There are a variety of ways that a site can be demolished. Whilst sites may appear to be all the same, the way that the structure was built, the materials used, and how the materials are going to be disposed of all influence the best-suited method of demolition.

Additionally, the location of the building is of vital importance as the surrounding buildings, animals, and people must be considered throughout the process. Different Sydney demolition contractors will offer different methods.

There are also a number of safety precautions that need to be taken into account in the process. Much of the demolition work these days is done in a safe manner due to the strict regulations and builders’ desire to recycle as much of the materials as possible.

Types of Demolition Methods

1. Implosion

This method involves placing a number of explosives onto the key structural elements of the building so that it falls under the weight of itself. The placement of the charges is of vital importance to ensure that the building does collapse evenly and sequentially. For a successful demolition using this method, blueprints must be analysed and a full assessment of the building must be undertaken.

2. High Reach Arm

There is a threshold of 20 meters for this method of destruction. It is usually conducted by a machine that has an arm consisting of 3 sections or a telescopic boom and a tool attached to the base of the machine. The machine can have many different tools attached to make it more suitable for the given demolition.

There are a few factors that may impact the process if using this method, being; the height of the structure being knocked down, the conditions of the site and surrounding areas, the shape of the structure, and the location of the structure.

4. Crane and Ball

Some buildings are knocked down using the traditional crane and ball method. This involves a crane with a 6-tonne ball attached that is used to swing into the structure. It is used to demolish concrete and masonry based structures. This process is one of the most difficult as the person operating the crane must be very experienced.

Some limitations provided by this method include; additional labor to remove the concrete structures, precision in the swinging of the ball is critical to ensure that the crane does tip or overload, powerlines and other tall structures nearby reduce the working room, the increased creation of dust, vibration and noise.

4. Selective Demolition

Using this method is aimed at increasing the amount of reusable and recyclable materials that come from the knocking down of structures.  It is a strip-out process as the builders select each part as they go to remove it carefully for reuse or recycling. This method is difficult to achieve in an economical and timely manner due to the labor-intensive nature.


As part of the process of destruction, a Safe Work Method Statement must be produced by the organisation completing the demolition services in Sydney. This is to ensure that all of the risk involved in the demolition is ticked off.

As per the work safety guidelines this must cover; the type of high risk construction work that is carried out, the health and safety threats and dangers arising from that work, how the risks will be controlled and how the method of control will be implemented, monitored and reviewed.

Some examples of the potential risks to be incorporated in the Safe Work Method Statement include;

  • Someone falling from a height of greater than 2 metres
  • The involvement of asbestos, requires the use of explosives
  • The destruction being carried out near chemical, fuel or electrical stations or lines
  • It is carried out in a confined space
  • Requires structural altercations or repairs that need temporary support to prevent collapse
  • The destruction is taking place near pressurised gas distribution mains or piping


Depending on the type of destruction that is being completed, the service provider may need a licence. When deciding on the provider, ensure that it is one of the demolition services in Sydney with the relevant licence for completing the stated destruction. This will aid in safety on the site and also the efficiency with which it is completed.

When demolishing a site, it is important to understand the various methods available and the health and safety risks and measures that must be adhered to. Demolishing a site is a dangerous process and needs to be well thought through prior to any actions being taken. All of this will help to succeed in properly demolishing the site.