My first destruction shoots at Dreamworks was create by a huge impact during a fight.
After create curves on the way to approuve the animatic, I use my modeling skill to create the model. Each piece was attach to a nurbs surface. A Mel script take the control of the orientation on each piece.
A composition mask was created with nurbs surface motion to blend in between the orignal and broken wall. Debris and dust was created base on piece motion.