By: Joe Czaszynski

Once planning, design and permitting has been completed, the construction phase of a project can begin. This article outlines what to expect during the initial stage of a construction project and demolition.

Prior to the start of construction, a notification letter should be drafted and sent to the residents or occupants of any commercial or multi-dwelling residential property. This notification will outline where work will be taking place (e.g. a site plan with highlighted work areas), the hours when work will be performed, the intended duration of the project, the necessary protection that will be installed, (e.g. a/c unit filters, plywood over windows), possible alternate parking or traffic patterns, and contact information should there be questions or emergency situations.

If asbestos is present in demolition areas, a certified remediation contractor must be retained to abate it prior to the commencement of any work. Proper ventilation, protection and removal will be strictly followed in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Work areas, material storage and debris containers should be clearly marked so that building occupants can identify and avoid them. Signs, caution tape, barricades, and/or cones are most often used to alert residents or tenants that an area has been closed off for safety reasons. Sometimes, flagmen or security guards are necessary to redirect pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic. Barricades in place to block off section of work.

Using excavators, demolition saws, jack hammers, grinders and sanders while performing both interior and exterior demolition can produce a lot of dust and debris. Contractors should implement procedures to help mediate this. These measures might include installing tarps and fans, and utilizing dustless vacuums in conjunction with demolition tools. Dustless vacuum incorporated to help remediate dust during the grinding of a parapet wall.

Demolition noise is another factor that building occupants must often tolerate. If demolition occurs in the vicinity of structural components, the noise can reverberate throughout the building. Often, noisy work is is not permitted at residential buildings before 9:00 in morning, or on weekends. If it’s anticipated that demolition noise might be too disruptive at a corporate or commercial facility, night shift hours might be incorporated into the project schedule.

Any building resident/occupant that is being negatively affected by demolition dust or debris, should contact building management or the project management team so that they can direct the contractor to better monitor and protect impacted areas. If no notification letter with the project’s team contact information has been provided, building occupants should direct any questions or concerns to building management.

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