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Explosive Demolition

DDS Demolition forms the specialist demolition division of DDS Group, providing industry leading excellence nationally

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DDS Demolition has a wealth of experience in explosive demolition. Our team are experts in controlled demolition, having carried out a variety of projects for a wide range of commercial, industrial, and even residential clients in the UK.

What is explosive demolition?

Occasionally referred to as implosion, explosive demolition involves strategically demolishing a building using controlled explosions. There are several different ways that this can happen to a building: falling like a tree, or falling into its own footprint.

How does explosive demolition work?

Thanks to careful placement by demolition experts of the explosives around the structural supports, the building collapses in on itself, or falls into a safe area, within seconds. It’s a technique best used on large structures, where using manual demolition with machinery and manpower would take a great deal longer.

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If traditional methods aren’t viable for your project, please get in touch with DDS Demolition.

What’s the process for the demolition of a structure?

Before explosive demolition can take place, a series of steps must be taken to ensure safety as well as success:


A full and thorough survey should take place before anything else, to assess the materials used in construction, as flammable, toxic or otherwise hazardous materials will need to be flagged, and could affect the demolition process.

The design of the building, the building codes involved, and the surrounding area should also be taken into consideration, in order to anticipate noise, dust and disruption during demolition.

Removal of hazardous material

Anything that has been flagged as hazardous, such as asbestos, will need to be removed by specialist contractors prior to a controlled demolition, so this should take place as a priority.

Preparation and planning

Any building demolition should be meticulously planned, from the methods used to the sequence of explosions. Within this plan should be a full assessment of proximity to nearby houses, schools, hospitals and roads, with health and safety management procedures detailed for before, during and after the demolition.

Safety measures

It perhaps goes without saying that safety measures need to be followed to the letter by everyone involved in a demolition. This includes on-site staff attending all safety briefings, erecting and adhering to signs as well as wearing the appropriate PPE, and local areas affected by the demolition closed off as necessary.

How are the public notified of explosive demolition?

The local authority must be notified of an explosive demolition no later than 6 weeks before it’s due to take place. Residents in the area will then be notified of the intended date and time of the demolition, and any roads affected by dust and debris will be closed for public safety.

What methods of explosive demolition does DDS Demolition use?

Explosives placed around the main building supports and detonated in a sequence forces the entire structure to fall in a controlled way. The way it comes down falls into two categories:

Falling into its footprint

This is what resembles an ‘implosion’, where the building collapses in on itself to minimise disruption to the area around it.

Falling like a tree

Much like a felled tree, this method of commercial demolition makes the structure fall sideways into a large, free area. This works by placing explosives up one side, forcing it to fall in the opposite direction.

What are the advantages of explosive demolition?


Unlike wrecking balls, sledgehammers and excavation equipment, explosions allow a demolition to be orchestrated in detail, with a small window of time in which safety procedures can be strictly followed.


Demolitions can be over in seconds, with the site clean up done in one go, saving hours of manpower.

What structures can be demolished with explosive demolition?

  • Buildings - such as houses and shops
  • Industrial structures - such as offices and factories
  • Nuclear facilities and power stations
  • Sports venues
  • Bridges
  • Marine structures
  • Chimneys

Explosive demolition projects

Power stations are some of the most impressive demolitions to watch, and a fantastic example of the speed and efficacy of controlled explosion methods.

Richmond Power station is one such demonstration of how DDS Demolition Contractors plan and execute a demolition, with the redundant power station, ancillary structures, cooling towers and chimney included in the project.

Areas we cover

As explosive demolition contractors covering the south east of the UK, we’re proud to undertake controlled explosive demolitions in the following areas:


Spanning central and greater London, we cover demolitions in all London Boroughs, including Bromley, Wandsworth, Greenwich, Newham and Hounslow.


Our controlled demolition services extend to Kent, covering areas such as Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Dover, Canterbury and Margate.


Heading south of London, our experienced team can take on demolition projects across Surrey, with Guildford, Dorking, Farnham, Redhill, Cranleigh and more all on our radar.


Our coverage of Sussex extends east and west, from towns such as Lewes, Eastbourne and Hastings in the east, to Chichester, Bognor and Worthing in the west.


We’re more than happy to look after explosive demolitions in Essex too, being the go-to contractors for areas such as Colchester, Brentwood, Basildon and Chelmsford.

Why choose DDS for your explosive demolition?

Born in 1977, DDS has become a contractor of choice in the south east’s demolition industry through a reputation for not only carrying out safe and effective demolitions on a wide range of structures, but being an honest, family-run business too. 40 years of experience has given us the know-how and the confidence to undertake demolitions on complex structures in challenging locations, with a client base that rely on us for unmatched demolition services.

Frequently Asked Questions

The size, location and building materials are all contributing factors in the amount of explosives required to bring a structure to the ground. There’s no one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to demolition!

The idea behind explosive demolition, particularly when a building implodes into its own footprint, is that nothing gets forced outward, preventing damage to surrounding buildings.

Debris from an explosive industrial demolition will be sorted into recyclable and non-recyclable materials and disposed of appropriately, ensuring works on the site can continue quickly.

The time taken to plan, execute and clear the site of a demolition depends on the size and complexity of the structure itself. While it can seem like an explosive demolition takes seconds to do, the planning and preparation can take months.

At DDS, we take every care to ensure that environmental legislation is followed, as well as remaining mindful of the local ecology - such as planning the demolition of Richborough Power Station around bird migrations. Hazardous materials are safely removed prior to demolition, and a ‘soft strip’ carried out, whereby all but the essential shell of the building is removed safely too, which includes fixtures, fitting and combustible materials to minimise dust.

Explosive demolition relies on a series of explosions in sequence to demolish the building, whereas regular demolition sees a team head in with tools and machinery that manually chips away at the structure.

Explosive demolition is better suited to structures that aren’t surrounded by other infrastructure, such as residential communities, but that’s not to say it’s impossible - DDS will always assess on a case-by-case basis.

Highlighting our
Project Experience

Other Projects

Richborough Power Station

Richborough, Kent
Project Summary

The demolition of redundant Power Station and Ancillary structures, including the blowdown of 3no. Cooling Towers and 1no. Chimney. The specification of the works themselves include the removal and disposal of hazardous substances leading to the removal of asbestos materials in a safe & controlled manner, in accordance with the Control of Asbestos regulations 2012. […]

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At DDS Group Ltd, our mission is to provide our clients with the highest quality turnkey solution in an ever-changing environment, defined by safety, integrity, honesty and trust, whilst promoting a healthy work environment for all employees, where a respect for diversity and room for growth culminates in exceptional service and company spirit.

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We’re a group of companies based in Kent, committed to excellence in construction, demolition, reclamation, salvage and building material supply.

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