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Designs for life

LETTERS

In your feature on CTRL Contract 250 (NCE 28 June) you refer to the difficulty and, presumably, high cost of working around obsolete concrete foundations.

One could say that we have arrived at this situation because previous generations of designers gave little or no thought to future needs - the very antithesis of the current drive for sustainability.

Unfortunately the future is here and this is quite graphically illustrated in the article.

This type of problem will only increase as we redevelop brownfield sites in line with government policy. We cannot do much about obstacles already in place. However, specification of foundation systems for new construction which can be easily and cheaply removed from the ground after use will minimise our legacy.

For example, steel sheet piles were successfully extracted from the former steelworks site at Irlam in Salford after 40 years' service, in a very difficult environment and in good enough condition to be reused.

If, as a nation, we are going to embrace sustainable construction, it is essential we grasp such ideas. Thought now will reap benefits later - let us put it into practice.

David Rowbottom (M), Corus Construction Centre david. rowbottom@ corusgroup. com

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