- This article was originally written by Mr. Jan Hermansson, PDi Editor and DEMCON Organizer, for the EDA Yearbook 2020.
When I started working for the demolition industry in the early 1990s, there were almost watertight gaps between the various service sectors in the demolition industry. The collaboration between the different types of entrepreneurs in the industry was limited, which surprised me as there were so many different synergy effects.
When we started our Swedish industry magazine, Professional Demolition in 1995, one of my goals was to create a common concept. Those who worked with demolition called it exclusively wrecking or used a comparable word in Swedish. Those who worked with concrete drilling never talked in terms of demolition and so on.
As the industry has developed and new technologies, methods and tools have emerged, it has become even more obvious that the collective name is demolition. But today I would like to take it a step further and call our industry a Professional Concrete Removal Industry. That phrase pretty much sums it up.
All contractors, regardless of whether you are a small one-man company that works with installation concrete cutting in private homes or large concrete cutting projects, completely demolishes large industrial plants or power plants, removes damaged concrete from bridges, quays or power plants, removes parts of concrete structures above ground or under water with advanced methods such as wire sawing or wall sawing, grinding and polishing old or newly laid concrete floors, removing contaminated concrete or filling material, PCB, asbestos or oils, crushing and recycling demolition debris directly at the workplace or at a separate depot and so on. All these tasks are some form of demolition or processing and removal of concrete and related construction material.
As for the equipment used for this work, both the machines and the tools have developed enormously over the last 20 years. It looks completely different today than it did in the late 1990s. We also see that the concrete cutting equipment has become an increasingly common alternative method in demolition contexts in the same way as hydro demolition technology has been refined and that the method is increasingly being taken up by demolition contractors.
I believe that in the future we will see an increasingly clear broadening of the services among the companies that work with professional concrete removal. These players will grow in size but the requirements will continue to increase with regard to competence, safety and the environmental aspects.
A positive side is that this development will more quickly eliminate rogue players who enters the industry on a short-term policy to take the jobs from the professional players only by dumping the prices.