BS 6187:2011

Code of practice for full and partial demolition

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BS 6187:2011 gives good practice recommendations for the demolition (both full and partial) of facilities, including buildings and structures. The standard is therefore applicable to demolition activities undertaken as part of structural refurbishment. It also covers decommissioning.

In particular, the standard gives recommendations for:

  • The proper and effective management of demolition processes, including those forming part of structural refurbishment
  • Maintaining structural stability, including through the provision of temporary structural support, where necessary
  • Managing deliberate structural collapse
  • Identifying and establishing responsibilities during all phases of the demolition processes
  • Acquiring a knowledge of the site, including its former uses
  • Managing environmental issues
  • Managing health and safety hazards
  • Carrying out risk assessments and planning the work accordingly
  • Establishing and managing procedures effectively
  • Determining and managing safe exclusion zones.
  • The standard takes into account safety, health and issues that affect the protection of the environment.

It is essential that those carrying out demolition activities possess the necessary levels of competence. Clients or procurers of demolition works need to ensure that all contractors, designers and other team members that they propose to engage or appoint are competent to comply with the health and safety requirements necessary to undertake demolition activities. Guidance is given on the training and competence required for the activities covered by this standard.

Information about this document

BS 6187:2011 has been revised to reflect advances in technology and equipment in the demolition industry, and to give recommendations on the following principal areas.

  • Project development and management, site assessments, risk assessments, decommissioning procedures, environmental provisions and fa├žade retention.
  • Deconstruction techniques, including activities for reuse and recycling.
  • Exclusion zones and safe working spaces, including their design and application.

Recommendations for methods of, and techniques for, demolition and partial demolition, including for structural refurbishment, have been retained, with consideration of specific types of structure, but the text has been significantly updated to reflect current and developing good practices. By being less prescriptive, this edition also allows for innovative techniques and methods to be employed.

Contents for BS 6187 includes:

  • Scope
  • Normative references
  • Terms and definitions
  • Approaches to demolition
  • Planning and managing projects
  • Procurement
  • Knowledge of the site
  • Decommissioning procedure
  • Identifying structural hazards
  • Health hazards
  • Health and safety of people on or off site
  • Protection of people and the environment
  • Safe working spaces and exclusion zones
  • Structural demolition: Principles, mechanisms and hazards
  • Avoidance of unplanned structural collapses
  • Temporary structures for stability, support and access
  • Demolition techniques
  • Materials handling and processing
  • Typical demolition methods for various types of structure
  • Completion of the works


BS 6187:2011 supersedes BS 6187:2000, which is withdrawn.