What piling method is suitable for brownfield sites?

When a new building is constructed, the choice of foundation system used by the builders depends first and foremost on the condition of the soil. Deciding on what piling method is suitable for brownfield sites depends on what else may be on-site, such as existing buildings, crops and mineral rights. These factors can cause brownfield sites to become costly and complicated if they aren’t structured accordingly during the design stage.

However, developments on brownfield sites are becoming more commonplace due to the increased scarcity of suitable development land and bare many economical perks. For example, derelict industrial sites can be transformed into shopping centres, commercial offices, public parks, family homes and leisure complexes. They can breathe new life into neighbourhoods, and encourage the transformation of towns and cities which will facilitate job growth, increasing economic growth.

Alongside economical perks, developing on brownfield sites includes many benefits for communities, social and economic benefits from brownfield redevelopment that:

  • Removes actual and potential sources of land, water and air contamination
  • Recovers desirable locations, allowing for the growth of businesses and homes
  • Removes or renovates abandoned and derelict buildings, decreasing the risk of injury, vandalism and arson
  • Preserves historical landmarks and heritage architecture
  • Locates new development in areas where better use can be made of existing infrastructure
  • Reduces urban sprawl

In most cases, these developments require piling and/or deep foundations, due to the unsuitable nature of near-surface material for conventional foundation methods.

Driven precast concrete piles generate no spoil or arisings during their installation, meaning that on urban brown sites there is no hazardous waste to dispose of. Not having to remove bore spoil from site saves a considerable amount of CO2 and cost from a reduction in traffic.

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