Building Demolition Terms

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Building Demolition Terms: Many terms are used to describe demolition concepts, methods, and objects. Following are a few of those that may be encountered in demolition planning for buildings:

Debris. Building material waste produced by demolition.

Deconstruction. The dismantling of a building from the roof down, one piece at a time. This process is most commonly used when the value of the construction materials exceeds the cost of the deconstruction (e.g., a historic structure with architectural features that will be carefully removed for reuse, refurbishment, or display).

Demolition waste. By-products (including debris) of demolition that cannot be recycled or reused (includes most wood products, drywall, and plastics).

Implosion. The use of explosives to take down total structures. Material recycling. To process and reuse building materials for another purpose (e.g.,

crushed concrete for base materials, steel and other metals for reprocessing).

Mechanical demolition. The use of mechanized tools and equipment to demolish all or part of a building structure.

Salvage value. The market or monetary value of building materials, components, and equipment at the time they are removed from a building.

Selective demolition. The removal of selected building components in a manner that avoids damage to adjacent construction.

Scrap. Construction metals suitable for reprocessing (e.g., steel, copper, etc.).

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