- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 13 Oct 2020
The term ‘environmental impact’ refers to the possible effects a particular action may have on the natural environment. These effects can be either negative or positive.
According to the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), the construction sector uses more than 400 million tons of material each year, much of which has a negative environmental impact. In particular, the products that are used during the construction process can be damaging due to intensive extraction of raw materials, transporting to manufacturing plant and site, energy consumption in manufacture and in use, waste generation and so on.
In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has highlighted the ‘significant change in the surface of a land’ due to construction activity which involves clearing vegetation, excavation, disrupting habitats, changes to drainage patterns and the water table, noise pollution, light pollution, dust, vibration and so on.
The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 sets out a requirement to carry out an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as part of the planning application process for certain projects (generally large or environmentally complex projects).
The purpose of an EIA is to ensure that the environmental effects of a proposed development are properly considered. An EIA provides the local planning authority with better information about certain types of project enabling them to make a more informed decision about whether permission should be granted and to allow imposition of more appropriate conditions and obligations to mitigate possible negative impacts.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Construction environmental management plan.
- Environmental impact assessment.
- Environmental impact of biomaterials and biomass (FB 67).
- Environmental modelling.
- Environmental policy.
- Environmental statement.
- Feasibility studies for construction projects.
- Greenhouse gases.
- In-combination effects.
- Natural environment.
Featured articles and news
How faulty science resulted in sanitation reform.
Improving facilities, accessibility and overall appearance.
Free download of TG 12/2021 available.
TESP works with The Youth Group to form skill sharing network.
Big tech collaborates on platform for the built environment.
Letter signed by 21 organisations sent to MHCLG.
A look at the Government's strategic approach.
Steps to help reduce the spread of infection inside buildings.
This social media-centred hobby can be both dangerous and illegal.
Millwork wall treatment with a long and illustrious history.
HSE introduces cumulative exposure calculator.
The Edwardians and their houses.
Cut off from civilian life for over 900 years.
Click the button to subscribe.