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09Jul / 2015

Revised BS 8485:2015 published

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BS 8485:2015 – Code of practice for the design of protective measures for methane and carbon dioxide ground gases for new buildings

BSI have just published the long awaited revision to the 2007 document.

Toxic, asphyxiating or explosive gases can leak from the ground and accumulate in buildings, posing health risks. The standard describes how to characterize sites and prevent the entry of carbon dioxide and methane into new buildings. This revision has now been substantially expanded and revised to reflect changes in good practice and reference other standards since the last edition was published. 

 

Key Changes

The revised document provides the highest level of guidance in the UK on this subject and while keeping to the ethos and spirit of the simple point scoring system of design, it is much expanded to provide clearer guidance on:

  • interpreting gas monitoring data
  • selecting membranes
  • changes to gas protection scores
  • worked examples
  • user flow charts

And in addition to methane and carbon dioxide it also provides recommendations through new annexes on radon and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Hazardous gases may be present in the ground naturally, or from contamination, mine working or buried wastes. Two of the major risks are methane, which is flammable (explosive in confined spaces) and an asphyxiant, and carbon dioxide, which is both toxic and an asphyxiant.

The standard provides guidance on site investigation, determining ground gas parameters and using those to identify protective design solutions. It is not prescriptive – recognising that there are many factors involved, that a range of design solutions are available for different situations, and that professional judgement is often needed. Emphasis is placed on justification and recording of risk assessments and design decisions so that the whole process will be transparent for consultants, developers and regulators. 

 

Ground-Gas Solutions Comment

Ground Gas Solutions works hard to promote best practice in the contaminated land sector and believes that this document provides a further step forward to improved ground-gas protection for the UK construction industry. The document can be obtained from http://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030283600

11Jun / 2015

GGS/PAG “A-Z of Ground-Gas” – everything you need to know in a 2 day seminar!

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Given the serious dangers that ground gases can pose, it is no surprise that local authorities are increasingly demanding effective ground-gas protection measures be installed and verified. Ensuring that you’re up to speed with best practice in the entire process – from data collection and risk assessment to the final verification can be a critical skill for many industry professionals.

02Apr / 2015

GGS involved in Closed Landfill Workshop

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Ground Gas Solutions will be speaking at a closed landfill workshop as part as the ACUMEN project.  The event is free and will take place in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland.

 

The full day workshop will focus on approaches to reducing methane emissions from closed landfills that have been demonstrated by the ACUMEN project, such as small scale landfill gas engines, low calorific gas flaring and bio-oxidation technologies.  The workshop will also address the monitoring techniques to help site owners assess a site that then can be used to better understand the ground gas regime or improve upon gas management systems.

 

For information, including the speaker list, please follow the link here.

01Apr / 2015

Health risks of radon in buildings

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What is radon?

Radon is a gas produced from the decay of uranium, a naturally occurring element in the earth’s crust. Radon is radioactive, emitting harmful alpha radiation when it decays.

Radon is present in outdoor and indoor air, usually in small amounts. We breathe it in and out all the time. If a radon atom decays while inside our lungs, the alpha radiation released may damage lung cells. This has the potential to cause lung cancer. It is estimated that 1,100 people die prematurely every year from radon exposure, just in England and Wales.

15Mar / 2015

3 ways continuous ground-gas monitoring saves you time

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Ground-gas monitoring programmes can hold up brownfield development. Spot monitoring periods can be prescribed for up to 12 months. Continuous monitoring can provide a solution to this.

Continuous monitoring involves the use of unmanned data collection instrumentation. There are many benefits to collecting continuous data, including improved risk prediction, but continuous monitoring also saves you time. Here’s how:

10Mar / 2015

The Onshore Energy Services Group Publish a Series of Factsheets

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The onshore energy services group (OESG) have a series of factsheets published on their site to inform on aspects of the oil and gas industry. Each factsheet provides a very useful resource for policymakers and public stakeholders to understand the processes of extracting energy, along with the risks, the safeguards employed to protect against these risks, and the regulatory framework within which oil and gas extraction takes place.

 

All the factsheets can be found on this link www.oesg.org.uk/resources/factsheets

10Mar / 2015

Live from a landfill

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Ground-gas solutions is involved in the Greenhouse gAs Uk and Global Emissions project (GAUGE) utilising the innovative methodologies developed as part of the ACUMEN project to measure methane emissions from the landfill surface. Read about the GAUGE project here in the latest NERC magazine:

 

http://www.nerc.ac.uk/latest/publications/planetearth/spr15-landfill.pdf

 

Find out more about the GAUGE project here http://www.greenhouse-gases.org.uk/gauge

 

For further information on the ACUMEN project (Assessing Capturing and Utilising Methane from Expired and Non-operational landfills) the website is here https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/acumen-assessing-capturing-and-utilising-methane-from-expired-and-non-operational-landfills

 

10Mar / 2015

BS8485 Code of Practice Revision

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The revision of BS8485 Code of practice for the characterization and remediation from ground gas in affected developments is underway and the draft has now been released and is available to view and comment here: http://drafts.bsigroup.com/Home/Details/54404 .

 

The draft incorporates significant additional technical information from its original and introduces changes and clarifications to the scoring matrix for gas protection.  Verification in line with C735 is included within the draft.

 

If you want to comment, you have till the 30th April 2015 !

17Feb / 2015

What does continuous monitoring mean?

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Continuous ground-gas monitoring is a popular method for certain situations (see previous article on ‘when to use continuous ground-gas monitoring’).

This article tries to answer the question: what does continuous really mean in the context of ground-gas monitoring?

The Oxford English dictionary defines continuous as: Forming an unbroken whole; without interruption.

Traditionally, the contaminated land industry has relied on ground-gas monitoring results collected at a frequency of 1-2 weeks.

12Feb / 2015

EIC publish their position paper on tackling the risk of Radon

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Peter Atchison, Chairman of EIC Contaminated Land Working Group says “The health risks from exposure to high levels of radon have been well-understood for many years, but the issue remains low in terms of public awareness or political focus. EIC has produced this position paper on radon to raise awareness of both these risks and the actions that can be taken to mitigate them among government, regulators, developers, building owners and occupiers and related professional advisers. EIC’s aim is to present a balanced picture of risks and mitigation opportunities to avoid unnecessary anxiety