What are the advantages of building on a greenfield site?

What are the advantages of building on a greenfield site?

There are many advantages of greenfield sites including creative freedom with design and layout to community benefits such as population growth, space for education and community spaces and more space for living. In addition, developers aren’t held back by the constraints of a previous development like they can be with a brownfield site

Greenfield sites can be more desirable to buyers, especially when they are located near a large city or town. Acting as a suburb, a greenfield site can appeal to people that want the community and home benefits of a smaller town with the accessibility and amenities of a city or larger town nearby.

What is a greenfield site?

In simple terms, a greenfield site is a plot of land that hasn’t been developed or built upon. With the UK needing around 300,000 more houses to be built annually and cities becoming overpopulated, many developers are turning their attention to greenfield opportunities instead. Greenfield sites offer more freedom to developers for design and expansion than brownfield sites, which often redevelop existing properties and buildings. 

Unlike brownfield sites, greenfield sites are uncontaminated and give developers a blank slate for their projects. 

What are the advantages of building on a greenfield site?

No Clean-Up Costs

Many brownfield sites, such as warehouses or factories, are contaminated by previous inhabitants. These need to be decontaminated before any work can begin. Greenfield sites, however, won’t have been contaminated before. Therefore, Greenfield sites won’t need to be cleaned up before a developer can get to work on their site. In contrast, brownfield sites, even when not contaminated, will need to be cleared of previous buildings, rubbish and potential hazards before work can begin. 

Brownfield sites are usually cheaper to buy at first, but the costs incurred from the initial stage can become more expensive than a greenfield site. In addition, the full cost of a brownfield development clean-up isn’t clear until the work begins, making it hard for developers to know their total costs upfront. 

 No Limitations to property size and design

The space is one of the most desirable advantages of a greenfield site for developers and architects. Unlike brownfield sites that are often constricted to the site that was already there, greenfield sites are new and can be designed however the developer wants. 

Greenfield sites give developers more opportunities to design community-focused developments. As greenfield sites have more space and are typically in rural or suburban areas, there is an opportunity to build schools, healthcare centres and community hubs. 

Greenfield sites give architects and developers more freedom to be more forward-thinking in their design and create larger and more attractive developments. 

This freedom of space can also ease compliance with environmental and sustainability standards. It is easier for developers to create an environmentally conscious development when they are not held back by constraints of time and money clearing and decontaminating an area. 

Promotes the expansion of cities, allowing for population growth

Greenfield sites are often sat outside cities and towns, but this means an opportunity to expand a city or town. Many cities are already overpopulated, and many new builds are apartment buildings or student accommodations. Greenfield sites on the outskirts of cities can offer people the benefits of living in a smaller town or village, such as larger houses, green spaces and community, while also giving them the benefit of living near a city for employment and amenities. 

Construction timelines are typically faster

Unlike brownfield sites, most greenfield sites can start with development right away. As a result, construction timelines on greenfield sites are typically faster as there isn’t any clearing up, decontaminating or removing unwanted buildings from the site. 

There are many benefits to building on greenfield sites. The creative freedom and space to build larger homes and green spaces are very attractive to developers. Costs, in the beginning, can be kept a lot lower than redeveloping a brownfield site, when previous factories or inhabitants can cause developers a lot of money in clean-up fees. There is an environmental concern regarding greenfield developments as it is associated with building over the countryside that developers should protect. When building on a greenfield site, developers could consider how to make their site remain green and think about creating an environmentally conscious development.