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Question DetailsAsked on 8/21/2016

How much to demolish 70000 sqft brick building

How much to demolish 70000sqft building

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1 Answer


You do mean 70,000 - not 7,000, right ? So a largish commercial or industrial building - probably a warehouse or plant building if single story ? Or maybe a fair height brownstone type apartment building or such ?

Aside from the fact Angies List is oriented to consumer/residential issues, you left the job picture a bit cloudy - like how many stories, steel or wood or brick or concrete frame, is the brick structural or facade, does demo include asbestos removal, has the building been gutted already or not, are floors wood or concrete and how many floors and if concrete what type of construction, does demo include removing and disposing of the foundation and on-grade slabs, how much at-grade work room is there on site for the contractor, are utilties being abandoned at the curb or capped off or what, etc.

Also - what part of the country (labor costs and union influence and landfill cost issues), how far from other buildings (controls whether it can be laid down or explosively demolished or not, what is clearance from adjacent buildings with respect to danger from falling material, is it close to a street or railway or such that needs to be closed or protected from falling materials, etc. Also, if very old building or part of a complex, is it structurally inter-connected with or sharing walls(s) with another building that has to be properly supported during and after the demolition.

If you are building a new building in its place, your Architect on that job can help with the planning and bidding of the demolition - starting with the typically at least half dozen or so permits or approvals usually required for demo permit, asbestos and sometimes lead paint handling, traffic control and pedestrian safety, safety and condition of adjacent buildings pre-demolition inspections, maybe a crane use permit, dust control permit, etc. Granted, some of these the contractor usually gets but you need to stay on top of what is needed and that he is not proceeding without the necessary approvals - usually monitored by a Project Engineer for the Architect/Engineer, or your ite representative.

Also, very commonly the demo would be part of the new building construction contract - commonly cheaper to have him do it than as a separate contract.

Depending on what this buiklding was used for in the past, may also need an environmental assessment to determine if hazardous materials were dumped or spilled on the site, if there are buried grease pits or fuel tanks or such, etc. Depending on prior uses and what they find the assessment can run a thousand or so on up to $100,000 plus, and remediation of course is wide open, especially if a former industrial or military site.

Cost - VERY, VERY rough ballpark range not knowing any of the above - without foundation and slab sometimes as low as around $2-4/SF if steel construction or wood framed and can be burned down as a fire department exercise, then picked up and disposed of. Othearwise in the $4-6/SF range in normal cost areas without adjacent building issues, or more commonly $6-10/SF if reinforced concrete framing. Foundation removal commonly another $2-6/SF depending on amount of reinforcement and slab thicknesses, asbestos removal commonly in $2-4/SF range also, and tight confines or serious safety protection measures needed can easily run another $1-5/SF, so in bad cases you can be in the $10-20/SF range rather than the normal $5/SF ballpark area.

I have worked, a couple of decades ago, several tight confines highly built-up area city high-rise and mid-rise building demo jobs where it ran $15-25/SF back then - so probably in the $50/SF range today, for demo requiring full external tyvek dust shroud and all-around debris netting, temporary internal supports due to deteriorated floors, then manually taking the building down literally foot by foot or row of brick by row of brick, using the existing walls with boarded up windows as confinement for the falling debris and dust as it went down chutes to sealed, dust-vacuuimed dumpsters. One 20 story range concrete building from early 1900's on a major corner intersection took almost a year to take down this way using a crane to remove the granite cladding panels, then top-down demo because we could not block off the adjacent major city streets and had buildings within 6 inches on two sides - so had to use a tower crane in the center of the building to handle the work.

You need to be getting quotes from commercial demolition companies - not an Angies List category. But I would be expecting numbers in the 1/3 million to 1 million $ range unless out in the open with no adjacent building or street or haz waste issues - maybe as low as 1/4 million $ if simple post and brick construction and one story in cheap labor and disposal fee area, but I would not count on it.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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