One of the most important processes conducted before a property is developed is an environmental site assessment. A study of past and present activities on a site, the assessment is intended to judge the possibility of contamination on the site, and the human and environmental health impact of that contamination. If a site is deemed contaminated, this can have detrimental impacts to our health, and will likely lead to repercussions on property values as well as liability issues. 

A site assessment is typically conducted during commercial land development. For example, if you’ve purchased a plot of land for a new build, the developer you purchased the land from will have already completed the site assessment and another will likely not be required for your residential development. If you’re concerned that one was not completed or you’ve been advised you may need to arrange one, it’s recommended you speak with the local council.

Keep reading to learn more about site assessments and their purpose below.

What is a site assessment and its purpose?

An environmental site assessment involves determining whether a piece of land has been contaminated by previous or current activities onsite. The data obtained allows developers to find out if the contamination has an impact on human and environmental health. Its purpose is to ensure that residences are only built on land that is safe for its occupants. 

Environmental site assessment process 

The environmental site assessment process has different stages that include historical study, site inspection and the sampling and testing (soil or groundwater). The assessments are usually carried out in two phases.

  • Phase 1: Preliminary assessment – Review records to check previous site activities, visual inspection of main and connecting properties, as well as interviews with authorities.
  • Phase 2: Thorough site investigation – Testing samples, comparing results with regulatory requirements. Identifying ecological surroundings, any endangered species or wetlands that may prohibit certain land uses.

What are environmental site assessments in real estate?

In commercial developments, environmental site assessments are typically required, although this is subject to change depending on the requirements from the state and local government bodies. 

You may be able to request a copy of a site assessment. You can ask your real estate agent about this or speak with the local council. 

Get in touch with JKBD to learn more about services

At JKBD, our team of specialist builders and designers are here to help you with every stage of your residential development project. We understand building or renovating a property can be an overwhelming process, and we want to ensure you’re comfortable with every step you take towards your new home. With our assistance, we can help you make the most of your investment and ensure everything goes to plan. With years of experience under our belt, we’ve helped many clients throughout their development projects ensure a positive outcome.

While environmental site assessments are not a part of the residential property development process, we’re here to put your mind at ease. Contact us to discuss your next project or book a free consultation with our experts.

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