A Report On The Growth Or Redevelopment Architecture Essay

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Brownfield land is defined as vacant, inactive, or under-used properties where growth or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Reforming and reclaiming Brownfield sites is a main part of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy, which incorporates a wide range of economic, social and environmental aims.

The redevelopment of this Brownfield site plays a key role in achieving the overall goal of sustainability and aids in meeting the UK governments sustainable development objectives. The governments Sustainable Development Strategy states that;

"ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come."

From this we can take four objectives which are fundamental in accomplishing the above statement. These include developing society, protecting the environment, preserving our natural resources and encouraging economic growth. These sustainable development objectives have three aspects which are environmental, economic and social. The design and construction of this sports complex must apply sustainable construction principles in order to achieve a successful sustainable development project. These include life cycle analysis, procurement, site design, material selection and use, recycling of construction and demolished waste, minimising waste and energy consumption.

Brownfield sites have become increasingly popular for development purposes in recent years due to the small amount of available Greenfield sites, especially in places where demand for residential and commercial property is high. There are over 66,000 hectares of Brownfield sites in the UK. The Scottish Executive estimates that there are 14,000 hectares of derelict and vacant land where 30% lies within Glasgow and North Lanarkshire. The UK is dedicated to developing Brownfield sites and has set it as a priority. It has already exceeded its 2008 target of building over 60% of new houses on Brownfield sites, and aims to significantly grow this percentage over the next decade.

2.0 Main Body/ Discussion

2.1 Issues Relating to the Redevelopment of this Brownfield Land.

The reclamation and reuse of this Brownfield site involves transforming the land, which was previously used for heavy industries, in order to make it suitable for a sports complex use. This site has been used for potentially contaminative activities which will require consideration as part of the redevelopment of this site. A site examination will aid in identifying the potential locations of hazardous materials and assess past and present activities undertaken at the site. Assessing the past and present uses at the site will identify the chemicals and the areas of potential concern. As the site is considered Brownfield land it is imperative that the local authorities that cover this small town make sure that successful remediation is carried on the land.

The previous uses of this has to be considered as there are various hazardous materials associated with textile manufacturing, furniture and truck repair use which may potentially be expected and these include:

  • Asbestos (insulation, fire protection and sheeting)
  • Transformer oils containing PCBs
  • Hazardous chemicals and chemical wastes
  • Process wastes
  • Poisons and toxic chemicals
  • Buried ordnance and drums
  • Contents of underground storage tanks
  • Petroleum and Oil
  • CFC and halon fire extinguishers
  • Gas
  • Bituminous wastes such as tar
  • Fill and contaminated soils
  • Ash waste from boilers and furnaces.

Government guidelines concerning land containing contaminative substances is that remediation should be introduced at the planning and redevelopment stage. There are no set standards for remediation and the standard applied is 'suitability for use'.

The Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 legislation requires local authorities to identify contaminated land in their area and to ensure effective remediation. Contaminated land is defined for the purpose of Part IIA of The Environmental Protection Act 1990 as:

"Any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land that: a. significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or b. pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be caused" (Section 78A(2), part IIA Environmental Protection Act 1990).

This redevelopment project should also be developed in accordance with Scotland's National Waste Strategy (NWSS) and should use their principles as guidelines and these consist of sustainable waste management, promotion of the proximity principle and self-sufficiency in the management of Scotland's waste, application of the preventative principle and the polluter pays principle, implementation of the waste hierarchy according to the following priorities:

  • Waste Prevention
  • Re-use
  • Recycling
  • Composting
  • Energy Recovery
  • Landfill Disposal

Various environmental concerns have to be considered when redeveloping this Brownfield land such as traffic and noise generation, waste disposal, existing trees and biodiversity. It is considered that research into site history, a site investigation, documented files of remediation and site preparation are all important elements of the planning and development process.

This Brownfield site needs to be inspected by a practised environmental consultant and an assessment needs to be carried out before redevelopment can take place. This assessment involves examining the soil, groundwater and surface water by carrying out tests for hazardous compounds, and guarantees that proper methods are exercised to reduce identified hazards and liabilities. This redevelopment project must meet the current environmental regulations. A special license is necessary in order to repossess Brownfield sites and firm environmental regulations can be excessive for developers. If the environmental assessment is encouraging and aids the redevelopment, then the next stage is remediation.

Remediation of a Brownfield site is the elimination of identified contaminants to levels regarded as safe for human health. Redevelopment can only take place after all environmental health hazards have been identified and eliminated. If the site assessment carried out indicates that the land in question is contaminated then corrective measures may need to be applied. Remediation methods include hydraulic measures, excavation and in-ground containment techniques. Other methods such as biological and physical processes of treating contaminants should be considered but these processes will depend on the type and nature of the contaminant.

The establishment of an eye-catching environment is perceived as being important, either involving the renovation of a derelict building or the demolition of that building so as to construct a new development. The physical features of this site are vital as ground-bearing capability has implications for topography, foundation design and water features affect the design of the development. A part of the site may need be sterilised due to the presence of contaminants and views of striking aspects may limit the building orientation.

Transport is affected by the redevelopment of this Brownfield land, with consequences for the engineering and construction stages of the development, in choosing remedial techniques for site preparation and in the final shape of the development and its acceptability to users.

2.2 Identification of the Hazardous Materials from the Demolished Waste

In order to calculate the possible number of hazardous materials contained in the building and the site, a method based on the assessment and the assembly of facts can be used. This method can take the form of sampling and testing, the collection of historical information and data on the materials used.

During demolition activities, one or more of the following types of residuals may be produced:

Excavated waste includes soil, rock, sand, gravel, concrete, asphaltic concrete, cinder blocks, brick, minimal amounts of wood and metal and inert solids used for fill or reclamation. For example concrete containing wire mesh or reinforcement may be classified as excavated fill. Concrete, cinder blocks, bricks or other clean fill materials that are painted with non-heavy metal-based paints are considered clean fill. The most typical contaminants are lead and other heavy metals.

Hazardous Materials & Wastes

Although a variety of hazardous materials may be found in old buildings, lead-based paint and asbestos are the most common items dealt with by demolition contractors. As lead and other toxic heavy metals may be held in the wastes stated previously, they call for cautious management and removal. In addition, lead-based paint is still manufactured for corrosion or rust protection on steel structures and for other industrial purposes. In older buildings, lead was also used for roofs, cornices, tank linings and electrical conduits. In plumbing soft solder, an alloy of lead and tin was used for soldering tinplate and copper pipe joints.

Asbestos Containing Materials

All public, institutional or commercial buildings must be inspected for asbestos before renovation or demolition activities. Before planning a demolition project or beginning the demolition, it is imperative to know if the building has any asbestos-containing materials and who is in charge of removing them. Buildings may contain asbestos in materials such as ceiling or floor tile, as insulation or soundproofing on ceilings, pipes, ductwork or boilers, or in wall plaster.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB's)

Polychlorinated Biphenyls are one of the most harmful hazards found in demolished waste. A key problem with this hazard is the difficulty of identifying materials containing PCBs due to the small amount of data and information available about the material. Electrical equipment containing PCBs in closed uses is usually clearly branded with information and indicates whether or not the element contains PCBs. PCB containing materials and elements present in buildings are normally unmarked. Some examples include paint and plaster along with elastic fillers, impregnated wood, flooring materials and adhesives. PCBs have been employed for a wide range of purposes in open use, for instance, varnishes, waxes, synthetic resins, epoxy and marine paints, coatings and flame retardants.

2.3 Elimination of the Hazardous Materials from the Demolished Waste

After identification of the hazardous materials on site and in the building, it is possible that the demolition waste may contain some of the previously talked about harmful substances. It is crucial that during the demolition process a planned and concise method for the material segregation is implemented along with good site management. This will stop the waste mixing with hazardous materials. This solution maximises the amount of recyclable demolished waste aggregates. The first stages include assessing the building on site followed by:

  • Removal of all remains, fixtures and fittings within the building.
  • Stripping and removing all doors, windows, roof elements, heating, water and electric fittings. There is a possibility that tyres and fuel containers may have been left behind from the truck repair workshop.
  • Demolition of the building's main structure and its associated foundations.

A Waste Management Plan should be put into operation on this Brownfield site and be included in the demolition process. This strategy allows the demolition waste to be isolated from the hazardous waste. The purpose of this approach is to minimise the amount of waste that requires treatment or removal.

2.4 Recycling of Materials for Concrete & Asphalt

In order to accomplish a successful sustainable redevelopment project it is essential that recycled demolition waste is used for the production of the asphalt and concrete and implemented in the sports complex. By recycling aggregates and using them in the construction process a contribution is made towards reducing the use of natural resources and protection of the environment.

Construction and demolition waste contains various building materials such as conventional, structural lightweight, and cellular concretes and also can include bricks, concrete masonry blocks, natural stone, portland cement mortar, plaster, stucco, and terrazzo, gypsum plaster, ceramic materials, roofing tiles and shingles, glass, wood, paper; plastic, asphalt, and metals. Some of these materials are contaminants in concrete. So the recycling of building rubble presents a much greater challenge, but it can and is being done all over the world.

Recycled concrete is being used to produce aggregates for many types of general applications; base or fill for drainage structures; pavement sub-bases; soil-cement pavement bases; and new concrete for pavements, shoulders, median barriers, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, building foundations, and even structural grade concrete. Crushed brick rubble may be used as an aggregate for lightweight concrete and crushed masonry aggregate from various types of demolition debris can be used in precast concrete.

There is a key issue with using these aggregates as it is essential that the segregated waste is free from contaminants as this can have an effect on performance in terms of strength and behaviour of the finished material. Bitumen, organic matter, mortar and soil are potential substances that could be present in the material.

2.5 Material Selection for the Main Sports Hall

When addressing the choice of materials for this sports complex and in particular the main sports hall it is important to consider the input of the recycled and reclaimed materials from the brownfield land and the energy performance of the selected materials. In order to achieve a sustainable building, the energy performances of the selected materials have to be considered in conjunction with the construction systems and renewable energy technologies.

Passive solar design has the potential to reduce a buildings energy use by 50% and more. The use of low energy materials has the potential to reduce a buildings energy use by 80%, while the recycling and reusing materials can reduce the energy use of a building by 40%. Seeing that numerous reclaimed materials are used to replace new materials that must be processed for use, reclaimed materials preserves natural resources and reduces the energy use and pollution linked with these activities. For example, replacing coal fly ash for portland cement in concrete saves energy and greenhouse gas emissions related with producing cement.

The material build up for the sports hall consists of concrete pad foundations interconnected with concrete ground beams. The structural framing is made up of an insitu concrete frame of columns and beams with cast insitu concrete floor slab. The roof design consists of a concrete flat slab roof deck which supports a green roof. The sports hall walls are of solid masonry with mineral wool insulation. The building envelope is clad in stone panels manufactured with recycled aggregate and aluminium glazing units provides the buildings natural light. The sports hall flooring is finished with a solid timber floor.

The following is an outline specification for the material selection for the sports hall;

Sub-structure Development

Structural hardcore is an engineered fill that is built up in layers and compacted to a designed thickness. Coal fly ash, bottom ash, slag, and spent foundry sand can all be used as structural fill. Concrete can be crushed and used onsite as hardcore. Excavated clay after segregation can be used in place of natural soil as support material for the building site and can also improve soil quality. Scrap tires, blast furnace slag and recycled concrete can be used as backfilling around the building foundation for superior drainage, insulation, and wall pressure assistance.

Foundations & Structural framing

The existing masonry building on the Brownfield site may be used to produce aggregate that can be used for the concrete foundations and insitu-concrete frame. The recycled aggregates can aid in strengthening the overall tension and reduce the quantity of steel reinforcement required in the foundations and the frame. It is essential that all materials are sourced locally to assist in the hunt of sustainability. These aggregates can be graded and made to suit different concrete mix types. Conventional concrete aggregate consists of sand and various sizes and shapes of gravel or stones and can be used in a wide array of building applications. Reclaimed materials can be recycled in cement and concrete in many ways and used for these concrete elements. Here are a few examples:

  • Fly ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag can be used as partial cement replacements. Using these materials can produce stronger, longer-lasting concrete.
  • Portland cement itself can be made with fly ash, FGD gypsum, foundry sand, recycled gypsum wallboard, blast furnace, and steel slag.
  • Concrete aggregates can include bottom ash, foundry sand, crushed concrete, and blast furnace slag.
  • Recycled-content foundation blocks.

The main energy benefit of using concrete in buildings is its high thermal mass that leads to thermal stability. This saves energy and produces a better indoor environment for building users.

Building Envelope (Walls & Insulation)

The building shell is similar in its needs with our own skin, which is a waterproof, vapour-transmitting, self-repairing, sensitive membrane containing signal-transmitting nerve endings and heating and cooling systems all within a few millimetres of its surface.

Reclaimed blocks can be reused in new block wall construction. Masonry blocks are made from cement and aggregate. Slag cement, fly ash, or silica fume can substitute partially for cement. Bottom ash, blast furnace slag, and recycled concrete aggregate can substitute for newly mined materials. Recycled drywall can be used for new drywall and cement. Air-cooled blast furnace slag can be used to produce mineral or rock wool insulation.


The cladding system for this proposed sports complex is imperative in terms of thermal performance, natural light and water penetration. Manufactured stone panels, which consist of concrete mixed with aggregates, are used as buildings primary cladding material. Fly ash can be used in the production of manufactured stone. The weight of the stone provides a mass factor that absorbs the ambient air temperature and releases this stored energy throughout the day or night. This energy performance results in heating and cooling cost savings.


The sports hall requires a specific surface. Salvaged lumber or recycled wood can be used as the flooring material. Crumb rubber which is a fine granular or powdered rubber capable of being used as the resilient flooring underlay. It is recovered from scrap tires using thermal and/or mechanical processing techniques. This would be a sustainable option and under floor insulation can be comprised of mineral wool or foamed glass.

Roofing systems

Green roofs are roofs covered with plants; they reduce storm runoff and provide insulation. Scrap tires can be used to make rubber tile for walkways. Bottom ash can be used as bedding material. Clean wood, recycled gypsum wallboard, and cardboard can be ground and used as soil amendments in both green roofs and landscaping applications. Reconstituted or recycled fascia, soffit or trims can be reused in roof design. There is a possibility for recycled underlay and/or sheathing for reuse in oriented strand board. Due to the high quantity of insulation that they provide, green roofs are acknowledged for their capacity to provide an exceptionally constant temperature right through the year. During the winter they keep the heat in, and in the summer they provide a relatively cool environment.

Recycling concrete aggregates for use in new concrete for the various building elements can help improve the material and overall building energy performance. The advantages of using large amounts of concrete in the sports complex include;

  • Optimising the benefits of solar gain, so reducing the need for heating fuel.
  • Reduces heating energy consumption
  • Moderates fluctuations in internal temperature.
  • Can reduce the energy costs of buildings.
  • Makes best use of low-temperature heat sources such as ground source heat pumps.
  • The reductions in energy use for both heating and cooling cuts emissions of CO2
  • Will help future proof buildings against climate change.

2.6 Issues Relating to the Design of Sustainable Urban Drainage System

At the moment SUDS are becoming more widespread in Scotland, but there is a general view that they are inappropriate for use Brownfield sites. This speculation is unproven as any problems related to land contamination are tackled during SUDS design. It is known that the choice of SUDS systems will be determined by the 'suitable for use' standard of re-development. SUDS present a range of techniques which can be chosen to meet the particular requirements of a development site.

In several instances, using SUDS in Brownfield sites is in fact of greater significance, due to the ongoing environmental demands. Brownfield sites are frequently situated where existing watercourses are contaminated by urban drainage and where urbanisation has intensified flooding. SUDS will ensure that contamination and flooding are not amplified by the new development. Where a site is supplied by an existing collective scheme the integration of SUDS may decrease the discharge of raw sewage from storm overflows in the downstream drainage system.

The move towards using SUDS on Brownfield sites must be included at the initial stage of the redevelopment design. If a site is affected by contamination, SUDS must not activate contaminants or act as a passageway to transmit such contaminants. SUDS design can ensure that this does not take place. SUDS methods can also be modified to manage space shortages and poor soil infiltration. Brownfield sites regularly have a high wildlife habitat and SUDS present a chance to preserve and develop biodiversity.

A successful SUDS scheme will require the designers to coordinate with the shareholders as part of the development procedure. The design team and investors should consider SUDS at the feasibility stage of the development and at each subsequent stage so that the best possible sustainable solution can be achieved. The retrofitting of SUDS as a drainage solution on brownfield sites might require added matters to be considered, such as the separation of combined sewers.

An array of issues need to considered and assessed for suitable SUDS planning and design for this particular site, which further substantiates the significance of early discussions and conceptual design work.

Various planning aspects need to be considered, where ensuring the SUDS scheme meets local environmental and community objectives is imperative along with securing long term operating finance from the future owner. Site controls should be linked in with regional initiatives. The civil engineering design is a key issue in SUDS design where estimations have to be carried out to calculate the runoff response from the proposed development. Hydraulic, structural and geotechnical design plays a major role in designing a SUDS scheme. Alongside the engineering design, hydrology is analysed where assessments of groundwater risks, infiltration performance and soil suitability are all studied. Landscaping and ecology are also important factors in the SUDS planning and design framework. Landscaping and planting is considered in combination with the integration of SUDS into the urban landscape and the development of the appropriate management plans. The site design and management aid in maximising ecological value. During design of a SUDS scheme, the construction stage has to be account in terms of buildability, construction processes and the construction programme. The long-term maintenance requirements of SUDS have to be considered at the planning and design stage. Maintenance of SUDS differs from that for conventional systems, so it is important to allocate responsibility for the maintenance of SUDS early in discussion before planning approval for the development is given.

The drainage solution adopted for this particular project could comprise the following components:

  • Permeable surfaces.
  • A surface that allows the inflow of rainwater into the underlying construction or soil.

  • Treatment swales.
  • Shallow vegetated channels that hold water, and may also allow infiltration.

  • Detention basins.
  • Attenuate roof and pavement runoff.

  • Filter strips.
  • Vegetated areas of gently sloping ground which are intended to drain water off impermeable areas and to filter out silt and other residuals.

  • Filter drains.
  • Linear drains consisting of trenches filled with a permeable material, usually with a perforated pipe in the base of the trench to assist drainage and store water.

  • Bio-retention area.
  • Vegetated areas designed to collect and treat water before release via a piped system or infiltration to the ground.

  • Infiltration devices.
  • These devices are sub-surface structures which encourage the infiltration of surface water to ground. They can be trenches, basins or soakaways.

  • Green roof.
  • Vegetated roof that reduces the volume and rate of runoff and removes pollution.

  • Conventional pipework to convey flows from detention basins to pond.

A series of conduits and their accessories usually laid underground that pass on surface water to a suitable location for treatment or disposal.

3.0 Conclusion

This Brownfield redevelopment in Scotland has the opportunity to eliminate environmental health hazards while also acting as a mechanism for community regeneration. Involving this community in this project can help provide detailed information about past activities on the site. This project is effectively managed as a sustainable redevelopment scheme where this Brownfield site can provide development prospects, generate opportunities for employment, encourage social inclusion and cohesion, provide good accessibility for all to green areas, minimise the use of un-recycled resources, protect biodiversity and the natural environment and combat the impacts of climate change.

The issues stated in the brief are tackled by the writer in this study. The three dimensions of "sustainable development objectives" are strongly looked at in conjunction with the issues relating to the redevelopment of Brownfield Land. The information assembled in this report covers hazardous materials identification and elimination from the demolished waste, along with an analysis of the prospect of using recycled masonry rubble and other reclaimed materials in the production of various elements of the sports complex with an emphasis on energy performance. A detailed examination of the issues surrounding the design of a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) for this particular development is also provided.

It is clearly evident that there needs to be a unified approach in order to meet the sustainable development objectives. It is obvious that the construction industry has a fundamental part to play in the quest of sustainability. The government's sustainable development objectives should drive the construction sector towards achieving these objectives which will result in "a better quality of life".

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