Photo of a wrecking ball breaking through a brick wall with a "Top 10" label

The demolition and wrecking industry is a far-reaching market that encompasses a wide range of products and services, making it resilient even in the face of an ever-changing economy.

With promises towards national infrastructure expansion, demolition and wrecking services will see high demand in many communities, demonstrating a need for reliable and trustworthy contractors willing to take on assignments.

Let’s examine the ten biggest demolition and wrecking firms this year according to Engineering News Record.

RankCompanyRevenuePrevious Rank
1Northstar Group Services Inc.$540.9 million1 (-)
2Brandenburg Industrial Service Co.$265 million2 (-)
3Penhall Co.$220.3 million3 (-)
4D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co. Inc.$214.8 million4 (-)
5Select Demo Services LLC$145.1 million5 (-)
6JDC Demolition Co. Inc.$107.7 million10 (+4)
7Independence Excavating Inc.$94.3million9 (+2)
8Bierlein Cos. Inc.$80.6 million8 (8)
9ISI Demolition$51.9 million11 (+2)
10O’Rourke Wrecking Co.$40 million15 (+5)

1. Northstar Group Services Inc.

Total revenue: $415.2 million

Previous year’s rank: 1

Headquartered in New York City, Northstar Group Services Inc. has a massive reach of 27 offices spanning the entire United States. It provides facility demolition, nuclear, facility abatement, environmental, and mold/microbial services. Northstar is licensed in all 50 states and has spent over 30 years creating a comprehensive completed projects list involving almost every industry.

The group advertises its Northstar Recovery Services program, a 24-hour emergency and disaster response aid offering help to those in need of assistance. With specialization in environmental effects, Northstar even has an in-house meteorologist to monitor weather activity for optimum emergency preparedness.

Northstar’s payment score from Levelset is a 75 out of 100 points, or a C. Though its score is average, there is no recorded history of slow payment in the last 12 months.

Some projects the company has worked on include:

2. Brandenburg Industrial Service Co.

Total revenue: $253.1 million

Previous year’s rank: 2

Brandenburg Industrial Service Co. is a demolition and environmental remediation specialist with branches in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Aside from its substantial reach, the company has been consistently providing construction services since its opening in 1968.

Though one of the nation’s leaders in demolition, the company stresses its abilities to also provide scrap management, environmental assessments, equipment salvage and rigging, electrical and mechanical utility construction, and relocation services, claiming it serves “many industries including industrial, commercial, transportation, pharmaceutical, chemical, refining, mining, automotive, and residential.”

Brandenburg’s payment score is 81 out of 100 points (on the lower end of a B). Levelset’s data also categorizes the company in the top 5% of small companies, an extraordinary achievement for organizations working to expand. 

The group’s portfolio of projects features the demolition of structures from a vast range of sectors. Some of the demolished buildings include press boxes from Notre Dame Stadium, the Philadelphia Manufacturing Structure, and New York University halls.

3. Penhall Co.

Total revenue: $205.1 million

Previous year’s rank: 3

Penhall Co. is the self-proclaimed “go-to concrete services partner” with specialties in concrete cutting, coring, demolition, grinding and grooving, GPR scanning, and digital x-rays. The company has been serving Texas and its surrounding areas for 65 years.

Some of Penhall’s specialties include building, structural, selective concrete, interior soft, and concrete pavement demolition, as well as asbestos removal. Penhall works in the commercial, industrial, healthcare, education, transportation, entertainment, and nuclear sectors, among others. 

Placing a high premium on sustainability and environmental consciousness, the company states that just last year, it “reused and recycled more than 1,000,000 cubic yards of concrete” and recycled 3,000,000 pounds of metal.

Penhall has a Levelset payment score of 81 out of 100 points, which is a B. 

4. D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co. Inc.

Total revenue: $165 million

Previous year’s rank: 4

Another company that has held steady in ENR’s top rankings this year is D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co. Inc., a demolition and wrecking contractor with expertise in explosive, structural, and selective demolition, as well as asset recovery, emergency services, and plant decommissioning. 

For 60 years, D.H. Griffin’s organization has grown into an intricate web of locations throughout North America. Its offices can be found in North Carolina, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The company works in almost every sector, providing most of its services to the commercial, education, industrial, government, healthcare, and entertainment industries. 

D.H. Griffin has also found ways to combat the tricky COVID-19 pandemic, including the launch of its COVID-19 services program, which involves a partnership with DARI Companies to mitigate the virus in clients’ facilities.  

The group’s Levelset payment score is a fair C, with 75 out of 100 points. This places D.H. Griffin in the top 25% of medium-sized companies.

Some of the company’s major projects include the structural demolition of:

5. Select Demo Services LLC

Total revenue: $135 million

Previous year’s rank: 6

Select Demo Services LLC is a New Hampshire-based specialty contractor with over 600 employees and a medium-sized reach of locations in three states. A few of the many services offered include demolition, paint and finishes, tile, marble, flooring, and recycling, among others.

Stating that “delivering quality service and outstanding value to our customers is not enough,” the company has developed Select Cares, a charitable donations program intended to serve the community and fund local charities like Susan G. Komen, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the Boys & Girls Club.

The group’s Levelset payment score is a C, averaging 75 out of 100 points possible. This lands Select in the top 10% of small companies, an impressive feat for the fairly new 2004-founded company.

Working primarily in the education, commercial, industrial, and healthcare markets, Select Demo has provided services for projects including:

6. JDC Demolition Co. Inc.

Total revenue: $107.7 million

Previous year’s rank: 10

Moving up from number 10 to number six this year, JDC Demolition Co. Inc. is a demolition contractor headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Its specialties include structural demolition, environmental work, salvage and recovery, and remediation services. 

Clients of JDC have spoken highly of the group’s efforts, with one reviewer stating that the employees worked “hard, safely, and professionally for this project to be completed in time without any problems,” and that “protection was put out to protect components from collateral damage.”

JDC’s Levelset payment score is a C, with 75 out of 100 points possible. Additionally, there have been no reports of slow payment in the last year.

The majority of projects completed by the contractor include those in the education, commercial, healthcare, hospitality, retail, residential, civil, and industrial markets.

Some notable structures in JDC’s portfolio include:

7. Independence Excavating Inc.

Total revenue: $94.8 million

Previous year’s rank: 9

Rising in the ranks from number 9 to number 7 this year, Independence Excavating Inc. — a contractor with expertise in demolition, environmental remediation, heavy civil construction, recycling, and concrete paving — has provided services for 65 years from its three offices in Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The organization’s scope has led it to complete a vast assortment of projects in the industrial, entertainment, and infrastructure sectors.

Independence stresses the importance of safety, making it a “mission to ensure the safety of all employees and to minimize accidents,” while aiming to “accomplish these goals by identifying areas of risk, evaluating them for solutions, and controlling loss–through diligent training and compliance with OSHA and MSHA regulations.”

With a 68 out of 100 payment score from Levelset (a C), Independence has one report of slow payment in the last 12 months on a commercial project, but has no other apparent negative history regarding finances.

Some major demolition projects include the Hudson Generating Station in Jersey City, NJ, and Colorado State University’s Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, CO.

8. Bierlein Cos. Inc.

Total revenue: $83.5 million

Previous year’s rank: 5

Holding steady at number 8 again this year, Bierlein Cos. Inc. is a subcontractor headquartered in Midland, Michigan. Its expertise lies in demolition, crane and rigging, environmental, recycling, dismantling, asset recovery, and plant services. Though limited to one corporate branch, Bierlein has worked all over the United States, primarily in the industrial market.

The group’s payment score from Levelset is below average, earning it a low C at 62 out of 100 points. Despite the alarming score, a consistent flow of high-profile clients since 1957 and the company’s pledge to provide “unparalleled commitment to quality and customer satisfaction” give us some insight into Bierlein’s integrity. 

Some of Bierlein’s top customers include Shell Oil, Sunoco, the University of Michigan, the Kellogg Company, Georgia-Pacific, and Honeywell, among others.

9. ISI Demolition

Total revenue: $51.9

Previous year’s rank: 11

New to the top 10 is ISI Demolition based in Kissimmee, Florida. They specialize in structural demolition and engineering, architectural demolition, shoring and bracing, building razing, and even robotic demolition using remote-controlled Brokk machinery. ISI has over 30 years of demolition experience across over 4,500 projects ranging from office buildings to structures in Disney’s EPCOT center.

The team members at ISI are active in many trade associations — including the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the National Demolition Association, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP) — and also support several local charities and community groups.

Some featured projects in ISI’s extensive portfolio include:

  • Hershey Chocolate Factory, Hershey, PA
  • McCormick Spice Headquarters, Baltimore, MD
  • Toronto Blue Jays stadium and training facility, Toronto, Canada

10. O’Rourke Wrecking Company

Total revenue: $40 million

Previous year’s rank: 15

Making its way into the top 10 this year with a jump from number 15 is O’Rourke Wrecking Company. Based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, O’Rourke is a full-service commercial and industrial demolition contractor that specializes in environmental cleanup and restoration. O’Rourke has been in the demolition game for over 60 years and has a reputation for prioritizing the environment, cleaning up contamination, and performing quality restoration efforts.

Some of their projects handle the demolition of very sensitive structures, such as insulation and power plants. They also provide demolition as an emergency response service, environmental waste management and recycling services, and historical preservation and salvage.

Some of O’Rourke’s recent notable work in their very extensive portfolio includes: