Blog Post: Leading From The Top Down (Demolition)

Top Down demolition is a safe, methodical and contained method of demolition.

The appeal is often the steady pace and contained activity, especially when you only have the footprint of the building to work within and especially on high rise structures in urban areas.

Therefore typically suited to tall structures with a limited footprint, it does what it says on the tin – demolishes the structure from quite literally the “top down”.

Usually, with every Top Down demolition the structure will have a full working scaffold on all elevations in order to retain access across the building and to contain any debris, dust, noise and vibration.

Following a structural survey to confirm suitable load bearing capacities, machines ranging from generally 5t upwards will be crane lifted onto the roof to begin breaking out the floor in a pre-determined sequence.

A couple of good examples for Top Down demolition was the technically challenging Port of Dover Multi Storey Car Parks and 12 storey office block Burlington House. Both required the same method however the nature of the site will always determine the most suitable and responsible execution.

The 2 adjoining Multi Storey Car Parks at the Port of Dover were situated in the middle of a live 360 degree traffic route used by freight traffic, passengers and staff. Even more interestingly, they also sat directly atop the remaining live environments containing the Passenger Terminal and Border Control. The responsibility entrusted to DDS to deliver a safe, contained and uninterrupted Top Down demolition was immense. There could be absolutely no interference of our works to the live environment surrounding and below us, and Top Down was the only and best solution. With such a limited footprint, a small processing area was created using internal debris chutes with well-orchestrated RollOn/Off Waste Removal lorries waiting below to seamlessly remove the material from site.

12 Storey Office Block Burlington House is a more straightforward example of Top Down demolition. Situated on the main A20 route in Dover, we installed a working scaffold on all elevations to safely contain dust and debris as well as allowing access through the building and commenced with the Top Down method. In this instance, with a little more room surrounding the structure, debris was transferred to ground level by crane as opposed to waiting vehicles on ground level. In contrast to the Port of Dover Car Parks, as the floors steadily began to reduce via Top Down we then had sufficient room to site a high reach excavator to continue the safe demolition when the arm was within reach.

Beyond the above examples, DDS Demolition has successfully executed multiple projects using this method. We would humbly advise any potential client to appoint a Contractor who will appraise a structure on it’s own merits taking into account the individuality and nature of the site.

Without any hint of bias, DDS Demolition continue to lead from the Top Down.