Building on brownfield: Cost-effective ground gas protection

Here we look at the benefits of building on brownfield, and how ground gas monitoring can be effectively applied to add value.

Get in touch

Here we look at the benefits of building on brownfield, and how ground gas monitoring can be effectively applied to add value.

Get in touch

Building on brownfield: Cost-effective ground gas protection

If asked whether houses should be built on unsightly industrial sites, or green fields that supply habitat for hundreds of species, what would your answer be? It is presumed that most people would vote with gusto for the former. It’s a seemingly easy choice. So, why do developers not always jump at the chance to acquire brownfield land?

Hesitancy arises over the perceived challenges of building on brownfield, such as making the land fit for human use. In fact, remedial services for brownfield land, such as ground gas monitoring, help add value to the land as well as making it safe for development. Other benefits of choosing pre-developed sites, such as their proximity to urban infrastructure, are also less evident due to the perception that brownfield land leads to expense, complexities, and delay.

Here we look at the benefits of building on brownfield, and how ground gas monitoring adds value.

What is a brownfield site?

A brownfield site is defined as previously developed land, which includes a permanent structure. Examples include former factories, landfills, and petrol stations.

An analysis of 344 brownfield registers in early 2023 show available brownfield land covering 27,342ha (67,563 acres) with the capacity to provide 1.2 million homes. Planning permission has only been granted for 45% of the land, while 550,000 homes with planning permission are awaiting development.

The presumption that the remediation of brownfield sites is costly and complicated is just that. In fact, choosing previously developed land can be a sound investment, both financially and reputationally.  Once remedial measures have been implemented to make the site safe, developers have the twin opportunity of developing a valuable asset while investing in a community through the provision of houses or infrastructure.

Reasons to build on brownfield

  • Protect our green spaces – Building on brownfield land directly reduces the amount of countryside that’s lost to development, meaning more green spaces and more space for nature to thrive.
  • Easier to get planning permission – It’s more difficult to attain permission to develop green belt and greenfield land and is considered ethically questionable.
  • Proximity to urban infrastructure – Brownfield sites are often close to where people live and work
  • Transform and rejuvenate – Building on brownfield has the power to help transform a neighbourhood through the provision of affordable houses and high-quality buildings for infrastructure.
  • Parallel to government policy – The government is investing up to 180 billion pounds in brownfield development between 2022 – 2025, making it the perfect time financially and politically to build on brown field.
  • Cost effective purchase – Brownfield land is cheaper to purchase, and the cost of remediation can be offset by the purchase price.
  • Brand positivity – People are increasingly choosing companies that make sound ethical choices, therefore rejuvenating a former landfill and turning into housing is a mark of distinction.

Ground gas monitoring simplified for brownfield  

Ground gas is one of the most common issues on brownfield land, but with the right expert team, the presence of ground gas can be quickly identified and any threats to future users rectified using innovative technology and professional skill.

Whether developing land for residential, commercial, or infrastructural use, ground gas monitoring can help by reducing uncertainties. Through a robust ground gas risk assessment, any abnormalities can be identified and mitigated, leaving land viable and valuable for future use. Successful project delivery is accelerated through best practice techniques such as continuous ground gas monitoring, with the focus of traversing the planning permission system with ease and maximising land value.

Our services include:

  • Continuous ground gas monitoring
  • Comprehensive ground gas risk assessment
  • Ground gas mitigation strategies
  • 3D conceptual ground gas modelling
  • Baseline monitoring
  • Data interpretation

We can help land developers:

  • Achieve regulatory compliance in a timely fashion
  • Apply innovative and trusted technology that is preferred by regulators
  • Acquire quality data which enables informed decision making
  • Increase confidence through reduced uncertainty
  • Limit number of site visits, reducing costs, timescales, and carbon footprint


Get in touch to learn more and join us at 10.30am on Wednesday 16th August for our free webinar, “Ground gas monitoring for land development”. Click here to register for free.

The following pages include news articles, videos, guidance notes and white papers on a range of ground gas related topics which we hope you will find of interest. Please browse through but if you can’t find something on your particular issue of interest, we’d be very pleased to hear from you so we can put that right.

Lisa and Louis joining the GGS team
Lisa and Louis join the GGS team

As summer approaches at GGS, we are excited to welcome Lisa and Louis to the team. Lisa joined GGS as an Admin Accounts Assistant and Louis is our new Marketing Executive.