you can use a combination of tricks to make a convincing building destruction effect in blender without breaking your computer.
this setup takes advantage of:
- dynamic painting
- particle system
- explosion modifier
- solidify modifier
- weight painting
- smoke system
the dynamic painting helps determine where the explosion will hit on the building, its used to generate the explosion mask and govern the forces acting on the pieces.
this mask is fed into the particle system, to drive the physics of the particles, determining which are affected by gravity and other forces and which are not.
the explosion modifier, uses the particle system to fracture the mesh and translate the particle movement to the mesh chunks or fractures it creates.
the solidify just adds thickness to the walls.
the weight painting is created by dynamic painting, to determine which chunks can emit smoke with the smoke system.