When you buy new land that you’re planning to build on, there are certain procedures that you should look at exploring before proceeding with any development. One of the first thing’s you should do is commission an environmental site assessment (ESA). Why? Because it’s beneficial from both an economical and health standpoint. Today’s blog is going to be aimed at landowners who have just acquired some land and how they should proceed in taking the right steps environmentally.
Before you develop
Whether you’re going to be building a small office building or a large-scale shopping complex – you need to ensure that the land is safe. This is for the benefit of both the workers who’ll be spending time building and developing as well as the consumers who will be using the building/land when it’s completed. The best thing you can do is chat with our environmental specialists about an environmental site assessment.
An ESA is split into three phases:
- Phase I looks at the history of the site using several legal documents and maps as well as conducting interviews. This is to establish whether or not there is any possibility of the site being contaminated based on historical evidence.
- If sufficient evidence is found during the first phase, then our consultants can carry out phase II. Various tests are run on things such as the soil or any groundwater sources to determine if there is indeed any contamination. If the tests are positive, then the final phase may be initiated.
- Phase III is the safe remediation of any contamination that was found during the second phase. This could take as little as a week to over a year depending on the breadth of the contamination and available remediation methods.
The dangers of asbestos in old buildings
If you’ve purchased land that has a building you’re planning to demolish – then you should have the building inspected first to ensure there are no hazardous materials such as asbestos tucked away. Asbestos was heavily used in the early and mid-1900s in Australia and can be extremely harmful if the fibres are disturbed.
Whilst Asbestos was banned in 2003, it’s not uncommon for remnants to be found in older buildings. This is why it’s crucial to engage our team of professionals before demolishing so that we may safely remove the asbestos and any other potential contaminants.
Synthetic metal fibres, mould and ozone-depleting substance are examples of some other contaminants that Alpha Environmental can safely remove whilst providing our demolition services.
The financial benefits of an environmental site assessment
As well as mitigating the health risks to humans who’ll be using the land, an ESA can also bring you numerous financial benefits. Think of it this way – if an incident occurs later down the track that is directly related to contaminants found in your land then you could suffer serious financial loss as a result. In this situation, it’s much more advantageous to invest in an assessment before anything else to mitigate the chance of this happening.
Is it worth investing in all three phases?
It is absolutely worth investing in a phase I ESA – but regardless of if any evidence of contamination is found – it’s entirely up to you whether you want to proceed with the next phase. It is strongly advised that you do if any evidence is found – and it would be a worthwhile investment. But, if insufficient evidence is found then there’s generally no need to continue.
Interested in an environmental site assessment?
The benefits of an ESA far outweigh the negatives. If you bypass such an assessment, then you risk further financial loss as well as the health of your workers and future consumers. Don’t risk it – enquire about an environmental site assessment today with a reliable and veteran environmental agency.
Alpha Environmental have been providing quality and full-service environmental solutions in Melbourne for over 20 years. With our experience testing and remedying groundwater, asbestos, soil and mould, you can rest assured that our work is of the highest industry – standard giving you the confidence to carry on with your development.
If you’d like to know more about our environmental remedial and testing services – or would just like to chat to one of our consultants – then you can contact us through our website or by calling 1300 039 181.