88 St James St

Hazardous Material Surveying
Knight Harwood

About the Project

The Grade II listed building was a mixed commercial and residential building which was to be converted to high end residential use including the addition of spa facilities. The project involved the extension of the Basement across the whole building footprint and the installation of steelwork to allow reconfiguration of the central lightwells.

Scope & Services 

Ahead of the planned project work Derisk were employed to carry out a site wide hazardous materials survey to allow the Principal Contractor to assess all potential risks from their likely use and occupation in the building during the project period. The desk top study identified the likely presence of heavy metals, lead in paint, general construction hazards such as zinc, MMMF, fluorescent tubes, PAH, PCBs and unidentified stored and waste chemicals  from store rooms and from previous manufacturing processes. The survey also identified the likely presence of human waste and the likely resultants from vacant and derelict conditions in the building including needles and blood products. Due to the age and nature of  the original construction the presence of fibrous plaster necessitated the need for testing for Anthrax. The final survey report included comprehensive data to allow controlled removal of identified hazardous materials along with the preparation of detailed risk assessments for all operatives, sub-contractors and visitors based upon expected and perceived activities during the strip out, construction and fit out phases of the project.


The survey, analysis and reporting was required aheadof planning of the project works and the results, assessments and recommendations from the report would affect and control many aspects and elements of the project works.

The survey report was carried out within agreed timescales and delivered to a high standard within agreed reporting requirements, including delivering and receiving laboratory results from the varied contaminants and determinants required where differing analysis techniques had to be employed.

Did You Know?

Project Challenges

The varying use of the building over the years provided challenges from the levels of previous changes in occupiers, change of use, subsequent fit out and re-fit provided inconsistent material use and potential hazards and risks.  

Detailed desk top studies prior to commencement, including interrogation of the existing preconstruction information provided valuable information to the Project Management and Site Survey teams to ensure optimum time was taken on site to provide accurate and factual assessment of the risks across the site.

The Grade II nature of the building required planning of intrusion and opening up works to ensure full access to the building was achieved and sampling, assessment and quantification was recorded to allow the final report to be valid, appropriate and relevant  to the appointment  and planned project work.

Attention to detail throughout the planning, site survey, analysis and reporting phases ensured that all site staff could be protected during their normal working activities through accurate and appropriate risk assessment and that delays and costs associated with lack or want of knowledge on the project were avoided in respect to site risks.

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