environmental case study

Environmental Due diligence
Old building

Location

Bremen, Germany

Type

Department Store

Constructed

1930

Area

52,000 m²

Project Details

Monumentally protected buildings are quite valuable properties as they are often unique and contribute to our cultural heritage. Investors desiring such a property have to be aware of the potential risks related to the building’s services, envelope and structure. In addition to assessing the environmental setting of a building, experts conducting an Environmental Due Diligence (EDD) will look for potential building contaminants that are often associated with the building fabric and building services of old buildings. For example, asbestos-containing materials, old generation artificial fibers, tar-containing materials and heavy metals may still be found in old buildings, which not only potentially present a hazard to the occupants but will require special precautions during refurbishment.

In this case the building had undergone several phases of interior refurbishment between the 1950’s and 1980’s, which was a period when asbestos containing materials were often used. The building was found to contain old generation artificial fibers, asbestos and tar containing floor tiles. Asbestos was present in fire doors, fire dampers and gaskets. Based on current regulations the asbestos containing materials required examination every 5 years by an expert to ensure the safety of the occupants. Refurbishment measures planned for the near future would require health and safety measures resulting in additional expenses to be considered.

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