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Demolition and its impact on the Environment

Twin tower demolition impact on environment

The twin towers at Noida which have recently made headlines are done and dusted once and for all, after a prolonged battle in court. Though the towers have been reduced to debris, what we don’t pay much attention to is the after-effects and the impact that it creates on the environment. Such is the case of Apex and Ceyane, the twin structures under the umbrella of “The Emerald project” which were demolished in seconds, 9 seconds to be precise. Such a demolition if not planned and executed precisely could result in the loss of properties nearby.

EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT

The major impact of demolition on the environment is that they put a risk of endangering the various species of birds and animals. It can be clearly seen in the video of the twin tower demolition that the birds living on the trees nearby were impacted and were forced to flee the zone. Moreover, the pets moved with the residents living in the nearby apartments, and the street dogs were also relocated.

According to the authorities, the demolition generated about 80,000 metric tonnes of debris. The debris will be processed on-site prior to which it will be sent to the construction and demolition waste processing centers.

Demolition of buildings

This kind of debris has a greater density as it is all rubble, steel, and iron bars. It is not easy to clean and will significantly take around 3-months to scientifically dispose of the remaining debris.

The air quality gets impacted heavily as the dust swirls around the nearby areas, thereby causing relevant lung diseases to the population living nearby.  

The sudden vibrations that are transmitted by a falling body can lead to earthquakes.

There is a humongous wastage of resources.  Imagine the amount of resources utilized initially to build the towers if tonnes of steel, glass, concrete, and flooring materials are promised by the recycling companies.

HOW CAN WE REDUCE SUCH EFFECTS

To begin with, the government and authorities must draft efficient and permanent policies. Prior checks must be carried out by relevant personnel to assess the on-ground situations and activities being carried out by the developer. Only buildings that are old enough and are declared unsafe for further use must be demolished under strict vigilance.

This is of greater concern for the future as the generation of today seems to have a completely different taste in the scenery. This is because our fathers and forefathers liked greenery and plants and trees as a viewpoint. Today, the taste of gen-z is more inclined toward aesthetic views. Such is the underdog pollution known as aesthetic pollution.

Aesthetic pollution is not considered pollution, but it is somehow. People today like to live in high-rise buildings and lavish apartments and flats. We can say that most of it is due to the work culture that is being created these days in metropolitan cities. Earlier, our parents and their parents believed in owning a piece of land with a house and a garden. But now in this fast-moving life, their children live in a small apartment in a high-rise building with a single concrete garden for their kids. Aesthetic it is, as it seems.

OTHER GLOBAL DEMOLITIONS

This is not the only case that drew our attention. Two years prior to the demolition of this twin tower, The Supreme Court had ordered the demolition of Four high rise apartment buildings — H20 Holy Faith, Alfa Serene, Jain Coral Cove, and Golden Kayaloram — in Kerala’s Maradu early in 2019.

maradu tower demolition
Maradu demolition
Twin tower demolition supertech noida
Twin tower demolition

Not just in India, the demolition of buildings is carried out around the world. In some places, after the demolition of a nice tall building another building was constructed in the same place, the only difference was that the new structure was even taller.

axa tower singapore

The Axa towers, in Singapore, is currently being demolished. It is a 234m tall building that is being demolished in order to develop a 305m tall skyscraper for the tech giant Alibaba.

The JP Morgan Chase Tower or 270 Park Avenue, located in New York, stood at a height of 205 metres and was demolished in 2021 to create another building in the same location which will have a height of 423 metres.

And this list is vast.

DEMOLITION TECHNIQUES USED

The technique commonly used to demolish these high-rise buildings is “Implosion”. The Noida twin towers were demolished using this Waterfall Implosion technique. In this technique, explosives are placed strategically at key supportive points of the building and the demolition is carried out from the bottom to the top while subsequently blowing the structure into smoke. The structure falls within itself. The debris cloud which falls back on the ground is thick and denser.  

Various other techniques used for demolition are-

Interior Demolition

Interior demolition is the taking apart of interior portions of a structure while preserving the exterior, usually in preparation for a renovation project. This usually includes the removal of walls, ceilings, pipes, etc.

Selective Demolition

A selective demolition project involves the removal of specific interior or exterior portions of a building while protecting the remaining structure and nearby structures and areas.

Dismantling/Deconstruction

This method involves the careful dismantlement or deconstruction of a structure to preserve components for reuse, recycling, or refurbishment. Dismantling is generally more labor-intensive than demolition.

Total Demolition

Total demolition is self-explanatory. It is the demolition of an entire structure, and it can be achieved by a number of methods, as listed below.

Mechanical demolition

This type of demolition uses specialized mechanical equipment and tools. These include hydraulic excavators equipped with specialized attachments that can break concrete and steel, effectively “chewing” the structure apart. Smaller equipment like skid steer loaders and demolition robots are used for smaller tasks and interior and selective demolition.

Crane and Wrecking Ball

One of the earliest methods of demolition, the wrecking ball is largely outmoded, replaced by excavators and other mechanical means that offer better precision, efficiency, and safety.  

MAJOR CAUSE OF THESE DEMOLITIONS

The Noida twin towers went into a battle with residents after the residents alleged that the developer violated the norms of the contract. The greenery that was promised was compromised for the residents to generate more profits for the developer.

The Maradu apartments violated the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), which allowed construction only beyond 200 meters of the high tide line.

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