How to Avoid Negative Impact on Environment While Demolishing a House
By Lara Buck
The process of demolishing a house or any building involves the creation of a large amount of waste and dust pollution. Such a process impacts the environment largely due to the pollutants produced. With over 170 million tons of debris generated in 2003 during the construction of buildings in the US alone, this is becoming a rising concern, and steps are being taken to mitigate it. With tons of waste materials such as plastics, concrete, wood, bricks, and so on generated during a house’s demolition, not only the air and land is affected, but it leads to noise and vibration pollution as well. There are various ways and methods being adopted to steer clear of this environmental impact of the demolition process.
Areas of environmental pollution to be avoided during demolition process
In order to follow a sustainable process of demolition with the least negative impact on the environment, the following methods are to be followed by demolition companies:
- Land Pollution
Land pollution is a common problem during a demolition process wherein not only debris is dumped into the adjoining land, but the topography is reshaped which leads to soil erosion leading to other airborne and dust problems. Companies can avoid this by minimizing the clearing of land with erodible soil and revegetate the affected land. Also, the debris and other resultant waste should be immediately removed to areas earmarked for holding such waste instead of dumping it or allow to be strewn near the demolition area.
- Air Pollution
One of the most common by-affects of a demolition process is the air pollution caused by the dust floating around. This dust produced by the dumped debris can lead to various respiratory problems, infections, and trigger allergies. To avoid this from happening, mechanical method to demolish the house rather than explosive method is recommended. Burning of waste materials should also be avoided. Also, water sprays should be used in the area during the process of demolition and after it to prevent dust from lifting. Wind fences should be installed to prevent the dust from spreading.
- Noise and Vibration
Noise pollution is an inevitable fallout of explosive demolition as it disturbs the adjoining residents and offices. To minimize noise pollution, workers should get the permitted times of operation from the neighboring residents and businesses and work accordingly. They can also use noise preventive barriers and equipment’s which muffles noise. You should make arrangements to evacuate the residents and offices in the immediate neighborhood during explosive demolition and for a period of a couple of hours to allow the dust to settle.
- Waste Produced
The demolition process also produces a lot of waste and debris which should be handled per local environmental laws. It is advised to not only try to reduce the waste, but also reuse and recycle the produced waste effectively and efficiently.
These are some of the major points to be borne in mind by the companies and workers undertaking the demolition process. While these are the steps to be followed during and after the process of demolition, it is important to take some precautions involving planning and assessment before beginning of the process as well. Before starting the demolishing process, it is recommended to assess the environment around the area which may be vulnerable to damage first and then plan and design an effective method of house demolition. This not only helps reduce pollution during the process of demolition, but is also a cost-effective approach as the waste management process can be significantly reduced. It is also recommended to go for an experienced and reputable company for the process as they would know better about how to minimize the negative effect on the environment.