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NHBC's land quality services manager Karen Thornton shares her expert opinion on the important of early engagement across all types of brownfield sites.

The importance of early engagement 

NHBC is well-known as the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK, but our commitment to building quality and raising standards in the house-building industry starts at the very earliest point. 

NHBC’s Land Quality Service (LQS) team work in partnership with housebuilders, strategic land developers and other organisations to de-risk sites and ensure the successful bringing forward of land for residential markets. 

The LQS teamwork to NHBC Standards 4.1 (Land quality – managing ground conditions) and can tailor and independently review proposals at any stage to provide practical advice and cost-effective guidance through a phased approach that is designed to reflect the structure of the Standard.

A phased approach

The first stage, ‘Hazards Identification/Evaluation’, is a desk study appraisal of the findings of site investigations to make sure important hazards are identified and thoroughly assessed. This involves a rigorous examination of all documentation relating to the site to ensure any risks can be effectively managed with remedial solutions.

In the second stage, ‘Managing the Risks’, there is an even more detailed look at the proposal, particularly the foundation approach. Consideration is also given to groundworks solutions and there is a further overview of risks. 

The third stage, ‘Documentation and Verification’, confirms that the stated remedial works have achieved their pre-agreed objectives and there is evidence of compliance with Standards. 

The LQS team not only delve into the details to highlight any possible problems, but they also work in partnership with our customers to ensure effective solutions, including expert advice on which foundation systems are acceptable (or unacceptable) and remediation expectations on any outstanding issues that would need to be resolved before or during development. 

Getting it the right first time 

Land with an NHBC Land Quality Service Certificate gives confidence in the site prior to NHBC registration. It offers assurance that the team has thoroughly reviewed the investigation, land remediation work proposals, and verification work for compliance with NHBC Standards for development.  

As we all know getting things right the first time can not only prevent issues later it also results in increased customer satisfaction and higher quality standards overall. That is why engaging with the LQS team at the earliest stage of development can add value throughout the build process.

NHBC are Premium Partners of Environment Analyst's Brownfield & Regeneration Network. To learn more about NHBC visit their profile page. To learn more about Premium Partnership, and how you could get involved, please click here.