Wednesday, 20 November 2013

KABA Implements Carbon Reduction Measures

Earlier in 2013 southwest environmental limited were engaged by KABA to assit in their accreditation to ISO14001.

The process of accreditation requires the assessment of current carbon emissions, to form a baseline by which to gauge reductions.

It was found that the key areas for carbon reduction were:
  1.  Transport
  2. Space Heating
  3. Compressed Air 
Basic calculations were used to highlight significant carbon sources.

KABA operates a very modern vehicle fleet, the vast majority of which have very low emissions. It was felt despite there being considerable carbon emissions associated with the use of vans and cars, there was little scope for saving here.

Space heating requirements are currently met by gas fired boilers, in an attempt to lower emissions these are to be swapped for ultra efficient  condensing boilers.

The replacement of the compressor with a more efficient model also aims to reduce carbon emissions. A compressor with a flexible out put is more likely to increase power supply factors, and a stop start system often is impractical without increasing power supply factor, creating extra expense. A way around this is to use a variable load compressor which rather than stopping and starting, slows down and speeds up dependant on demand, thus avoiding these knock on effects.

Environmental Management Systems

Site Contamination Asessment Bristol

Site Contamination Assessment Bristol - Introduction

Acting on instruction from a planning consultant, Southwest Environmental have undertaken a site contamination assessment in St. Philips, Bristol.

The site is currently in use as a builders yard and is ear marked for development.

Site Contamination Assessment Bristol - Work Undertaken

Six exploratory location were chosen and soil samples were taken from the top meter of soil, there was a great thickness of made ground on site, in places extending to the full depth of the exploratory holes.

Bristol has many buried river channels and it became apparent that a buried river channel or culvert runs along the site boundary.

breaking out positions
There was a considerable thickness of concrete on site, and made ground was hard going composed for the most part of brick, whether whole or in parts.

Geologically Bristol centre is normally river silts over marls.

Sample were sent for testing and results are awaited.

Site Contamination Assessment

Friday, 8 November 2013

Mould Risk Report - Tavistock

Mould Risk Report - Tavistock

A popular visitor attraction had concerns over mould that was present in one of their buildings.

It was apparent that condensation was causing moisture to form on the walls of the building, causing ideal conditions for mould.

Mould can cause problems when people with allergies or weakened immune system are exposed to it directly, its spores or metabolites such as the various types of toxins produced by mould species.

It was thought due to the transitory nature of visitors to the building that symptoms would have little time to develop as would be the case with residential mould problems.

SWEL recommended cleaning of the room with a domestic grade fungicide and increasing ventilation.

Again owing to small patches of mould, the subsequent cleaning and transitory nature of users it was deemed that their was low risk of harm.

If you would like SWEL to prepare a Mould Risk Report then please get in contact. (Number at top of page)

Visual Impact Report for Wind Turbine 100 KW - Cornwall

Visual Impact Report for Wind Turbine 100 KW - Cornwall

A land owner sought to errect a 100 KW turbine in Cornwall, part of requested information for planning application was a visual impact assessment.

As is standard with a SWEL visual impact assesment we create 3D models that acuratly depict the the proposed devlopment within the context of the environment.

Many planners ask for wire frame models for assessing visual impact (as below), and although wire frame models give a good representation of scale and massing thye do not factor in surface details, shading and colours.

For example in the bwlow picture the ground is many shades lighter than it would be in "real life", and so we see an increase of contrst between the ground and turbine. With out surface texture added, hilly areas also appear darker than flat areas becauae of contour bunching. 


Sustainability Statement - Bristol

Sustainability Statement  - Bristol

SWEL were asked to undertake a sustainability statement for a planning application in Bristol, UK.

The school was expecting increased numbers of pupils and to meet demand a temporary classroom was considered the best solution.

A fairly large Solar PV array had been installed on the main school and so with the agreements of Bristol City Council Planning office, renewables obligation were deferred, from the proposed build on to existing renewable energy systems.

The report was prepared in line with current legislative guidance, and was delivered ahead of schedule and on budget.

Susutainability Statement Bristol

Friday, 20 September 2013

Desktop Study - London

Desktop Study - London

Acting on instruction from a devloper in London Southwest Environmenta under took a phase 1 preliminary risk assessment for site in Southwest London.

The site comprised of two terraced houses had been repourposed as a furniture shop, the plan was to demolish these and build a modern enregy effecient multi unit residential development.

Historic maps showed that their had been little change in the building outlin, and more historc trade entries for the site did not show any environmmentallu dmaging activites having taken place on site.

The walkover survey did not identify any likly sources of contamination and so the condition was discharged.

Desktop Study London

Environmental Consultants London

Degrdation of Feed in Tariffs for Non Wind Renewables

The February consultation on the Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) for non-solar renewable technologies, DECC has rather cleverly anounced it will be cutting feed in tariffs for non-solar renewables.

These cuts come in to force from April 2014, and see cuts of up to 20% in feed in tariffs, depdant on installed capcity in a given year.

Just as it seems we are making some head way with regards to energy independence, we get this sort of news! Do policy makers really understand how difficult it is to get a turbine through planning? If we the UK wants to move away from reliance on gas imports, then we need to see high levels of incentive such has been the case. Short sighted.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Sustainability Reporting for Care Home - Eastbourne

Sustainability Reporting for Care Home - Eastbourne

A dilapidated care home on the south cost was earmarked for redevelopment. SWEL were asked to undertake the following reports;

Desktop Study - To assess ground conditions, the condition was passed off at this first phase.

Desktop Study Eastbourne
Sustainability Statement - Eastbourne Council have a 15% emissions reduction target, this was met via the use of CHP. Although saving met through the building fabric effieicny saving may have been more cost effective the use of CHP ment that the building could be built to the contractors standard specification.

Site Waste Managemnt Plan - These are being phased out by October 2103, but SWEL were asked to prepare one for this project in 2012.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Project - Desktop Study Stoke-on-Trent

SWEL were approached by a private developer who was in the process of purchasing a dissued industrial building.

It was unclear of the past use of the building and so a desktop study was recommned to try and pin down some of the past uses. The building had been labelled as "works" on historic maps and, there were various agency listings for trades at the premesis.

 It was recommned that caution should be excercised in purchaing the property as without a site investigation it was unclear as to whether the ground was contaminated.

Expert Planning Objection - Devon

Expert Planning Objection - Devon

SWEL were approached by a grioup of residents in Devon who were concerneed by plans to build a very large calve rearing unit on land adjacent to their houses. The development had been targetted to be just below thresholds for EIA. Even so it was thought that residents would experince negative impacts in the form of noise, light, odour and nusnce (flies).

Artists Impression of Development
SWEL produced a report which outlined amongst other things the levels of noise aticipated, stating respect academic materials SWEL built a case that suggested that noise levels would be in breach of WHO recommnedations, particulalry in litght of the fact that background noise levels in the area were so low.

Comment was also made on flood risk, which proved pivotal in the planning application being refused.

Environmental Consultants Devon

Desktop Study - Plymouth

SWEL were approached by a firm of architects in plymouth who required a desktop study for a change of use planning application. The shop in question was being developed in to flats, and the local planning authority had requested that a desktop study be provided to assess risk to future inhabitants from lowered ground quality.

Plymouth - Arial Imgae
After the initial walk over survey and review of historic maps and agency data it was concluded that ths ite was low risk, and SWEL recommneded tha the planning condition relating to contaminated land  be discharged.

Compost Permit Application - Woking

Compost Permit Application - Woking

Southwest Environmenta Limited were approached by a company based in woking whop had been manufacturing compost for 30 years, they had been operating under a local authority license for the activity but now they needed an environmental permit, owing the the environmental permitting regulation coming in to force.

Over a period of 3 months SWEL prepared and submitted the application which owing to the bespoke nature of the permit required and proximity of the site to various nature reserves and sensitive receptors was a labourious process.

Add caption

The permit was granted after around 4 months.

Unfortionatly the environmental permitting regulations do not take in to account the benign nature of waste operations that have been taking place over 10's of years with incident. For example despite having resdients living immediatly adjacent to site who had not complained of odours over the 30 year life span of the site, an odour managment plan was aked for, as was a Site Specific Bio-Aerosol Risk Assessment SSBRA.


Flood Risk Assessment - Bewdley, Worcestershire

Flood Risk Assessment  - Bewdley, Worcestershire

Southwest Environmental Limited were approached by an individual looking to source a flood risk assessment for a property in Bewdley, Worcestershire.

The site appeared to be within flood zone 2, and cosisted of conversion of lost space in to a studio apartment. It was decided that owing to the low map resolution that it was likly the site was infact in flood zone 1, and this combined with the fact that the development was sited on the fiorst floor level, it was recommened as low risk.

Planning permission was sucessfully granted.

Flood Risk Assessment

Flood Risk Assessment Exeter

SWEL were commisioned to produce a flood risk assessment for the extension of a carazan park in Sidmouth , near Exter.

Inert Waste Recovery Permit Application

Inert Waste Recovery Permit Application - Dorset

Southwest Environmental Limited we asked to prepare an environmental permit application for a large landscaping scheme at a golf course in dorset. Import of materials classed as waste would be used for the formation of landscaping features.

A key part of a waste recovery permit application is the waste recovery plan which should be assessbmled in a to verfiy benefits of the waste scheme, in this instance is was thought that this benefit should proven via the use of a customer survey, of golf club memebers.

Gold club memebrs were asked whether they thought that the landscpaing scheme would improve the golf course. Results from this survey were then used to prove a benefit from the scheme.

Waste Recovery Plan

Environmental Permit Applications

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Site Contaimation Assessment - Desktop Study Truro

Site Contaimation Assessment  - Desktop Study Truro

A diussued agricultural building near Truro in cornwall was granted conversion for use as holiday accoodation. A pre-commecement condition was that a site contamination assessment was carried out, in order to assess risk to future inhabbitants.

A walkover survey showed that the barn had been used for the storage of low risk items, and there was little evidence of ground contamination.

It was recoommneded that the condition be discharged at this stage, and no site investigation was carried out.

Desktop Study