There are times when maintaining a building of historical significance is no longer worth the effort. Whilst some heritage buildings should be protected and cherished, other buildings are structurally unsound and need to be demolished. Demolishing a property of historic value can be a tough call, but sometimes it is the right choice, particularly:
- When a building is a threat to safety because of the condition (serious structural defects or weak foundation) – removing it increases safety and property values.
- If a historic building is a fire hazard, contains asbestos, or is causing other issues, then removing it is in the public’s best interest.
- If the building looks old and abandoned, having it demolished can increase the value of the properties around it.
- When the land could be used in a new way that is more beneficial for the community, for example, create a local park, a community garden, or a new high rise apartment building.
Whilst a lot of people would want to restore rather than demolish buildings of historic significance, this is not always possible. At Focus Demolition, we care about preserving the unique history of significant buildings. For this reason, when completing demolition services on – or around – a heritage-listed building, the building itself and all other elements are treated with the utmost care.
We utilise specialist machinery and tools as effectively as possible, whilst minimizing any potential damage. We also work hard to reclaim salvage value – everything from doors and windows to woodwork, fixtures and architectural accents as well as recycle demolition waste.
Why salvage construction waste from historic buildings?
Every historic building contains real salvage value for those willing to extract it. There are also multiple benefits in salvaging construction materials.
The number one reason for the popularity of salvage operations, known as resource recovery, is because asset recovery can significantly reduce demolition project costs.
Salvage items, such as good quality reusable materials including timber flooring, heritage bricks, and period architectural features can be preserved and resold, less quality items can be recycled.
If a property has been determined historic, chances are it has a history that stretches over the course of a few decades. Preserving parts of the building and rescuing valuable items helps to maintain the memory and authenticity of the building.
For example, as part of the Raine Square Development and demolition project in the Perth CBD, we managed to preserve the heritage façade of the Royal and Wentworth Hotel.
Similarly, during The Perth Treasury Building demolition and salvage stripping process, we had to ensure that windows, doors, floorboards, and even skirtings were removed without any damage.
There is also a growing trend of using construction and demolition waste to make new materials and products. For example, reclaimed wood products are very attractive these days because of their beauty and character. Many older buildings contain weathered wood products that can be processed into new products, such as new paneling or flooring.
Finally, there are obvious environmental advantages to salvaging operations. Whilst most waste can be considered household rubbish, more than a third of our waste comes from the construction and demolition industry¹. This typically includes concrete, plastics, wood, metals, timber, cardboard, asphalt, and mixed site debris. Every ton of building material that can be reused means one less ton is thrown into landfills.
Salvage and Recycle in Perth
Focus Demolition & Asbestos Removal conducts hundreds of pre-demolition strip outs each year and saves anything that can be reused or recycled.
You can help us effectively manage demolition and construction waste and turn building waste into viable resources. Most of the waste going to landfill comes from construction projects, but the good news is that much of it can be recycled at Swan Recycling construction and demolition waste yard in Perth. Common materials such as concrete, bricks, tiles sand, limestone and rubble can be reused and recycled to minimise the impact on the environment.
If you are renovating a period home or remodeling your business, or doing any kind of creative upcycling, Bibra Lake salvage should be on your visit list. You can browse all day for quality second-hand building materials ranging from tiles and timber wood to glass and assorted stainless-steel products. You will be able to find a variety of unique and period building materials such as brass display cabinets, wall mirrors, and special furniture.
¹ ABC News, “Australians create 67 million tonnes of waste each year. Here’s where it all ends up“, 2019.