5 Pre-Construction Environmental Tests You Need

Safety comes first in any construction project. But the price can be steep when you don’t perform environmental tests during the pre-construction phase. The biggest concern isn’t that your site has issues—it’s ensuring you take the time to identify and address them before breaking ground.

  1. Asbestos
  2. Hazardous Waste
  3. Stormwater
  4. Soil Testing
  5. Air Quality

Why Do Pre-Construction Environmental Testing & Inspection?

Environmental inspections are less costly than you might assume when you include them in your construction plan. A battery of tests tailored to your specific site and construction project can help you figure out how hard it’ll be to follow local regulations. Performing these tests before breaking ground goes a long way to ensuring the crew recognizes essential environmental requirements during construction.

  • Accurate specifications help work crews finish the job faster and within budget.
  • Certified inspectors help you stay current with ever-changing environmental regulations.
  • Give contractors the information they need to do the job right the first time.
  • Create more accurate, higher-quality bids to attract capable contractors.
  • Environmental inspection paperwork can protect you from legal claims.

Asbestos May Be Lurking

Most Americans believe you only need to worry about asbestos when remodeling an old building, since asbestos has been banned. The truth is that many current construction materials contain asbestos. Sometimes, it’s contaminated, but other times, asbestos is added intentionally. Regardless of age, you should test for asbestos before renovating or demolishing any preexisting building.

  • Asbestos-Cement Products
  • Siding Shingles
  • Blown, Rolled, & Wrapped Insulation
  • Vermiculite Insulation
  • Floor Tiles
  • Ceiling Tiles
  • Asphalt Roofing

Hazardous Waste Abounds On Construction Sites

Construction generates plenty of what the EPA calls solid waste. Debris from the average project is likely classified as non-hazardous. However, many construction materials do fall into the hazardous category. It’s essential to understand the requirements for both types of waste to keep work crews and the environment safe.

  • Machinery Lubricants
  • Thinners
  • Resins
  • Leftover Paint, Especially Lead-Based Paint
  • Varnish
  • Adhesives
  • Solvents
  • Used Oil, Hydraulic Fluid, & Diesel Fuel
  • Gypsum Drywall
  • Lead Flashing
  • Roofing Cement
  • Sealers
  • CRT Monitors
  • Caulk
  • Lead Solder

Stormwater Can Pollute The Water Supply

The EPA defines stormwater as rain and snow melt that runs over exposed soil, landscaping, and hard surfaces. You should determine how stormwater will flow through your construction site, since it often picks up pollutants that can negatively affect the local water supply. Stormwater testing can help you mitigate your environmental impact during construction. It can also help you evaluate how the finished structure will influence local water quality.

Soil Testing For A Sturdy Foundation

Soil tests are a critical first step for any construction project. They judge if the soil can support the weight of the final structure and how suitable the earth is to the type of construction you’re doing. The design of your building’s foundation will be based on the soil test results. These tests can also detect groundwater, triggering its own round of environmental testing.

Air Quality Testing Keeps Workers Safe

Air quality regulations for construction sites are designed to limit the release of potentially harmful gases into the atmosphere, like gasoline and ozone-depleting substances. Good ventilation for indoor construction projects is another common safety concern. Some materials, such as carpet and plywood, contain chemicals that might harm workers if they inhale the fumes for long periods.

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) From Refrigerators, Air Conditioners, & Other Chiller Units
  • Combustion Gases From Oil-Fired Equipment
  • Fumes From Certain Kinds Of Paints, Primers, & Floor Coatings
  • Vehicle Emissions
  • Uncontrolled, Open Burning Of Debris
  • Dust & Particulates

Contact Us About Environmental Inspections For Your Site

Violating environmental regulations can devastate the land and your company’s bottom line. You should never let the urge to build quickly and cheaply get in the way of safety. Take the time to compare the cost of pre-construction environmental testing and the consequences of ignoring local standards. Call Benchmark Environmental Testing before breaking ground on your San Jose site, and inquire about booking our services today.

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