CIRIA appoints research lead for new guidance on sustainable management of surplus soils

Brownfield development

CIRIA, the Construction Industry Research and Information Association has commissioned a new research project that aims to produce concise, up to date, interactive guidance on the whole surplus soil management process from ‘cradle to grave’, with Stantec appointed as the project research contractor.

The challenges surrounding the management of large amounts of waste soil on both brownfield and construction projects can be complex. An important and sometimes difficult issue is the decision to identify site soils as waste, or when they have achieved end-of-waste status. There is also confusion regarding the classification, handling, storage, disposal, and reuse of these soils in line with legal obligations and regulatory requirements.

CIRIA has recognised these difficulties and commissioned this new research. The aim is to develop an interactive guidance document that will allow the user to make informed decisions on their surplus soil management. The tool will look specifically at the site activities and the related management requirements. A key objective of the research is to give the designer or planner a better understanding of their soil management options, thereby reducing the opportunities for the generation of surplus soils.

Francis Crozier, Director – Land Group said, “CIRIA’s decision to appoint Stantec to this research is a great opportunity for our technical waste advisory specialists to bring their expertise to benefit the project. We look forward to Stantec providing a range of technically sound and commercially focused solutions to this research.”

Chris Berryman, Principal Consultant, Waste & Resources Management added, “I recently chaired CIRIA’s webinar on the sustainable management of surplus soils from construction and with over 80 attendees the message was clear that this research is long overdue. Several organizations are highlighting the key issues for producers or end users of these waste streams, but until now there has been a lack of any joined up approach. This new project gives CIRIA the opportunity to take the lead in clarifying guidance and approaches for construction, infrastructure and land development sectors in the UK and should generate environmental, compliance and commercial benefits. With the Environment Agency stepping away from the production of industry guidance this can only be welcomed.”

The first draft of the report will be completed by late December 2020, with open consultation workshops held in late January 2021. CIRIA and the Project Steering Group welcome contributions during the consultation phase. For further information on the research please visit the CIRIA website.