06Aug / 2015
Everyone agrees that Britain needs new homes, and quickly. Targets at both local and national levels increasingly focus on the redevelopment of brownfield sites; with the dream of transforming derelict space into thriving communities. Of course, the simple message sold to voters doesn’t encompass the difficulty of clearing and converting a former industrial unit into flats, or building on old landfill. Ground-gas can be a danger in any development but, as the focus switches to brownfield, developers are increasingly being expected to officially validate that effective ground-gas measures are ensuring the safety of future site users.
Verification is the process of ensuring a site complies with specific rules and best practice – for example, correctly installed membranes, adequate subfloor ventilation and other essential precautions. However, it also means there is a clear plan to ensure the site meets the needs of all stakeholders; meaning the site and its users will always be safe from the dangers of ground-gas. Ground-Gas Solutions (GGS) have years of experience catering to clients with varied needs – from ensuring a site is gas free with specialist monitoring and risk assessment reports, to training staff through briefings and demonstrations on site and providing third party validation of installed membrane systems. Whatever your project, we can help provide a tailored solution, with years of experience informing the course of action.
Verification is increasingly demanded by councils wary of the danger ground gas can pose. Going the extra mile by verifying your development will not only conform with industry good practice and help sign off planning conditions, it will protect your employees, future site users and your own company from unnecessary risk and long term liabilities.
GGS can help with every stage of ground gas protection; we start by carrying out detailed historical research of the site’s former uses, creating ‘Conceptual Site Models’ (CSM) and accurately monitoring gas concentrations. These data are used to carry out risk assessment and make recommendations on gas protection measures. By beginning with accurate, continuous monitoring we can focus on sites that need effective gas protection measures and avoid costly intervention where it isn’t necessary.
Excessive ground gas levels inside a property are considered an “engineering defect”, which can leave you open to future liability. Using industry specialists to verify your site gives you, not to mention future residents, peace of mind and adheres to good practice. When gas protection is needed, it is obviously essential that it work first time! Failures can put users at risk, and lead to costly delays while remediation work is carried out. GGS can provide the right combination of sub-floor ventilation and membrane design which will ensure your site is protected from day one.
Radon gas is a radioactive carcinogen and the second largest cause of lung cancer after smoking. We can offer radon monitoring and remediation options for both new projects and existing properties; to help limit the risk from a colourless, odorless hazard which exists throughout the country. Using an independent 3rd party consultant such as GGS is increasingly becoming a regulatory requirement for both domestic and commercial properties. In respect of the latter, employers are legally required under the Health and Safety at Work Act to ensure their premises are safe for employees and this also covers safe levels of radon. GGS can provide effective, verification to address this legal requirement.
When called upon to verify a site, we will draw up a site specific plan to visually inspect the gas protection measures and where appropriately test the membrane integrity, using non-destructive methods. Any flaws in membrane installation will be identified to ensure that cost effective repairs can be made and a verification report prepared to meet planning conditions.
When gas verification hasn’t be carried out, but is required by the planning authority, GGS can step in. We have developed high resolution gas monitoring equipment which can demonstrate that completed developments are free from ground-gases and VOCs. Continuous internal monitoring ensures we collect robust evidence to demonstrate that the gas protection measures are effectively working to manage ground-gas risk. GGS can also train on site operatives on maintaining membrane integrity post installation. Additional training is available in the form of on site briefings and 2 day training courses covering best practice monitoring, guidance, protection and verification.
Clearing a site of contaminants is the developer’s responsibility and ground gas in particular can be hard to identify, difficult to eradicate and dangerous. That’s why you should call in the experts, to ensure the job gets done right!
GGS operates throughout the UK so please visit our website to send us an email or contact your nearest branch. Ground-Gas Solutions are here to deliver a complete solution to your verification needs, so give us a call today and let us help you.