Table of Contents:

  1. The Challenges Of Commercial Demolition
    1. Densely Populated Areas
    2. Traffic Control
    3. Permits and Inspections
    4. Complex Work
    5. Big Structures, Big Equipment
  2. Types Of Commercial Demolition Services
    1. Complete Structural Demolition
    2. High-Reach Excavators
    3. Implosion
    4. Crane and Ball
    5. Interior Demolition
    6. White Boxing Commercial Service
    7. Mechanical Systems Removal
    8. Slab Openings and Stair Removal
    9. Specialty Demolition
    10. Vault Removal
    11. Fire Escapes
  3. How Much Does Commercial Demolition Cost?

As a demolition contractor with a broad scope of work and plenty of expertise in a wide variety of demo techniques, Milburn provides our clients with many different services related to the dismantling and removal of commercial structures. Commercial demolition is a bit of a catch-all phrase that encompasses the services we offer to commercial property owners.

Commercial demolition can include complete structure demolition, highly targeted specialty demolition, and/or selective interior demo. In this article, we’ll walk you through the extensive selection of services Milburn provides to our commercial clients.


The Challenges of Commercial Demolition

There are many different ways to bring down a commercial structure, and Milburn has the experience necessary to complete any commercial demo job safely and efficiently. Commercial demolition typically involves larger structures than residential demo, and there are often many complicating factors as well.


Densely Populated Areas

Commercial buildings are frequently located in densely populated downtown areas or city centers, which requires us to perform our work in tight job sites with little room to maneuver. We need to carefully plan each individual phase of these projects in order to ensure that we’re not endangering any neighboring structures.


Traffic Control

These jobs frequently require us to implement traffic control measures that may involve closing lanes of traffic in the street, installing protective measures to keep sidewalks safe, and more.


Permits and Inspections

Commercial demo often requires special permits from local governments, and you may also need to have inspectors check out the structure to ensure that you don’t require any asbestos mitigation efforts. There are also requirements for environmental assessments, risk assessments, safety inspections, and more.


Complex Work

Commercial demolition has far more variety than residential demolition. After all, there isn’t nearly as much variance in how you demo a house or an apartment building as opposed to the vast array of different structures that fit under the umbrella of commercial demo.


Big Structures, Big Equipment

Of course, another complicating factor is the fact that commercial demolition often involves big buildings that require heavy machinery, explosive charges, and more. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the structure, the more complicated the demolition.


Types of Commercial Demolition Services

Now that we’ve talked about some of the factors that can complicate commercial demo jobs, let’s discuss a few of the most common types of commercial demolition and how we perform this work.


Complete Structural Demolition

If you need to remove an entire commercial building, that’s where complete structure demo comes into play. With this service, Milburn will demolish and dispose of the entire structure. We can even demo large shopping centers and office towers.


High-Reach Excavators

One of our favorite methods for complete structural demolition is to use our high-reach demo machines. These are specialized excavators that give us the ability to demolish commercial buildings that are up to ten stories tall. There are many advantages to using these machines, but the most important one is safety.

Because the high-reach excavator can reach over the top of a building, it allows us to demolish a commercial building without having people inside the structure during the demo process. High-reach excavators also prevent us from needing an additional person to operate a water hose, as these machines have direct water application devices attached to the excavator arm.



Implosion is the most dramatic form of complete structural demolition. With this method, we can bring down a commercial structure using explosives to collapse the structure into its own footprint. There are different ways to perform implosions depending on the materials used to build the structure.

When dealing with concrete, we can utilize dynamite or nitroglycerin charges placed within boreholes in the commercial building’s support columns. If the structure is supported by steel, we’ll use shaped charges filled with explosive compounds to sever the support beams.


Crane and Ball

This decidedly old-school method of commercial demolition isn’t utilized nearly as often as it used to be, but we’ll still sometimes use a wrecking ball when we’re demolishing commercial structures that are too tall for our high-reach machines.

With this form of commercial demo, we’ll hang a steel ball from a crane boom, which can be dropped down into the building to destroy horizontal beams, slabs, and roofing, or swung from the side to demolish walls and columns.


Interior Demolition

When we need to selectively demo parts of a commercial structure, we’ll use interior demolition techniques. These methods allow us to remove portions of a building while leaving the rest of it intact. This can include anything from ceilings, walls, and flooring to millwork, MEP/FP elements (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection), and large furnishings.


White Boxing Commercial Service

One common form of commercial interior demo is white boxing. This is a process in which we get a commercial building ready for a new tenant to move in. White boxing often includes removing interior structures, patching sheetrock walls, preparing floors for new carpet or tile, and ensuring that elements like HVAC systems, lighting, and electrical outlets are in functional, working order.


Mechanical Systems Removal

If a client wants us to remove MEP/FP elements from a commercial structure, Milburn has specialized removal processes for elements like cooling towers, boilers, chillers, generators, mechanical units, fan systems, and more.


Slab Openings and Stair Removal

Does the commercial structure include unwanted structural elements? Milburn has the expertise to remove slabs, walls, beams, columns, and staircases.


Specialty Demolition

Milburn also offers many specialty demo services for our commercial clients. Take a look at a couple of the more common services we provide.


Vault Removal

If the commercial structure has a reinforced concrete vault to be removed, we will cut the concrete with saws and also use hammers attached to skid steers or robots. These processes break the concrete down into small pieces that are easier to remove.


Fire Escapes

Milburn is highly experienced in fire escape removal, as we’ve successfully removed fire escapes from fully occupied historic buildings. We offer the complete removal of fire escapes from commercial buildings efficiently and safely, without damaging the rest of the building.


How Much Does Commercial Demolition Cost?

As you might surmise, there is a tremendous amount of variance when it comes to the costs associated with commercial demolition. There are many complicating factors, such as the scope of work, size and location of the building, and more.

That’s why Milburn has a highly experienced team of estimators who can create an accurate quote for any commercial demolition job. If you’re wondering how much your commercial demo project will cost, give us a call today and our team will put together an estimate for your specific job.


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