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Insite asked some civil engineers what sustainability means to them

For me, sustainability is about ensuring the resources used today will not adversely affect the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainability is important to the industry for the simple reason that there are limited resources in the world and we must use them wisely. By using our engineering skills we can design and construct carbon neutral buildings that create zero waste in the process.

Have a look at to see the UK’s largest carbon neutral housing project. This shows how engineers can make a difference.
Sarah Buck, President of the Institution of Structural Engineers

Sustainability is about living within your means. It’s about creating an environment where we live productive and happy lives.

Civil engineers play a vital role in delivering vital infrastructure - specifically our housing, our transport networks, water from our taps, the safe recycling of the rubbish we produce and process.

Sustainability is about being careful not to waste energy we use in the home, or in schools and colleges. It’s important that the children of today are aware that the way they behave will affect their children and future generations.
Andy Gooding, Institution of Civil Engineer’s Director of Engineering, Policy and Innovation

For me, as a contaminated land consultant, sustainability is closely linked with the redevelopment of “brownfield” sites. This is land which has been polluted in the past because of what used to be there and must be “cleaned up” so that it can be built on again.

However, for such development to be truly sustainable, people must be able to occupy that land without risk to either their own health or to the environment. The redevelopment of brownfield sites for housing reuses otherwise derelict land and providing new homes for people.

This is achieved by engineers and environmental scientists carrying out investigations and risk assessments to remedy the land upon which future generations can safely live, work and play. A true measure of sustainability.
Hugh Mallet, Buro Happold associate director.

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