According to this article, there are almost 100 skyscrapers in Japan that are going to have to come down in the next 10 years. But how do you safely and ecologically accomplish such a feat in a densely populated country like Japan?

Well, a fascinating new technology is revolutionizing the way skyscrapers get demolished. Taisei Corp. spent a year and a half developing the new method, which they dubbed the Taisei Ecological Reproduction System (Tecorep, for short). The basic gist is that the roof of the building is used as a hat to create an enclosed space to work. Temporary columns hold up the roof, which are lowered by jacks as the higher floors get removed.

“It’s kind of like having a disassembly factory on top of the building and putting a big hat there, and then the building shrinks from the top,” said a representative of the company. Not only is it safer for workers but it reduces noise by over 25%, cuts dust by as much as 90%, and is more energy efficient.


A sequence of images showing a 105-meter building being systematically razed in Tokyo last year using Taisei’s Tecorep method. Images courtesy Taisei Corp.

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Below is a more in-depth video that recently aired on Japanese TV, albeit in Japanese.