Our five areas of priority
Go to each section to see how we drive progress.
You’ll also find links to specific resources for all of our priorities.
NFDC was born out of a need to make war-damaged buildings safe, so safety has always been a top priority for us. Our commitment to safety is just as important to us now, over 80 years later.
It’s no secret that demolition can carry some serious risks that need to be managed. We strive to remove and reduce risk through our safety initiatives such as the NFDC site audit scheme and SSIP-approved health & safety accreditation.
Demolition specialists have been on the frontlines of a number of safety battles. For example, our industry has long lead the fight against the lurking menace of asbestos. This comes with a requirement for clear instruction and oversight, and that’s a responsibility we have always taken very seriously.
We produce a wide variety of safety guidance notes and advice for all methods of demolition, as well as working with a number of organisations within the wider sector to raise standards across the board.
Skills & Training
Ensuring a highly skilled and well-trained workforce is available to the demolition industry has always been one of our top priorities, spanning all the way back to the federation’s origins during World War II.
The same reasons that make safety paramount to demolition also make it essential that everyone involved is educated to a top standard. This is why we set up our sister organisation the National Demolition Training Group as well as the CCDO card scheme.
We believe that learning doesn’t stop when you leave the classroom. Over the years we have produced a wide range of guidance and best practice recommendations for a range of demolition techniques and skills.
Teaching is also a two-way street, and an open dialogue can lead to valuable knowledge sharing. This is true at all levels, including large-scale projects and programmes such as HS2 – who we worked with to produce a demolition best practice handbook based on enabling works undertaken by NFDC members for Europe’s largest infrastructure project.
In demolition we don’t stop caring when you hang up your hardhat at the end of the day. We take our commitment to the wellbeing of the people who make our industry strong very seriously.
In recent years, wellbeing issues, such as mental health, have catapulted to the top of many agendas. NFDC is no exception and we have produced a range of mental health & wellbeing resources to support companies and individuals.
Wellbeing is not an isolated issue. We are working every day to not only raise the profile of this topic but to build a network connecting industry leaders and wellbeing experts to tackle it together.
As an industry we are acutely aware of our impact on the environment, however it’s not a topic that’s new us. The re-use and recycling of building materials is an integral part of our industry.
It’s often overlooked that on average NFDC members enable the re-use, recycling or re-purposing of over 90% of materials from demolition works – and this has been the case for years. It’s not just environmentally sustainable, it makes business sense too. Simply put, if we weren’t environmentally sustainable we wouldn’t be financially sustainable either.
Metals, like steel and iron, are salvaged to be used for future projects, this is also true for a lot of timber. Even environmentally troublesome concrete is crushed on site to be re-used as aggregate, and reduce the need to produce and transport additional materials.
As with all our priorities, it’s never a ‘one and done’ scenario, we commit to ongoing action. Recent initiatives include passing a mandate that all members must move towards using sustainable fuels on site, and pushing companies to make challenging climate commitments.
NFDC has also joined a number of leading industry bodies in forming advisory groups focused on issues that will increase the sustainability of the sector. Topics such as reducing contamination of materials to further enable their re-use and recycling .
There’s no hiding from the environmental impact of demolition and construction. It’s a responsibility that the entire sector must balance alongside enabling environmentally friendly growth and replacing existing unsustainable infrastructure.
We know we can’t solve this alone and invite further collaboration to tackle these crucial issues across the wider sector – including construction, infrastructure, planning and more – and lead the way into an even greener future.
Alongside our efforts to raise standards the federation is also well-known for the incredible generosity of its members. This has been achieved through countless raffles and charity auctions at our events, plus marathons, skydives, and many other admirable undertakings by our members.
In recent years, we have raised an average £250,000 per year for charitable causes – and this shows no signs of slowing!
As a tight-knit community of members within the federation we are also committed to helping the wider communities we serve across the country. This isn’t limited to just fundraising, all our members are encouraged to demonstrate their social values.
You’ll often find NFDC members visiting local schools to give students talks on how demolition helps shape the world around them. On top of this the trailblazer demolition apprenticeship scheme helps those young minds get a leg up into the industry.