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Designers must waste not, want not; in association with DOVE BUILDING MATERIALS CONSTRUCTING EXCELLENCE IN THE NORTH EAST.


SITE Waste Management Plans - or SWMPs, as they are commonly known - became an English legal requirement in April, but is the construction industry clear as to who is responsible for starting and maintaining them?

It is now law to have an active SWMP on all construction projects worth over pounds 300,000, but it seems not everyone is actually abiding by the law and actively starting and running the plans, despite the regulations having been in force for five months.

A recent survey by the South East Centre for the Built Environment (SECBE) showed that only 40% of contractors actually know what to do with the plans.

Tim McGeachan, SEBCE's marketing manager, pointed to the reality of the situation when he told trade Press there was "confusion as to who is responsible". From my experience, contractors are generally taking on board the ethos and requirements of these regulations. Unfortunately it is the clients and designers in particular who are failing to either accept or understand their responsibility.

As a practising CDM co-ordinator, this is already looking similar to the implementation of the CDM regulations, with designers not fully understanding, or in some cases, accepting their responsibilities in the construction process.

The designer can set the basis for site waste management plans, for example with designs that take into account:

Site levels to ensure no materials taken off site.


Recycling of demolition materials.

So I would ask all the designers (architects, structural/civil/mechanical and electrical engineers) to look at these regulations and provide a positive lead in ensuring that Site Waste Management is given the time and effort it requires.

For more information on Constructing Excellence in the North East, contact Catriona Lingwood on (0191) 383-7435 or email

John Nielsen is a partner at CK21 Consultants LLP and a director of the APS
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Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 12, 2008
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