Brownfield building projects 'a step forward'
13th Apr 2012
Building on brownfield sites would be a great way of helping to make property construction projects more sustainable, which in turn would boost the perception of the industry, it has been claimed.
Dr Mark Cowley, principal partner at Listers Geotechnical Consultants, said that one of the most important factors in making building projects more environmentally sustainable is to construct new developments on brownfield sites, wherever possible.
On a relatively small island such as the United Kingdom, land is a precious and finite resource and the government's previous policy of brownfield first went a "considerable way" to achieving this aim, he explained.
"This does not mean that any development on a greenfield site is automatically environmentally unsustainable - however the policy of brownfield first meant that a new development was not taking up new land," Dr Cowley noted.
"These are sites have previously been developed and for whatever reason could now be built on again."
Constructors can also make building projects more environmentally sustainable by trying to recycle and reuse materials from the brownfield site as a part of a new development.
He noted that old concrete floor slabs can be crushed and used as aggregate, soils that have some residual contamination in them can be cleaned up and reused and even old foundations can be utilised on some sites.
A third important factor is to construct the development using materials such as timber from sustainable and managed sources, the expert suggested.
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