UNDATED (CNN) -- When crews demolish an old building, it usually involves a wrecking ball or an explosion and lots of dust. But engineers in Tokyo have now found a way to bring down a structure without all that noise and debris!
Watch closely, it's not a magic trick; instead it's a remarkable feat of engineering and a clever way to bring down an old 40-story hotel in the heart of Tokyo. "We've gone from a height of 138 meters to about 80 meters today," Taisei's Hideki Ichihara says.
And how does this work? It's a delicate demolition that is quiet on the outside but very busy on the inside. As the video shows, going floor by floor, crews take out the beams and supporting columns.
The debris is removed, then temporary jacks then lower what remains. All told, the shrinking should take about 6 to 7 months.
The downside, there are cheaper ways to take down this building. But in this densely populated city, this is a cleaner and more efficient option - and it's one that doesn't disturb the neighbors. "If we just blew up this building, there would be damage to that building, that building, it'd be a mess," Ichihara says.
And yes, he says, this is something that could be done just about anywhere in the world. A clever alternative that shows, what goes up, can come down slowly but surely.