Environmental Due Diligence

EDD is a vital part of any property transaction. Identifying risks that have the potential to manifest as statutory, third party or financial liabilities prior to acquisition provides a position of strength for the purchaser and also informs the true value of the asset. EDD can also identify the costs for eliminating risks and optimising value prior to future financing or onward sale. GDP personnel have undertaken thousands of EDD assessments on sites around the world for corporate M&A, large property portfolios or single development plots. Please get in touch.

Geotechnical and Engineering Geology

A thorough understanding of the structural competence of the ground (the soil structure interaction) enables the most cost effective foundations and structures to be designed. At GDP this understanding comes from a combination of deep technical competence and intuitive insight borne out of experience.  We are Engineering Geologists and Geoenvironmental engineers and work closely with structural engineers and architects to develop ground models and geotechnical design parameters that engineers really benefit from.

GDP can value engineer and rework overly conservative designs and often provide much more cost effective alternatives. We undertake geotechnical investigation and design for a wide range of structures from complicated bridge foundations, retaining walls, reinforced soil and all types of piles to simple trench fill footings for a new dwelling. We are used to designing solutions for constrained sites and in a variety of development settings from heavy engineering infrastructure projects to quarry rock face stability, cutting and embankment design and slope stability modelling. We can design working platforms for design and lime/cement stabilisation and produce geotechnical design reports to rail and highway standards.

Contaminated Land

Appropriate evaluation of contaminated land risks is necessary when considering the feasibility of a development, satisfying planning conditions or determining the value of a property asset at due diligence. GDP personnel have been advising clients on contaminated land, groundwater and hazardous ground gas issues for over 20 years and have led the assessment of many thousand properties across the UK and around the world. GDP has developed a number of bespoke reporting tools to present information suited to the client’s need from risk-rated and monetised feasibility reports highlighting each of the identified development abnormals to the standard template outputs required for the planning authorities including Phase 1 desk studies, Phase 2 intrusive investigation, detailed quantitative risk assessments for controlled waters and human health, remediation method statements and remediation verification reports. GDP’s Technical Director is a Specialist in Land Condition SiLC – the benchmark professional qualification for expert advice on land quality.

Development Waste & Materials Management

The feasibility of many brownfield developments hinges on the cut & fill model and waste disposal costs. The past 20 years has seen a fundamental shift in the management of development waste and contaminated land disposal from simple dig and dump to a much broader and more innovative solutions including the CL:aire DoWCoP which allows the sustainable reuse of materials both on the site of origin and by direct transfer between sites. GDP provide advice on all aspects of development waste & materials management to optimise each scheme and avoid unnecessary disposal costs and has in house resources able to prepare Materials Management Plans and perform the independent Qualified Person (QP) role as required for the CL:aire DoWCoP.

Coal Mining Risk Assessment

New developments, extensions and sometimes refurbishments undertaken on land affected by historical coal mining often require a CMRA to be completed as stipulated by the Coal Authority who are a statutory consultee under planning. GDP routinely undertake CMRA and if necessary provide follow up design, supervision and reporting of ground investigation, stabilisation or other treatments as may be necessary to obtain approvals from the Coal Authority or insurance underwriters.

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

On-going urbanisation and the increasing frequency of significant weather events has resulted in the failure of existing surface water drainage infrastructure and increased incidence of flooding. The requirement for SuDS to be implemented on new developments adds to feasibility and development challenges, particularly on brownfield sites where surface water infiltration may affect the fate and transport of contamination. GDP performs a variety of infiltration and soakaway testing from simple NHBC approved falling head infiltrations to full BR Digest 365 tests to support the design of soakaways, swales or other surface water attenuation systems and can also advise on the appropriateness of a SuDS scheme in context of in ground contamination.

Ground Gas

Ground gases including methane, carbon dioxide, vapours from in-ground contamination and naturally occurring radon can all affect the development feasibility of brownfield land. GDP is adept at designing investigations to assess the ground gas, soil vapour or radon risks affecting developments and can go on to design cost effective mitigation schemes suited to site specific needs and inspect membrane installations by contractors. With the implementation of BS 8485 in November 2015 developers should be aware of the increasingly demanding requirements for appropriate characterisation of the gas regime on sites and the need to agree gas membrane specifications, installer competence and inspection type with regulators well in advance of start on site.

Project Management

Over more than two decades GDP has developed a wide professional network of trusted partners in the brownfield sector. We appreciate that finding and engaging each company needed to deliver a development or due diligence project can be both time consuming and costly for our clients. When involved delivering core geoenvironmental elements of a project GDP is pleased to augment its offer with services from our recommended and trusted partners to provide a single point of contact and minimise downtime and frustration for the client. We have partners specialising in asbestos surveying, remediation contracting, invasive weed management, ecology, archaeology, flood risk assessment, cost management, environmental insurance and many other disciplines.  We would be equally delighted to make an introduction to one of our partners or manage a subconsultant for you to help move your project forwards.

Development Partnerships
Businessman with an open hand ready for handshake

By adopting a more flexible approach to risk and reward than conventional consultants we hope to tip the balance in favour of our developer and land owner partners for mutual benefit.

Every site is unique and depending on circumstances, rather than agreeing a typical consultancy fee, we may agree to work at our risk in exchange for a % uplift in value achieved at the point of sale, or take an enhanced fee once our work has enabled the site to advance and conventional funds have been released.

GDP has also entered agreements to work without a conventional fee with partner developers on projects where existing remediation estimates provided by other consultants made a site unfeasible or commercially unattractive. On these types of remediation schemes we have agreed to invest our time and skills to re-work the remediation method statements and negotiate with the regulators to achieve more cost effective solutions. This work is provided at our risk in return for a % fee of the savings ultimately achieved with no cost exposure risk to the developer – a real ‘win-win’ scenario.

If you are a landowner or developer with a technically challenging site and want to take the site forward without taking all the financial risk we’d love to hear from you.

Challenging ground conditions?
Please drop us a line