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Q&A

Environmental

A DEC shows the energy performance of the building based on actual metered consumption and aims to raise public awareness of energy consumption. An EPC is an energy rating for a building based on the performance potential of the building fabric and its services (heating, lighting and ventilation).

Our assessors will be able to offer practical advice and suggest measures to help improve your energy rating.

Water

A detailed assessment of all water related plant to check whether conditions are present which will encourage bacteria to multiply. Recommendations are made which will help prevent exposure to legionella bacteria. The survey would include a survey of all associated water plant including cold water storage cisterns, hot water calorifiers and pipework. Up to date schematics may be required.

The HSWA 1974 and COSHH contain requirements concerning the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria. Employers and those responsible for a building are required to identify and assess the foreseeable risk of exposure to legionella bacteria from work activities and water systems on the premises and evaluate a means by which to safeguard staff or members of the public from potential exposure.

Low concentrations of legionella bacteria often occur naturally in environmental water sources such as lakes, rivers and reservoirs. The bacteria may colonise manufactured water systems and be found in cooling towers, hot and cold water systems and other plant which uses or stores water. Water temperature and nutrients may create favourable conditions increasing the risk from Legionnaires’ disease.

Legionnaire’s disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria. The disease is normally contracted by inhaling legionella bacteria usually in water droplets which are small enough to penetrate deeply into the lungs.

The results of the assessment should be recorded and reviewed regularly (at least every 2 years) and whenever there is a reason to suspect that the assessment may no longer be valid.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral, often used in building materials because of its physical and chemical properties. It is a good insulator, has good fire protection properties and protects against corrosion. When inhaled, asbestos fibres can cause cancers and other serious illnesses.

Asbestos was widely used in building materials up until 1999 when its use was prohibited in the UK.

If you suspect you have materials containing asbestos in your property do not disturb or attempt to remove them as this is likely to release fibres into the air and contaminate the surrounding area. Please contact us for details of how to safely obtain a sample for testing.

The action required depends on the type and condition of any ACMs found and the nature of any works which are to take place. If the asbestos is in good condition and is not likely to be disturbed then it is recommended that the material is left where it is and managed. If the asbestos is damaged or is likely to be disturbed then specialist advice should be sought from one of our experts.

For most works with asbestos containing materials the contractor must be licenced by the Health and Safety Executive. Members of asbestos trade associations are recommended.

As a minimum you should be issued with a certificate of re-occupation for the areas where asbestos abatement works have taken place. For larger projects you will receive a project completion file with full records of the asbestos abatement project.

You should ensure that you keep all records relating to asbestos are available and accessible for the entire life of the premises. Details of how to keep records should be included with your asbestos management plan.