Greenfield development refers to the process of a new structure or a building construction on a piece of land that has never undergone any progress. There are several benefits of developing anything on the Greenfield. These types of sites are mostly underdeveloped areas outside or within a locality. They are typically situated on agricultural land.
The Greenfield sites are not even considered before for commercial, residential or industrial purposes. It is just like painting on a blank canvas that does not include the unrestrained impacts from the previous development project. This may include existing infrastructures, utilities, and buildings.
What is Greenfield Site?
Greenfield regions are mostly undeveloped areas that are recommended for construction for the first time. The Greenfield developments help to occupy those valuable pieces of land that have no or little contamination due to the absence of any structures on the premises. Moreover, there are no costs involved in the remediation of the environment in the Greenfield sites.
The sites are almost ready for the construction of a building right away. But Greenfield sites have some disadvantages also. Since most of the locations are situated right outside the city, the sites might need additional upgrades. This might incur more costs in addition to the price of the land.
A Greenfield site might be a forest or agricultural land. Due to no usage of the land, there is no presence of any toxic chemicals in it. Better access, a pleasant environment, and less congestion are some of the reasons why most organizations opt for Greenfield developments. Plus if the site is situated at the edge of a city, then there is a huge scope of expansion in the future also.
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Advantages of the Greenfield Development
The major benefits of Greenfield Development are defined below.
- It offers design flexibility for meeting the requirements of specific projects
- The land can be owned or taken on lease
- The timelines for the construction are very much faster
- Huge areas to build anything the client wants
- Usually in a very good condition to start the construction
- All the projects of the Greenfield development are cost-effective
- The price of the land is very cheap compared to the other ones
- Does not disrupts the residents
- Better planning of the project due to the availability of open land
- No contamination or hazardous chemicals are present
- Sizing of the property is not a problem
Disadvantages of the Greenfield Development
Greenfield developments have some drawbacks also. And they are as below.
- Cutting of the trees while development might lead to deforestation
- These projects might also disturb the natural habitat of many organisms
- Environmentalists might not support this development as it encourages urban sprawl
- Will enhance the air and water pollution for sure
- New roads, infrastructure, electricity all need to be built from scratch
- Might damage the greenbelt land
- Installation of infrastructure is often necessary
- Mostly away from the facilities and services of the city
- Longer way to commute for the workers and the employees
- There are no accommodations for the crews and per diem might be needed
- Additional costs for the progression of the infrastructure
- A limited number of local suppliers
Negative Effects of the Greenfield Development
Once a site has been given for the Greenfield development, it is very much unlikely to be converted again. The development will surely cause an imbalance in the natural surroundings of some plant or animal species. The loss of agricultural land results in the production and employment loss also.
Here will also be a complete loss or reduction in the recreational or amenity value due to Greenfield development. Loss of energy use, transport, greenbelt land, designated land for wildlife and forests will take place due to the development of towns, and villages.
These are some of the most dangerous negative effects that Greenfield development has on our society if the site is utilized for building civilization.
Examples of Greenfield Development all around the World
- Songdo in South Korea: Songdo is one of the most energy-efficient, highly digital cities in South Korea. All the wastes from the homes are direct channels through the tunnels of treatment facilities. This cancels the need for garbage trucks.
- Belmont, Arizona: In Arizona, a group of investors including Bill Gates is backing a Greenfield development project that will offer 80000 homes, open and commercial space as well. The streets will be designed for autonomous vehicles.
- Masdar City, UAE: Masdar city in UAE is a master-planned city that provides emphasis on sustainability. The entire city is powered by renewable energy and low carbon-emitting buildings.
- Dholera. India: Dholera is the first sustainable Greenfield development project in India. Smart infrastructure, an international airport, logistics hubs, transit, and integrated networks are some of the highlighted points of this project. Dholera will offer a housing solution to almost two million people.
- NEOM, Saudi Arabia: NEOM is a $500 billion investment project on the coast of the Red Sea. NEOM will be considered as a zero-carbon emission zone. It will also employ robots to accomplish repetitive tasks.
Sustainability in the Future
There are numerous examples of small scale developmental projects using Greenfield sites. A piece of Greenfield land taken for the construction might leave a portion for organic agriculture. This will enhance the fertility of the land along with a proper agricultural status.
If the land is used for the production house of the plants, the wastes can be converted to biofuel or can be used for small scale farming. Greenfield development must take into account all the environmental and human aspects. The organizations should not just consume some space or land for short-term problems.
A sustainable Greenfield development should look into all the factors like proper land use, expansion of human population and urban sprawl. The project should also take care of the environmental needs to maintain a proper balance between the ecological system and civilization.
Thus we can conclude that there are multiple factors to consider while purchasing a site for the Greenfield development. The projects for Greenfield development need to account for both the economic and environmental factors. First, you should consult with the local authorities and federal agencies on the permits, costs, and requirements to develop a Greenfield site.