Sep 04, 2019

Brownfield land offers a sustainable solution to the housing crisis

In an article written for August’s edition of Showhouse, our Technical Manager, Simon Horn, talks about the option that timber frame offers to build on brownfield sites where the ground may require significant work to remove contaminants.

Roger Hunt’s article comments that an analysis of brownfield land registers by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) shows that there is enough space on brownfield land to build at least one million new homes. Yet the proportion of brownfield housing developments has fallen to its lowest level in the past five years.  But the feeling is that building on brownfield land can breathe fresh life into towns and cities and represents the most sustainable location for building homes.

The CPRE is calling for the government to introduce a genuine ‘brownfield first’ policy which ensures that suitable, previously developed or under-used land is prioritised for redevelopment over green spaces and countryside.  Yet despite their advantages, brownfield sites often involve more risk for the developer.  Contamination which is a risk to human health is a key problem, as is species of animal or plant which might need clearance first.  Other key considerations are pollution linkage and drainage.  

Timber frame systems offer developers the option to work with an extremely lightweight form of construction.   SMTS Technical Manager Simon Horn explains “For brownfield sites this means the superstructure has less impact on the ground upon which it is built, with less work on foundations.  This is particularly pertinent for brownfield regeneration where the ground may require significant remediation to remove pollution and other contaminants.”

Offsite construction can also reduce construction noise and traffic levels while having a positive impact on the speed of the overall build programme.  

Read the full article at:

Follow Roger Hunt on twitter: @huntwriter

Homes For Scotland Home Builders Federation National House-Building Council Royal Institute of British Architects Structural Timber Association Constructionline British Board of Agrement Wood Campus Build Off Site Building Research Establishment WOOD FOR GOOD

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