In ASUC News


The government has set a target 300,000 new homes to be built each year for at least the next 12 years.

In October, ASUC member company Abbey Pynford and Ground Engineering hosted a round table conversation with Local Authority Building Control (LABC), Tree Design Action Group, and others to discuss this target and the various ways to meet it.

There was some debate as to whether this target is achievable. John Patch, Abbey Pynford Sales and Marketing Director, reminded the group of the drive to build 400,000 new homes per year in the 1960s.

“We mustn’t lose sight that we can achieve these house-building targets,” said Patch. “With regard to the 300,000 figure, we are looking at building far more on brownfield sites, and to that end we need to pursue more engineered foundations for those developments.”

With planning permission on greenfield sites ever harder to come by, brownfield and marginal land is increasingly appealing for new developments. However, the use of such land presents unique complications that will require innovative solutions.


“It is ASUC members who are innovating the most”


ASUC Executive Director Rob Withers highlighted the innovation already present in construction, with ASUC members leading the way in the piling and foundation industry.

“We are already there with innovation and it is our members who are innovating the most,” he said. “These are the firms with the innovative products and who won’t be demanding developers provide piling mats and will still supply the slab. They have smaller rigs, can be flexible and deliver what developers want.”

One innovative solution provided by ASUC members is engineered solutions to the problems posed by brownfield sites. As John Patch noted, “We want the engineered solution to become the norm; that is where we need to get to. There will be certain circumstances where we will engineer a trench-fill foundation because that will be the best solution at that point in time on that particular site, for that particular structure.”

“It is not only a better route; it is also more cost-effective, more sustainable, and, indeed, safer.”


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