– All in all, the building has eight floors and two basement floors. There is about 33,000 square metres of structure in total to demolish. On the basis of the masses and materials investigated in the demolition calculations of the building, we predicted that the carbon footprint of the demolition work will be negative, i.e. the demolition will prove to be beneficial to the environment. This is possible when the emissions avoided with the recycling of material exceed the emissions caused by demolition work, transport and waste processing. This means that materials recovered in demolition work can be recycled in order to replace virgin raw materials and fossil fuels, says Kimmo Palomäki, Business Director for Demolition Services at Delete.
The property is a former office building owned by Senaatti-kiinteistöt. Different options were thoroughly examined for this building in need of renovation, and the decision was finally made to demolish the building, as it did not meet the modern standards of office work and even a renovation could not have made it into an energy efficient, modern and productive working environment. Renovation would also have been more expensive than the construction of a new building.
The actual environmental impacts cannot be determined until the demolition emissions are inspected as a whole. The carbon footprint calculator measures emissions from the entire lifespan of the work stage, i.e. all the way from the demolition of the building to the recycling of the materials.
– At Senaatti-kiinteistöt, responsible operations are a part of the enterprise’s strategy. Our goal is to reduce harmful environmental impacts caused by our operations, such as emissions. We monitor the amount of waste created at our worksite, as well as the sorting rate. The emissions calculator is one efficient way to promote environmental responsibility in construction, says Head Contractor Janne Johansson.
The concern over carbon footprint is changing attitudes on demolition sites
According to a thesis written at Lappeenranta University of Technology, emissions can even be halved at large demolition sites when the energy consumption at the site is reduced and the sorting of waste is enhanced. The enhancement of operations and the effect on attitudes results not only in eco-friendliness but also in clear savings in the monetary expenses of demolition and construction work.
–Making the emissions of different stages of demolition work transparent helps draw attention to them, which enhances operations. The calculator not only reveals the most low-emission working methods but also encourages employees to work in an environmentally friendly manner. Research has shown that when energy consumption is monitored at a demolition site, the employees turn off the lights when they leave, do not leave the machinery idling, and think about their transport routes more carefully, which results in clear drops in the consumption of fuel, says Palomäki.
The carbon footprint calculator can, for instance, reveal that a solution previously considered good for the environment is, in fact, a poor choice. At a demolition site the size of a small house, all the waste may be sorted into the appropriate skips. One contains metal, one wood, and one concrete. The calculator has shown that in fact, this is not sensible at small sites after all. A great deal of transport and use of machinery causes considerably more waste than the method of throwing all the waste into the same skip and not sorting it until it reaches the waste processing station.
Taking the environment into consideration is a vital condition for business
The carbon footprint calculator was developed to meet the growing need of companies and organisations to pay attention to environmental aspects. Companies have realised that taking care of the environment is a vital condition for all business operations and that not considering environmental issues will cause unnecessary risks to the business. With the help of our carbon footprint calculator, we implement sustainable development and are able to support the sustainable development goals or strategies and environmental strategies of our customers.
For more information, please contact:
Business Director, Demolition Services, Kimmo Palomäki, tel. +358 (0)44 300 0178
Business Area Manager, Demolition Services, Sauli J Saarinen, tel. +358 (0)44 324 0475
Head Contractor Janne Johansson, tel. +358 (0)205 811 853