Last edited 29 Jun 2021

Site clearance

Construction site.jpg

The process of site clearance is generally undertaken as part of enabling works, carried out to prepare a site for construction. It involves the clearing the site to allow other remedial, treatment or demolition works to take place before the actual construction works can begin.

It involves clearing a site of any machinery or equipment, unwanted surplus materials, rubbish, and so on. Site clearance may also involve clearing away vegetation and surface soil, and levelling and preparing the ground for the planned construction works. Care should be taken to ensure that there are the correct approvals in place, particularly for trees which may be protected.

A site waste management plan (SWMP) may be prepared before site clearance begins. This describes how materials will be managed efficiently and disposed of legally, explaining how the re-use and recycling of materials will be maximised. All types of waste present on the site must be removed safely and efficiently. If there is any contaminated waste or potentially hazardous substances (such as asbestos), professional disposal experts must be consulted to safely handle them.

For more information, see Site waste management plan.

Site clearance might be carried out as part of the main construction contract, or it may be carried out in advance of the main contract, and might be part of a wider contract including other enabling works or facilitating works, such as; demolition works, soil stabilisation works, services diversion, constructing access roads, and so on.

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