How Civil Engineers Breathe New Life into Brownfields Sites

Brownfields lands are some of the most underutilized in all the U.S. Former gas stations, dry cleaners, industrial sites…any land that is complicated by the “presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant” is defined by the EPA as such. Thanks to a surge in federal funding along with advancements in engineering technology and expertise, thousands of acres of Brownfields land are now seeing new life.

The Steps of Brownfields Redevelopment

The first steps in any Brownfields redevelopment process are phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments. Typically completed before sale of the land, these steps are designed to illuminate any potential environmental hazards at the site. Comprehensive ESAs are best completed by a team of experienced assessors, researchers, and various engineers including (but not limited to) geotechnical, civil, and environmental specialists.

After Assessments, Remediation Begins

Once site assessments are complete and Brownfields redevelopment begins, much of what happens next is in the hands of engineers. Particularly when the land is subject to local, state, and/or federal grants or regulations, the expertise of civil engineers is of utmost importance. Remediation design and management services are hallmarks of the civil engineering discipline.

Taking into account site-specific environmental exposure factors and risks, civil engineers and their teams come up with an effective plan for remediation that considers the end-use of the land. This could include cleanup of industrial waste within the soil, the compaction of which will need to be recalibrated for building after remediation. It could mean simultaneous cleanup and construction on land that has been thoroughly tested for long-term contamination risks. It could even factor in considerations like water diversion, public right-of-ways, and environmental preservation.

Shield Engineering and Brownfields Sites

Evaluating, assessing, and remediating Brownfields properties are specialties of Shield Engineering. Our team of engineers, assisted by technologically-advanced in-house laboratory researchers, are frequently asked to create holistic plans for reimagining underused land. We’ve been a part of single-developer site-planning efforts, community-wide MUD redevelopment projects, and even assisted with Superfund sites facing extensive issues regarding contamination and containment. Shield is one of the most experienced Brownfields engineering firms in the country.


We’re incredibly proud of the work our civil engineers and support staff have done to clean up properties and bolster local economies around the U.S. From abandoned manufacturing sites to toxic streams, no project is too complex or too wide-reaching for our civil engineering experts to tackle.


Would you like to find out more about Shield Engineering’s work on Brownfields sites?
Contact a representative at your regional office today to learn more about how we can help move your project forward.



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