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What is Non-Destructive Dismantling?

All structures require some form of maintenance over their lifetime. When maintenance isn’t considered at the design stage of a project, it could up being expensive down the track. That’s why we’ve designed our concrete construction systems to be easy to maintain throughout their usable life. 

As part of routine maintenance, walls may need to be dismantled. One of the most common reasons is to access utilities. In some traditional solutions like cinder blocks, mortar is used as the glue between blocks. Deconstruction to conduct maintenance on a cinder block wall is near impossible - it will need to be demolished. This leads to increased costs as the wall needs to be duplicated. For better longevity and ease of use, modular construction systems deliver a unique combination of benefits. The most common sort of wall is referred to as a gravity wall. 

Cinderblock wall demolition

(To access utilities with a cinder block wall, demolition is often involved)

Envirocon’s gravity based construction systems - Interbloc and Stonebloc - have been designed around the concept of non-destructive dismantling. Where damage occurs, isolated sections of walls can be easy removed and replaced, providing basic maintenance at lower costs. Another example is where access to utilities underneath the wall is required - Interbloc and Stonebloc allow you to simply unstack the blocks to gain access to utilities. 

Interbloc Dismantling  Stonebloc dismantling

Interbloc and Stonebloc structures can be non-destructively dismantled in the same way. Here’s how they work:

  • Source access to lifting equipment, preferably a excavator
  • Attach the lifting klaw to a lifting pin on one of the blocks sitting on the top layer
  • Lift this block up, removing it from the wall
  • Move the block to a safe location, that is still easily accessible for reassembly 
  • Continue this until you’ve cleared the area of the wall you need to access
  • Conduct the maintenance you need 
  • Add the blocks back to the wall, starting with the lower levels and working upwards

The Interbloc and Stonebloc ranges are built for deconstruction.

Deconstruction lets building components be removed piece by piece rather than damaging building parts from destructive methods (BRANZ). Cinder block walls are an example of what deconstruction isn’t. When you’re replacing part of the wall, the blocks are damaged and cannot be reused again. Interbloc and Stonebloc allow you to reuse the blocks time and time again - a prime example of a product made for deconstruction. 

With New Zealand’s move towards a more sustainable future via policies like the Waste Minimisation Act, waste needs to be reduced. This means creating systems that have multiple product life cycles. In other words, creating products that take a circular economy design approach.

The main aim of the circular economy is using resources for as long as possible. To get “circular” products, they need to be able to be reused or regenerated at the end of their service life. Interbloc and Stonebloc concrete blocks have been designed to help New Zealand easily transition to a circular economy. As they can be non-destructively dismantled and are made for deconstruction, they can be used time and time again. Following the circular economy is made possible with our ranges.

To work with products that allow for easy maintenance, get in touch with today. 

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