The Importance of Site Preparation and Restoration to the Environment
The building green process starts before a single board is nailed and under the architectural drawings of a building. Many people do not realize it but one of the most important steps to protecting the environment is when the first excavators roll onto a construction site to begin the ground preparation. It is changes in the way the ground is prepared that have had one of the biggest impacts on maintaining water quality and reducing pollutants and contaminants.
Why Do We Dig before We Build?
Years ago, site prep was used with a single purpose. That purpose was to have a level foundation to build from and any excavation work was simply for the purpose of ensuring the base would be solid enough to hold the weight of the structure. While that is still a primary and important purpose, now building codes have ensured that more is achieved than structural integrity. It can be assumed than any building, and particularly industrial and commercial buildings, will have spills around them containing ground water contaminants.
Whether it is the obvious like a fuel station or repair garage where the small drips of gasoline and diesel accumulate over time even if no actual accidental spill occurs, or the driveway of a residential home where lubricants from a car like a tiny oil leak or just oil byproducts from the road on the tire cause the dark patches in your driveway it is certain that things will accumulate on the ground that if allowed to soak in will destroy plants and vegetation and eventually foul the water table below the building.
The new codes take this into account and as well as preparing the surface to be built on aa a solid level base, materials are used to make this contamination remain localized and prevent it from reaching water tables or leaching into nearby soil. This is done by measuring the porosity and leaching qualities of the natural soil as well as depth to the bedrock and water table and putting in natural barriers of clay bearing fill prevent and contaminants from leaching out of the immediate area around the building to protect the surrounding lands.
Tearing Down Buildings and Site Restoration
While tearing down a building used to mean simply bringing in large machinery and dump trucks and hauling thousands if not millions of tons of debris to a landfill, it is now a huge recycling project that includes stripping metal and valuable copper and steel and recycling it, reclaiming hardwood in some cases, and pulverizing and chipping other waste products for more ecologically sound disposal. Once again, just as the site preparation began, the clean u may end with equipment form Scott JCB Plant Sales like huge excavators digging up thousands of cubic yards of dirt to be moved to a cleaning and recycling facility where the contaminants are removed by a variety of processes and the whole filled with clean stone and topsoil that will support natural vegetation growth and prevent the contaminants of past decades from doing further damage.
It is nice to know that the heavy machinery and excavators that in years past symbolized the harm construction and expansion brought to the environment now are playing a major role in protecting the environment.