Building demolition based on old Japanese game

Kajima Corporation, a Japanese construction company, demolishes high-rise buildings from the bottom up. They install giant hydraulic jacks on the first floor, break up all the building material on that floor, then lower the jacks and repeat the process on the second floor (which is now resting at ground level.)

Informally, this method is called daruma-otoshi, the name of a Japanese game where you remove the lowest block on a stack by knocking it out with a small mallet.

According to Kajima, the daruma-otoshi demolition method – which is now being used to dismantle a 75 meter (246 ft) tall, 20-story building and a 65 meter (213 ft) tall, 17-story building – is safer and creates less noise and dust pollution because the work is kept close to the ground. In addition, this method cuts demolition time by 20% and makes it easier to separate and recycle the building materials.
Daruma-otoshi skyscraper demolition (Pink Tentacle)


  1. Does anyone build structures in this way (well the reverse)?

    I think that would be far more entertaining. In time lapse it would look like the building essentially grew out of the ground.

  2. Well, I’ve been down so Goddamn long
    That it looks like up to me
    Well, I’ve been down so very damn long
    That it looks like up to me
    Yeah, why don’t one you people
    C’mon and set me free

    I said, warden, warden, warden
    Won’t you break your lock and key
    I said, warden, warden, warden
    Won’t ya break your lock and key
    Yeah, come along here, mister
    C’mon and let the poor boy be

  3. That’s an interesting method of demolishing a building. If it is indeed faster than the American method (strategically placed explosions to make a building collapse in on itself), then I hope it gets used more regularly.

    In the Discovery Channel’s report on China, it talked about how the Chinese use cheap labor to slowly dismantle the building, which allows the bricks and metal rebar to be reclaimed. In comparison, the American method is fast and efficient, but leaves little to be reused from the pile of rubble.

  4. While working in a taller building across the street, we watched a small building in Albany, NY demolished from the top down. Crane-lifted a small Caterpillar bulldozer onto the roof and broke up floor, walls, etc. working it’s way toward a corner. Mounted a couple of ramps to move down to the next floor, turned around to knock down the previous platform and repeated the process for 7 or 8 floors. Debris chute, two guys and about 60 days and the site was spotless.

    Thanks for the memory.

  5. Wake me when they can make the building taller by carefully removing a big chunk of the fifth floor and putting it on top…

  6. #5 and #6, this method is faster than the method commonly used in Japan, which is to dismantle the building piece-by-piece, due to tight quarters in urban environments, rather than the more dramatic explosive method of demolition familiar to viewers of the Discovery Channel.

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