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Air Quality Assessment Consultants

Our air quality impact assessment consultants provide services for a range of industries in Sussex, London, Surrey and Kent. Get in touch with our air quality assessment experts for your free consultation.

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Air Quality Assessments For Planning & Construction

Demolition, remediation, site preparation and construction are phases that are easily overlooked during a development programme, as they generally represent a fraction of a scheme’s lifecycle.

If the potential effects on air quality of these phases are not effectively assessed and mitigated, then they can cause highly significant local effects. For the majority of construction projects, emissions of dust are the greatest concern in terms of air quality impacts.

Emissions of toxic gasses, vapours and fine particulate matter can also be significant, particularly on contaminated brownfield sites. Consideration of construction phase effects is also a requirement of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations.

It is necessary to assess, model, predict and/or monitor emissions to the atmosphere during the phases of a development project before it is occupied and becomes operational.

In addition to the models and assessment tools used for industrial and vehicular emissions, as air quality assessment consultants, we have the capability to provide these additional air quality impact assessment services for a wide range of development projects.

Guidance published by the Institute of Air Quality Management separates emissions from construction activities into a number of distinct source groups or phases, which include:

  • Demolition of existing structures
  • Ground clearance and earthworks
  • Construction of new structures
  • Movements of vehicles along access routes and soiled road surfaces

There is also specific guidance for minerals works, which often use similar plants carrying out similar tasks to those associated with large construction earthworks.

Sensitive Receptor Assessments

Dust impacts on vegetation and ecologically sensitive areas also need to be considered. However, the lower sensitivity of such habitat usually makes it more resistant to the much lower concentrations and rates of deposited dust that can potentially cause health impacts in humans or cause nuisance effects.

Transport Emissions Assessment & Consultancy

Emissions from road traffic are the most significant reason for the declaration of Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) by local authorities across the UK. This is usually due to housing being located close to roads in many urban areas.

For this reason, air quality strategy and management issues are a material consideration during the planning process. It is, therefore, often a requirement of the local planning authority that an air quality impact assessment should be undertaken for any development that proposes to either introduce sensitive receptors or generate traffic to areas where air quality is a concern.

There are a variety of air quality assessment tools that we use to assess the impacts on and sensitivities to various development proposals. These include screening tools developed from empirical relationships between traffic volume and distance of sensitive receptors from busy roads, to more complex computational dispersion models requiring detailed meteorological data as an input (e.g., Breeze Roads and ADMS Roads).

Examples of Air Quality Assessment Projects

  • Comparisons of proposed road scheme routes
  • Residential developments
  • Large mixed-use schemes
  • Large commercial buildings
  • Industrial estates
  • Warehouses and distribution depots
  • Retail developments
  • Bus depots.

Phlorum’s Air Quality Assessment Methodology

The most common air quality monitoring and assessment methods we use include the following:

  • Monitoring of dust deposition rates and analysis of deposited dusts (e.g., morphological source apportionment analyses using scanning electron microscopy, x-ray microprobe analysis and spectrophotometry)
  • Realtime sampling of airborne fine particulate matter (e.g., in the PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 size fractions)
  • Pumped and passive sampling of speciated volatile organic compounds using sorbent media (e.g., Tenax and Sulphicarb tubes)
  • Odour assessments, sampling and analysis (e.g., methodological ‘sniff-testing’ and collection of air samples for olfactometric analysis).

Contact our team of air quality assessment consultants today to discuss your needs for your upcoming construction project.

Air Quality Case Studies

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