Is Demolishing a Home an Eco-Friendly Thing to Do?

If you're very eco-conscious, no doubt you want to ensure that all the decisions you make when it comes to your home are as eco-friendly as possible. If you are thinking of getting rid of your current home so you can build on the same site, you might wonder if that's a very responsible thing to do. After all, demolition involves heavy-duty machinery that creates fumes and emission and also means creating vibrations and a lot of debris. Before you assume, however, that demolishing your home is not good for the environment, note a few things to keep in mind and then discuss these with a demolition contractor.

Recycling material

Note that many demolition companies don't just haul off all the debris created by a demolition and toss it in a landfill. You can often have them come in before the demolition and pull out recyclable materials by hand; this can include just about everything inside your home, from carpeting to drywall to bathroom fixtures. A demolition company might also pick through the debris taken off your lot after the demolition itself for the same reason; porcelain fixtures can be ground down, as can glass. Wood can be ground into wood chips for mulch. Whatever the use, ask your demolition company about this option.


It is true that the heavy-duty equipment and machinery used for demolition will produce some pollution and vibration from their engines. However, the small amount of vibration created to tear down a residential home versus a large commercial structure usually isn't enough to harm the environment. Note too that an older home may not be very good for the environment itself; leaky windows or cracks in the walls can mean letting out heat and air conditioning, so you run your furnace and air conditioner more than you should. In turn, you are contributing to pollution created by your city's power plant. Consider too how you might be allowing corrosion from old, leaky plumbing pipes to seep into the ground. This can be more pollution than the amount created by using a bulldozer for a few hours.

If this is still a concern for you, ask your demolition contractor about what can be demolished by hand; using chainsaws to cut through certain walls might be an option, and these create far less vibration and may also emit fewer emissions and pollutants than a bulldozer. Overall, demolishing that old home to have a new, energy-efficient home built can be the more eco-friendly choice.