Taisei says, as well as other benefits such
as noise abatement by 17 to 23 decibels and 90 percent dust reduction.”This revolutionary new system enables systematic disassembly of
high-rise buildings and allows reuse of the disassembled construction
materials. In addition, the energy generated by lowering materials to
ground level is used to offset overall CO2 emissions,” the Taisei
Corporation explains on their website.
The movement of the crane generates energy, which can then be harnessed
to power lights and other equipment. The other added benefit is that
because the demolition is being done in an enclosed area, weather
doesn’t become a factor, allowing for a more rapid disassembly time and
dust is contained.
If the company’s predictions about the number of high rises that Tokyo
will soon need to demolish are correct, it would explain the sudden
burst of innovation in the region from construction firms planning
Lowering The ENTIRE Building not a problem in Japan!,
Kajima Corporation, for instance, takes buildings apart floor by floor, but from the bottom not the top, as seen in th
The Kajima Corporation developed a building demolition technique that involves using hydraulic jacks to demolish a building one floor at a time.
Buildings are usually demolished by placing heavy equipment and workers
on the top floot and then lowering the waste material down to ground
The “cut and take down method” alternatively allows the workers to start
at the base and work their way up, by starting at the bottom, gutting
one floor, and then lowering the entire building on floor at a time…
all work can be performed safely at ground level.
This method is safer, and allows for a more efficient recycling process.
In the Spring of 2008, the Kajima Corporation used this technique to
demolish a 17-story and 20-story building, recycling 99% of the steel
and concrete and 92% of the interior materials in the process.