If you require a cost-effective solution to quickly and comprehensively satisfy environmental issues Sevenoaks Environmental Consultancy Ltd (SEC) can help you.
At SEC we pride ourselves in offering a bespoke, personal and professional service. With our knowledge and expertise we are able to offer a range of land assessment services and clear and consistent advice in the following key areas:
For further details or a free no obligation cost estimate please contact us via:
Tel: 01892 822 999
A Desk Study is the first step in the iterative process of Contaminated Land Assessment. It involves a site walkover and the review of publicly available information for a given site, including past and current uses as well as surrounding land use in order to develop a conceptual site model upon which of a risk assessment is based to consider the potential sources of contamination identified. A Desk Study is normally carried out prior to the conduct of any intrusive site investigation since it forms the basis upon which the site investigation is conducted.
Geo-Environmental Site Investigation
Intrusive Geo-Environmental Site Investigation forms the second phase of the iterative contaminated land assessment process and aims to investigate each potential source of contamination that has been identified by the Desk Study. Therefore each site investigation must be bespoke and designed to target the particular issues at each site in relation to the proposed development based on the Site Conceptual Model that has been derived from the Desk Study.
SEC employs numerous different in-situ exploratory methods to carry out the intrusive Site Investigation. The method of investigation used can depend on a number of factors derived by the Desk Study including the sensitivity of the site and the surrounding area, the anticipated ground conditions, the nature and size of the site and the nature and type of potential contaminants.
Geotechnical Site Investigation
Geotechnical site investigations are required to provide a thorough understanding of the ground conditions at a given site and provide recommendations for suitable foundation design of proposed structures. We aim to undertake an integrated approach to geotechnical investigations and desk study based research is carried out prior to any intrusive work to help ensure that we are prepared for the ground conditions present and anticipate the geotechnical information that will be required to enable the design of appropriate foundations.
The comprehensive service SEC offers means that geotechnical projects can be seamlessly integrated with geo-environmental projects resulting in a more efficient and cost effective service for the Client.
Contaminated land remediation work comprises the third phase of the contaminated land assessment and may be required to help mitigate risks associated with the presence of contamination that has been identified during the Geo-Environmental Site Investigation. Prior to the conduct of remedial works a Remedial Strategy should be designed and fully documented within a site specific Remediation Method Statement (RMS). This document sets out the preferred remedial method to be employed, targets to be achieved, how the site will be validated and any monitoring requirements. Following the completion of remedial works a Validation Report should be produced to document the remedial works undertaken and to conclude whether they were successful.
A robust ecological assessment of a development project is based on a comprehensive set of ecological information specific to the site in question. Gathering this information is generally undertaken in three iterative steps comprising firstly the conduct of a desk study, then if required an extended phase 1 habitat survey and then subsequent detailed habitat and species surveys in order to inform the requirement for mitigation measures. It is necessary, from the earliest stage in a proposed development project, for the design team to be fully informed about the presence or potential presence of statutorily protected species on or around the site. Disturbance of interference with protected species can constitute a criminal offence. Our ecologists are highly experienced not only in the technical skills of site surveys, but also in working within multi-disciplinary teams and regularly provide expert advice to help overcome obstacles to development associated with the presence of protected species.
In circumstances where the Environment Agency consider that there is a risk of flooding they may require the conduct of a Flood Risk Assessment to accompany a planning application. A Flood Risk Assessment takes into account the risk and impact of potential flooding on a site as well as how the development may affect flooding in the local area. It provides recommendations as necessary as to how the risks associated with flooding can be managed. Each assessment undertaken is specific to each individual site and can range from the most basic level of report through to a detailed flood risk report including mitigation works.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring material which became popular in the 20th century due to its resistance to heat, electricity and chemical damage, its sound absorption and tensile strength. It was frequently mixed with another material and was used in over 3000 building materials. Asbestos fibres are toxic and can cause serious illness. Asbestos fibres are present in the environment in Great Britain so people are exposed to very low levels of fibres. However, a key factor in the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease is the total number of fibres breathed in. Working on or near damaged asbestos-containing materials or breathing in high levels of asbestos fibres, which may be many hundreds of times that of environmental levels could increase your chances of getting an asbestos-related disease.
There are four main diseases associated with inhalation of asbestos fibres. These are asbestosis (a scarring of the lung tissue caused by asbestos), two kinds of cancer (mesothelioma and asbestos related lung cancer), and diffuse pleural thickening (a non-malignant disease affecting the lung lining).
As asbestos was so widely used in the 20th century we can be confident that the majority of buildings built before 1985 probably have some asbestos in them. Since the use of asbestos in building products was not finally prohibited until 1999 we can only be sure a property is asbestos free if it was built after 2000.
Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, owners of non domestic buildings have the responsibility to manage asbestos in premises. As such, asbestos surveys are carried out to comply with this legislation. Surveys are also required before the demolition or refurbishment of buildings.
The second phase of the iterative Contaminated Land Assessment process involves the conduct of an intrusive Site Investigation. The purpose of an intrusive Site Investigation is to investigate each potential source of contamination identified by the Desk Study. As such each site investigation conducted must be bespoke and designed to target the issues at each particular site in relation to the proposed development based on the Site Conceptual Model derived from the Desk Study.
SEC employs numerous different in-situ exploratory methods to carry out the intrusive Site Investigation. The method of investigation used can depend on a number of factors derived by the Desk Study including the sensitivity of the site and the surrounding area, the anticipated ground conditions, the level of access and size of the site and the nature and type of potential contaminants.
Machine Excavated Trial Pits;
Windowless Sampling / Continuous Dynamic Sampler Boreholes;
Cable Percussive Drilling;
Rotary Drilling; and,
During site investigation works SEC provide full time site supervision by Geo-Environmental Consultants who are trained in site investigation techniques, soil and rock logging, monitoring, sampling and recording data in accordance with current British Standards. Our consultants carry CSCS cards, are trained to use cable avoidance tools and are also fully trained in First Aid. For a successful investigation consideration should also be given to the a voidance of below ground hazards (including services, tunnels, tanks and UXO's) and we can include surveys for these where necessary.
Following the conduct of site works, samples are analysed at either UKAS or MCERTS accredited laboratories.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the intrusive Site Investigation is the compilation and interpretation of all the data collected (in light of the Desk Study and any other previous reports.
A Desk Study is the first step of the iterative approach to Contaminated Land Assessment. It is carried out prior to the conduct of any intrusive site investigation and forms a crucial part of the Contaminated Land Assessment. It provides early recognition of the characteristics of a particular site as well as providing essential information to develop a Site Conceptual Model. Appropriate further assessment is focused around the Site Conceptual Model derived by the Desk Study.
A Desk Study in short is an examination and review of publically available information about a site including past and current usage of the site and the surrounding area to assess potential sources of contamination and the sites environmental sensitivity. This involves obtaining information from a variety of sources including the following;
Publically available environmental data;
Geological and Hydrogeological Maps;
Site Walkover by an Environmental Consultant.
All the information obtained from the above sources provides the basis of the development of a Site Conceptual Model which aims to illustrate the possible relationships between contaminant sources, pathways and receptors. The Site Conceptual Model is then used as a basis for the conduct of a Qualitative Risk Assessment of the potential sources of contamination from which recommendations for the site are determined.
This service is normally required in association with either 1) achieving the surrender of a petroleum license or 2) satisfying environmental conditions at a site prior to redevelopment and offers our customers the opportunity to overcome the often difficult problem of appropriately removing from service (decommissioning) redundant oil and or fuel related assets in a safe and environmentally friendly way at a fraction of the cost usually associated with such programmes.
Accurate and reliable survey information is generally essential to any land assessment and engineering project if it is to succeed. It is the foundation for many activities and the key to integrated project planning.
We can provide accurate detailed information on projects of all sizes in any UK location ranging from single dwellings to refurbishment of hospitals to major city centre redevelopments.
Using the latest technology including Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and robotic total stations, we can provide detailed Topographical data to output in all major formats and related to a local co-ordinates, existing data or Ordnance Survey (OS) national grid.
3d digital ground models can also be generated, along with volume and area calculations, visualisations, cross section details and cut/fill quantities.
Furthermore, drainage surveys, water course and flood plain surveys and the precision monitoring of movement in structures can also be undertaken.
SEC has the skills and experience necessary to perform rigorous geotechnical site investigations, providing you with a thorough understanding of the ground conditions at your site. As such we can provide you with confidence that the foundations recommended for each particular development are appropriate in relation to the ground conditions at the site and the proposed development.
SEC take an integrated approach to geotechnical investigations and desk based research is always carried out prior to any intrusive works to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for the ground conditions and the information required about the site to enable suitable foundations to be designed.
The comprehensive service SEC offers means that geotechnical projects can be seamlessly integrated with geo-environmental projects where necessary resulting in a more efficient and cost effective service for the Client.