This an important but often overlooked part of your building project. Construction has a massive impact on the environment and here at the Building Guide, we like to think that you’re concerned about this too, because it will be our kids who have to deal with the problems we’re creating. The main objective of good site management is to prevent the work on the site from having an impact on the environment off-site. We recommend that a ‘Site Management Plan’ be put in place to manage waste and run-off in order to minimise environmental impact.
Key Items of Site Management
When you are beginning a building project it is very important to consider how you are going to manage things such as:
- The risk of heavy rain which can cause erosion and sediment runoff
- Discharges of contaminants (pollution) from concreting, plastering and painting operations
- The management of construction waste (litter and waste reduction) – an essential part of a ‘Green Building’ eco-friendly approach – much of it can be recycled, but your builder has to buy in to the concept or it won’t be done
- Movement to and from the site by heavy vehicles (which can cause problems on the site and on roadways, footpaths and road berms)
- Any other effects on the environment and neighbouring properties and public places.
What happens and your role
- This is a critical part where you can ensure good practice is followed by your building professionals.
- Do not let your builder bully you into excepting a substandard approach to this important part of the project.
- Councils have regulatory responsibility for ensuring compliance with all these matters.
- Also, as part of its building consent requirements, Councils require all sites where 50m2 or more of earthworks are proposed to have an approved site management plan, and “signoff” (certification) by an engineer that the controls have been implemented before any inspections can be booked.
- Council building inspectors will also check to see if erosion and sediment control measures are implemented in accordance with the approved site management plan.
These measures are all designed to encourage and support best site management practices to reduce the cumulative environmental and social impacts of building activities on small sites.