Civil engineering, CEEQUAL and their economic, environmental and social context
Civil engineering provides infrastructure on which we all depend, and shapes and influences the environment in which we live, for the benefit of society. It is aimed at delivering an enhanced quality of life to the community/communities it serves. Modern life is only possible because of the infrastructure provided by engineering clients, designers and contractors. Many civil engineering projects intrinsically improve environmental quality and human well-being, for example water & waste-water treatment plants and sewerage schemes, city metros and railway projects, land contamination remediation schemes and flood alleviation, as well as works in public spaces such as pedestrianisations, enhancements of public spaces and refurbishment of parks. In addition, the proper maintenance and progressive improvement of infrastructure through effective work under Term Contracts is vital to the sustainable management of that infrastructure, and its continued capacity to serve society.
Despite substantial improvements in practice over recent years, some of them prompted by CEEQUAL, civil engineering and public works are still perceived by some sectors of society as always having a damaging effect on the living environment. There remains substantial pressure to reduce adverse environmental impacts during construction, to improve whole-life performance and to maximise the benefits of such works. Schemes not built to exacting environmental and social performance standards, or that use environmentally or socially intrusive and damaging construction processes, risk alienating communities and bringing the whole construction process and industry into disrepute.
The CEEQUAL Methodology seeks to address these issues and to improve the sustainability performance of civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping projects and contracts, and works in public spaces. It does so by providing an incentive to clients, designers and contractors to undertake projects that:
- Are demonstrably contributing to more-sustainable living;
- Are adopting best environmental, economic and social practice;
- Are therefore delivering more-sustainable civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and
public realm works.