Demolition Analysis prior to the demolition and/or deconstruction buildings is becoming increasingly important. The Applied Element Method (AEM) is the optimally suited for this type of analysis as it is the only method that can automatically simulate and analyze the debris resulting from a demolition and predict the effect on neighboring structures.
Currently there are many problems facing demolition contractors when tasked with safely removing structures. Some of these problems include:
- Demolition Scenario Planning: The demolition contractor has to be certain that the demolition scenario will allow the structure to fall in the desired manner and direction without affecting neighboring buildings.
- Uncertainties: There are a lot of uncertainties in the structural demolition industry. For example many structures slated for demolition are old and the structural drawings are missing. Additionally, even if structural drawings can be obtained, they can be different from the “as-built” drawings. Also, the secondary effects of the non-structural components like walls and windows cannot are not included in the structural analysis, but they also need to be analyzed in order to predict their effect on the rest of the structure.
- Liability Insurance: Liability insurance in the demolition industry continues to increase. Having tools that will assure insurance companies, government agencies and the public is increasingly important.
To achieve a successful demolition the following factors must be taken into consideration:
- Effect on Adjacent Structures: Falling debris should not impact the neighboring structures.
- Flying Debris: Flying debris should be minimized to avoid damage to people or property.
- Size of Debris: The size of debris pieces should be manageable to facilitate its removal.
- Seismic Vibration: The vibrations due to the impact of the debris with the ground should not exceed allowable limits.
Performed by Applied Science International, LLC for various demolition contractors, the Applied Element Method (AEM) has been used in many successful cases. It was also used as the core analysis method for a North Carolina State University graduate level thesis, “Experimental & Analytical Investigation of Progressive Collapse through Demolition Scenarios & Computer Modeling.” In this thesis the author verified AEM with an actual demolition case and proved that the Applied Element Method (AEM) is highly accurate in predicting the failure and collapse of structures during the demolition process.