The Construction Collective SPOOKTACULAR

The mighty Construction Collective assembles once again to bring you all that’s hot in the field of construction and demolition equipment.

And, since the show almost coincides with Halloween, you can expect devilish diggers, evil excavators and wicked wheel loaders aplenty.

So put the date and the time in your diary and join Petrifying Peter Haddock, Nasty Nick @Drew and Murderous Mark Anthony for what promises to be a spooktacular show.

And there’s a chance to win one of five pairs of superb BLOC safety glasses. You can enter here:

The Break Fast Show #175

In today’s show: Volvo stops toying with us and unveils a wheel loader revolution; Simex takes to the screen; Steelwrist goes large; and we’re heading Down Under for some high speed tank demolition.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

Exclusive – Demolition Reimagined

On the eve of the COP26 climate conference, the thoughts of the global demolition industry are turning towards the reduction of carbon emissions and the preservation of the world’s natural resources.

But a Canadian company isn’t waiting for the outcome of COP26 and is already taking a unique approach to the process of demolition. And a clue to that approach is in the company’s name – unbuilders.

In this exclusive interview, we catch up with founder Adam Corneil to discuss demolition, Dragon’s Den and even the indigenous peoples of Canada.

The Break Fast Show #174

In today’s show: HSE highlights wheel loader safety concerns; National Highways in hot water over pre-demolition flooding; Doosan draws back the veil on its latest high reach demolition excavator; and the ultimate proof that they will let anyone become a journalist these days.

All that and more on The Break Fast Show.

The Break Fast Show #173

In today’s show: There’s a big bang in Scunthorpe; we Czech out a new film from MB Crusher; a pair of Newcastle tower blocks face the axe; and we preview tomorrow’s annual spending review and its likely implications for the demolition and construction industry.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

The Weekend Wrap #29

We have Italian bridges being blasted; British bridges being demolished; and we have an exclusive interview with Howard Button, CEO of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors.

All that and more, on the Weekend Wrap.

The Break Fast Show #171

In today’s show: A Birmingham bridge has been demolished to clear the path for the HS2 line – We have the footage; the quarry sector calls for a Red Diesel Rethink; concerned about noise? Then put your jacket on; and what a nice Geyser.

All that and more on The Break Fast Show.

The Break Fast Show #170

In this very special and very long) episode of The Break Fast Show, we are joined by Howard Button, CEO of both the National Federation of Demolition Contractors and the National Demolition Training Group.

Topics discussed include competence cards, the level of experience required to attain some of the higher CCDO cards, the role of equipment simulators in the field of demolition training, and much more besides.

The Break Fast Show #169

In today’s show: Volvo is set to bring Lego to life; Italmek takes the wraps off its new crushers; we have an update on Merlo’s new range of electric telehandlers; and a new survey highlights just some of the reasons for the UK’s continued failure to build enough new homes.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

Comment – Buildings from the past, and a threat for the future

The greatest threat to the UK demolition status quo comes not from the move away from diesel fuel. It comes not from a shortage of skilled workers and delivery drivers. Nor does it come in the form of an influx of competition from allied industries or from overseas. And it doesn’t come from the findings of an interminable investigation into alleged collusion within the sector.

No, the greatest threat to the future of demolition comes from the buildings of the past and how their composition is interpreted in the present.

That threat is known as embodied carbon and it is a phrase we all need to understand because it has the potential to alter the demolition landscape.

So what is embodied carbon? Well, in a nutshell, making steel, concrete and bricks for buildings creates a lot of carbon, with concrete alone causing eight percent of global emissions. Engineering giant Arup calculated around 50 percent of the whole-life emissions of a building could come from the carbon emitted during construction and demolition.

When a building is demolished, it is suggested that the embodied carbon will have been wasted; and new construction will then repeat this cycle.

As a result, climate experts are urging ministers to make it hard for developers to demolish buildings without first exploring ways to refurbish and extend them.

The chairman of the government’s advisory climate change committee, Lord Deben, says the government had been slow to accept this reversal of established thinking and ministers had not had “the will and the clout to develop these policies”.

“We need to think differently,” he said. “It’s not acceptable to pull buildings down like this. We have to learn to make do and mend.”

Lord Deben believes there should be a planning law to stop giving permission for demolitions, adding: “We are simply not going to win the battle against climate change unless we fight on every front.”

Business minister Lord Callanan told delegates at a recent conference: “We’re in the final stages of building our Heat and Building Strategy at the moment. This is one of the areas we want to look at.”

Experts said one simple step would be to require firms planning large scale developments to calculate the total impact on the climate before starting work – something that is already mandatory in several countries.

Such a shift would fall thankfully short of the total moratorium mooted by the Royal Institute of British Architects recently. But the need to calculate the lifetime carbon impact of a building would – at best – slow planning and – at worst – could see some developments shelved entirely. That could have a huge and negative effect upon both the demolition and construction sectors.

And what a bitter irony. The demolition industry has placed itself at the very forefront of environmental stewardship. It has done more in the field of materials recycling and reuse than just about any other industry. But amidst a global climate crisis, there is no such thing as “enough” when it comes to environmental protection.

So when governments from around the world meet in Glasgow at the end of this month for the COP26 climate conference, the subject of embodied carbon is likely to be a key topic of conversation.

And, with a sweep of a pen, ministers seeking a headline-grabbing quick win could easily mandate a planning shift that could alter the very fabric of demolition as we know it.