Repurpose, Recycle: The Greenest Way to Demolish a House

30 October 2018
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


If your home building project requires the demolition of an existing house on the site, the actual process of demolition might not be as dramatic as you're thinking. You might have seen footage of some epic demolition projects, where the structure gracefully implodes, collapsing in on itself courtesy of some strategically placed explosives. With a residential home, the process will be more subtle, more like a deconstruction of the dwelling, with any actual demolition needing to take place carried out with tools or small machinery. If it's important that your building project is as environmentally friendly as possible, the demolition process needs to reflect this. So what can you expect from something that is designed to destroy (the demolition) while still being kind to the environment?

A Careful Dismantling

It's really about the careful dismantling of the house in order to preserve all components that can be repurposed or recycled, which is the vast material of its materials. Some of these items might be rather obvious, such as fixed appliances that can be removed and reinstalled in their entirety (some types of ovens and garbage disposal units are examples of this).


But it's not only appliances that can be repurposed in their existing form. Many types of plumbing fixtures (sinks, taps, and pipes) could conceivably be carefully removed and installed in another project (or even your own). Some types of structural fixtures (such as metal girders) can also be removed and utilised elsewhere in their existing form. This type of direct repurposing also cuts carbon emissions that would be generated if the item in question needed to be modified for another purpose. Your demolition contractors might simply warehouse the item in question so that they can be sourced by builders at a later stage when the need arises.


Many parts of an existing structure cannot be repurposed as is, and many types of wooden framework will need to be altered before they can be utilised in another project. Any offcuts can of course be recycled, as can any wooden fixtures which might be entirely unsuitable for further use. Concrete, gravel, granite and even sand will be processed into construction aggregates for future use.

So while the house demolition won't be as visually striking as you might hope, the slow and methodical dismantling of a home ensures that as many of its resources as possible are put to further use.