Environmental due diligence
EAI specializes in environmental due diligence (EDD) assessments for properties in financial transactions.
EAI's specialized EDD services include a modified form of the ASTM 1527 scope of work for Phase I Environmental Investigations in Japan. This modified scope addresses all aspects of the ASTM 1527 standard insofar as achievable under Japanese laws and public recordkeeping practices. EAI also customizes assessment programs to meet specific client needs and requirements on a regular basis.
EAI Phase II soil and groundwater investigations conform to, or exceed, Japanese environmental standards stipulated in the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Law (SCCL) standard methods. Investigation scopes can be tailored to meet client specifications either within the SCCL regulatory framework or to meet criteria that go beyond Japanese standards.
EAI also provides opinions of cost for remedial actions, rectifying compliance deficiencies and for implementing best management practices. These opinions are critical in determining property values in transactions or in determining Asset Retirement Obligations under IASB standards.
Property condition assessments
EAI provides engineering due diligence services using its team of professional engineers, architects and estimators to provide Building Condition Assessments (also known as Engineering Reports or Physical Assessment Reports). EAI has evaluated more than 2,000 office complexes; commercial/retail centers; multi-family residential and hotel buildings; warehouse/logistics centers; and, manufacturing facilities in Japan and overseas.
The Building Condition Assessment outlines any clearly identified building and/or material defects; maintenance issues associated with structural elements and building mechanical systems or equipment; estimated costs for repair; anticipated life of major building components or systems; recommendations for prudent reserves; and, recommendations for reducing operating costs through regularly scheduled equipment maintenance and energy conservation. Capital reserve schedules are included in the report addressing immediate deficiencies, deferred maintenance items and a forecast of replacement reserves. The reports include pertinent property drawings, figures and photographs.
Japan’s regulations for managing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated dielectric fluids require owners to store PCB-containing transformers, capacitors and other electrical equipment until the units can be destroyed in special quasi-governmental incinerators. Owner storage requirements are strict, including mandatory secondary containment measures and property registrations as PCB-storage facilities.
In a country so prone to seismic activity, management and controlling aging equipment is of course essential. So owners of PCB-containing equipment are also not allowed to sell or transfer ownership of the units and must maintain staff readily available to inspect the stored units in the event of earthquake, fire, flood or other disasters within 24 hours of such events.
EAI manages corporate client programs controlling scrap and out-of-service PCB transformers/capacitors at more than 400 commercial properties across Japan. EAI PCB services include:
- Negotiating storage design criteria with local regulators
- Designing legal specifications for PCB storage facilities
- Preparing facility construction plans/drawings
- Transport and disposal contractor bidding, selection and management
- Verification sampling in the event of leakage
- Transport of PCB scrap/wastes
- Preparation and filing of all regulatory permits, registrations and inspection documents
- PCB-impacted building decontamination work & clearance sampling
Japan was one of the world's largest importers of raw asbestos fiber between the 1950s and 2000. According to government statistics, Japan imported more than 10 million tons of asbestos over 40+ years, 95% of which was used in Japanese building construction products. Japanese building material manufacturers continued using asbestos in products until at least 2006, and stockpiled materials continued to be used in construction until approximately 2008. As such, many Japanese buildings still contain asbestos spray-on insulation, ceiling panels, wallboards and floor tiles.
EAI provides a full range of asbestos inspection, management and abatement services across Japan. All EAI asbestos inspectors are certified under Japan Health and Labor Ministry criteria and have performed or specified more than 5,000 asbestos investigation and, remedial projects in the past seven years.
EAI's asbestos analytical services are provided by its affiliate company, EFA Laboratories, Inc. in Tokyo. EFA is co-owned by EAI partners and Forensic Analytical Laboratories, Inc. EFA performs PLM/PCM and TEM analyses primarily using the ISO 22262-1 analytical method. EAI’s complete range of asbestos services allows the firm to control scheduling and pricing of all asbestos-related projects.
Occupied Central Tokyo Office Tower - Eight floors
Client: Confidential Building Owner
EAI was contracted to oversee contracted asbestos abatement activities in an eight story Tokyo office building. The abatement had been negotiated by new tenants who insisted on removal or encapsulation of asbestos materials prior to taking occupancy.
EAI’s abatement management services included:
- Reviews and approval for all contractor work plans, procedures and documentation
- Sampling and analysis of bulk spray-on material samples using PLM analytical methods
- Visually inspecting all ongoing and completed abatement work to ensure complete asbestos removal or encapsulation
- Conducting unscheduled workplace inspections to ensure contractor compliance with Japanese law and client EHS specifications
- Monitoring building indoor air asbestos concentrations on the abatement floors; and, providing post-abatement clearance sampling/analyses on all floors.
The abatement work was scheduled for nights, weekends and holidays to preclude potential tenant asbestos exposures and to minimize impacts on daily operations.
Building damage & decontamination
In a country that experiences a major seismic disaster almost once a decade, EAI is closely involved in post-disaster environmental damage assessment and remediation, particularly in the wake of the March 2011 Tohoku disasters.
We routinely inspect buildings impacted by fire, quake and chemical releases, and follow up with remedial plans. By late 2014 EAI had successfully completed more than 50 projects of this type across Japan.
With on-site inspections and detailed review of structural drawings, floor plans and system plans we develop cost-effective and successful decontamination plans. We work closely with owners, building management companies and manufacturing staff to ensure minimal tenant inconvenience during the remedial activities. We also counsel building owners through the regulatory process, attending meetings with government officials to negotiate remedial scopes, clean-up actions, project schedules and objectives.
Once the remedial plan is approved, we assist owners in contractor pre-qualification and bid negotiations and oversee contractor operations as the owner’s representative. We document all field activities with data to confirm project effectiveness and submit all necessary project permits and reports in the final regulatory document packages.
Location: Eleven Story Office Tower, Osaka Japan
EAI was contracted to decontaminate an occupied 11-story office building that had been impacted by PCBs leaked from defective scrap capacitors and transformers stored in the building basement. The chemicals had been tracked into the upper, tenanted building floors through the basement entrance.
EAI sampled surfaces and airborne PCB concentrations on all building floors to determine the extent of PCB impacts; characterized building impacts in reports, tables and figures; developed a remedial plan for the building; negotiated the remedial objectives and plan with local regulators; and managed the remedial contractor activities and schedules.
EAI also commissioned a full PCB human health risk assessment of tenant operations and assisted building management in tenant negotiations.
Elements of the building decontamination included:
- Repackaging, removing and transporting the defective PCB units/storage racks to a licensed PCB storage facility;
- Evaluating impacts to tenant-owned equipment/files stored in the basement;
- Relocating tenant storage areas (where appropriate) and/or packaging impacted equipment for disposal as PCB wastes;
- Demolishing tenant storage spaces and ancillary basement bathrooms/shower room;
- Removing surface dust & dirt from the basement floor, walls and ceilings;
- Scarifying the concrete basement floors, walls and ceilings;
- Removing impacted carpets and floor tiles in the elevators and on the upper floors;
- Decontaminating non-porous surfaces on the upper floors;
- Resurfacing and sealing concrete basement floors and walls;
- Reconstructing new tenant storage areas;
- Successfully negotiating clean-up goals and documenting/closing the project with local regulators.
The entire project was scheduled to allow ongoing building operations. The full decontamination effort took approximately 7 months with no impact to building occupancy.