Global wins London housing contract

London-based asbestos consultancy, Global Environmental, has been appointed  to carry out a programme of surveys for the Breyer Group to support its ‘Decent Homes’ refurbishment scheme of social housing in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.

Breyer Group plc logoIn October the 6-week contract commenced which involves carrying out refurbishment asbestos surveys to kitchens, bathrooms, heating and electrical items and management surveys to other areas of an initial batch of 430 properties.

“We are delighted to welcome Global Environmental to Breyer’s Supply Chain and look forward to working closely with them to deliver this contract for Barking & Dagenham Council,” said Breyer Group’s Construction Director, John Walsh.

As part of the contract Global Environmental are processing and uploading the survey data onto the Council’s MICAD property management system which will enable information about asbestos to be stored and tracked throughout the lifetime of its housing stock.

In August Breyer Group announced it had secured a £4.5 million contract to carry out ‘Decent Homes’ upgrades to 800 properties owned by the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.

Global Environmental specialises in providing asbestos surveys for social housing. The company, which is based in Central London, currently provides residential surveys for a number of clients including Keepmoat, Mears, Mulalley, Lovell, Rydon and Asra Housing.

The company has developed a bespoke half-day seminar which deals with the specific issues and challenges that occur when managing asbestos during the maintenance and refurbishment of social housing. Experts in asbestos surveying and removals have presented to the LHC, Keepmoat and Genesis Housing Association.

Global Environmental is one of six companies on the LHC asbestos framework.

How to save a fortune on asbestos management

10 quick tips to help Quantity Surveyors reduce costs on surveying, air testing and removals

10tips for QS imageClifford Devlin and Asbestos consultancy Global Environmental have published a booklet entitled “How to save a small fortune on asbestos management”. The document is aimed at quantity surveyors, estimators and cost consultants and contains 10 tips on how to reduce costs on asbestos surveying, air testing and removal.

Click to download an electronic copy.

“It is estimated that managing asbestos accounts for 10% of the cost of demolition and as much as 5% of spend on refurbishment projects is allocated to the identification, removal and reporting asbestos containing materials,” says the booklet’s author, Paul Clarke-Scholes, “Our brochure contains a number of tips and trade secrets to enable those involved in pricing and procuring asbestos works to minimise the spend without compromising the safety of those involved.”

Since 1999 it has been illegal to use asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in construction or refurbishment. However the potentially hazardous substance was used extensively as a building material in Great Britain from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s and much of it is still in place.

As many as 2.4 million homes and as much as 75% of commercial, industrial and municipal buildings still contain some asbestos containing materials so demolition or refurbishment projects will continue to involve management of asbestos for the foreseeable future.

Please email to request printed copy/s of the booklet.

10 tips delivered for CPD lunch

A training seminar set up on the back of  How to save a small fortune on asbestos management has been met with enthusiasm by Quantity Surveyors from some of the major firms of project managers and construction consultants in London and the South East this autumn.

Training at Stace

In a one hour lunch time presentation, given by Paul Clark-Scholes of Clifford Devlin, the ten most important aspects of asbestos management with regards to cost management and damage limitation are discussed with examples of best practice and how to plan for the unexpected and avoid some common pitfalls. The presentation includes real life examples of projects where budgets have spiralled out of control and provides an opportunity for attendees to discuss methods to prevent this happening to them.

Training has already been delivered at Jackson Coles, Stace, the Sweett Group, Currie & Brown, Leslie Clark, Robinson Low Francs LLP, Keegans Ltd and
Arcadis UK.

If you are interested in booking this seminar you should call Fergus McCloskey on 020 7300 7288 or email  The seminar can be delivered at your premises, is one hour in duration and provides one CPD point.

Asbestos training for healthcare sector

A new training seminar which has been devised to tackle the specific issues and challenges for those managing asbestos in healthcare environments has proved useful to a number of Trusts in London and the South East.

healthcare trainingHospitals are a typical example of the large public buildings where asbestos was widely used during the second half of the Twentieth Century.  Its fire proofing and heat resistant qualities as well as its soundproofing advantages seemed to make it a sensible choice of building material.  Asbestos is still being found in roofing panels, floor tiles, pipe insulation and boiler seals.  Buildings within a hospital campus are often linked by pedestrian tunnels, and these too were sometimes lined with asbestos before the ban on its use in 1999. Just normal occupation and weathering of the buildings can cause the hazardous fibres to be released creating a danger to those who work there as well as patients and visitors.

The half-day course, which is delivered by asbestos management specialists, Global Environmental and Clifford Devlin is directed at Estates and Facilities Managers, Health and Safety Professionals and Property or Asset Managers.  While an asbestos management plan will cover ongoing asbestos maintenance a one-off project or refurbishment can throw up more specific problems making the course required learning for a number of departments within a hospital.

Topics include:

  • How to prepare an asbestos management plan
  • Legal responsibilities for managing asbestos
  • How to reduce costs and delays to programme
  • Typical places in healthcare premises that asbestos is found
  • How to plan surveys and removal works to minimise disruption
  • Key criteria for selecting a contractor
  • Techniques to minimise damage during surveying and removal
  • How to interpret survey reports
  • Latest HSE guidance on  exemptions for non-licensable work, waivers and workplans
  • Managing communications with staff, patients and the public
  • Emergency plans

The presenters both have specific experience of working in healthcare environments which gives them a good working knowledge of where asbestos was most widely used in hospital buildings as well as an understanding of the best ways to minimise disruption during surveys and removal.

The training has recently been delivered at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (where the entire Estates and Facilities Management teams attended), and South West London and St George’s NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust.

If you are interested in booking one of these specialist training seminars you should call Fergus McCloskey on 020 7300 7288 or email  The seminar can be delivered at your premises, is three hours in duration and provides two CPD points.


Meet the team

Lia Kinchlea, Asbestos Administrator


Lia Kinchlea 16.10.15Lia joined the Global Environmental Asbestos team in December 2014 and her role as Administrator provides the link between clients and our surveying teams.  She is based in the Sawbridgeworth office and runs the diary, compiles the reports as information comes in from surveyors and is responsible for processing data for upload into property management systems such as Keystone and MICAD.



Q: How do the surveying team fix their appointments?

A:  We have a team of ten surveyors, and they cover the Home Counties, London, the South East and the South of England.  As jobs come in to me from our clients, I allocate them to the appropriate surveyors as appointments for the following day.

Q: How are the reports compiled?

A: All our surveyors work with a tablet.  They are able to upload all the relevant information from the job such as the mandatory risk assessment, photos and survey data.  This arrives with me simultaneously and I am able to compile a draft report, a non-technical document prior to the bulk testing results being added later.  I like this stage as it gives me the opportunity to check that we have all the required information and that the photos are in the correct place.  A second check carried out by our technical assessors once the lab results have been incorporated.

Q: How easy is it to keep track of the surveyors?

A: I have a pretty good relationship with them so they all let me know if there is a problem getting to an appointment on time.  I also manage their time sheets so if they want their overtime added they need to keep me in the loop!

Q: What do you most enjoy about the job?

A: The satisfaction of making an efficient timetable of appointments for the team – especially when we are very busy. I like the logistics of working out which appointments suit which surveyor best both in terms of location and type of survey. I am also responsible for getting the invoices paid so I am involved in each job from start to finish.

Q: What do your friends think about your choice of career?

A: This is my first job since leaving school and typically my friends’ reaction to hearing what I do is to ask what exactly asbestos is.  It is extraordinary that a material as prevalent and as potentially dangerous as asbestos is not better understood. I am doing my best to educate them!


Better safe than sorry

An existing client with premises in Central London recently consulted Global Environmental regarding some bank vaults in the basement of the property which required an asbestos survey.

bank-vault-door (1)The vaults house a series of safes, no longer in use, that are behind steel doors.  Typically the doors and the arches around them will be fire proofed as will the lining of the safe. Sometimes the fire proofing material will contain asbestos.

As the safes in question were locked and inaccessible it was not possible for the surveyor to take a sample of the internal lining.  “I consulted with the client at length,” says Global Environmental’s Operations Manager, Paul Phillips, “As we were unable to access the inside of the safes we had to make a presumption in the report that there were asbestos containing materials (ACMs) present in the lining.  It is our only option in this kind of situation as we cannot allow the dismantling to go ahead without the correct safety measures in place.  It is part of the ‘suitable and sufficient assessment’ our surveyors have to make by law.”

If surveyors are unable to access a location without causing significant damage that would leave the premises unfit for occupation/re-occupation they are duty bound to identify these locations as inaccessible and exclude them from their report.

Clients can avoid some of the additional, unforeseen costs of re-visits, by instructing their Facilities or Site Manager to facilitate as much access as possible for the survey. Ideally they should escort the surveyor around the building or provide a full set of keys. In circumstances where ducting, closed risers or obstacles are preventing full access ask them to organise specialist labour to provide “opening-up works” on-the-spot. This might sound expensive but this will have to be done at some point before the works start – you might as well get this done in one visit.

Global Environmental has extensive experience of conducting asbestos surveys in challenging situations such as this. For more information please call Paul Phillips on 020 7300 7288 or email

Restoration Comedy

_83704272_parliament_bbcEstimates for work to remove asbestos and outdated cabling at the Palace of Westminster, a 150-year-old Grade I listed building, give an extreme illustration of the complexities of managing asbestos in an occupied building.

A report in 2009 concluded that service shafts and piping ducts behind Parliamentary committee rooms were contaminated with asbestos, whose potentially lethal fibres could be disturbed by something as innocuous as “strong currents of air”. The report also noted that “the presence of asbestos has not been managed in accordance with the various regulations”.

A rising scale of works and approximate costs and time scales has been put together ranging from £3.9bn for basic work to £5.7bn for a major restoration.  If MPs and peers choose not to move out of the buildings while the work is carried out the project will take over 25 years to complete.  Read the BBC’s Parliamentary Correspondent’s full analysis here.

New Commercial Property Client for Global

State Bank of India UK logo

Global Environmental has completed two days of invasive and intensive surveys for their new client the State Bank of India following a competitive tender earlier in the year.  Introduction to the Bank came via David Macdonald, Director at Vivente Build which sources design and build contracting services for their clients.

The surveys were required for the purposes of full refurbishment programmes of two of the Bank’s branches in London – Hounslow and Ilford – following a fresh retail concept the Bank is currently implementing.  Time constraints to meet a Financial Regulatory requirement means that both branches must be fully open and functional no later than 30 September 2015.

Global Environmental’s reputation and quality of work in the commercial property sector helped win the business as well as its efficient methods of working.  Following removal of samples from areas suspected of containing asbestos, floor plans were annotated by the surveyor on-site, uploaded to the server and reported back to the client for the next stage of work to commence.

The samples taken have now been analysed and appropriate action taken to remove asbestos from affected areas to enable the eight-week construction programme to start no later than 3 August.

Global anticipates that further opportunities to work with the State Bank of India will be available as the new retail concept is rolled out across the Group.


Global makes perfect partner for social housing refurb scheme

Global Environmental have started work on a 12-month contract to provide asbestos surveys to support social housing refurbishments in Harlow. This follows a successful tender submitted earlier this year to partner with building contractor, Mulalley.

The UK contractor which specialises in the refurbishment and maintenance of affordable housing invited Global to tender for a programme of asbestos surveys across kitchen and bathroom home improvement schemes in Harlow, Essex as part of an eight-year refurbishment project.

surveyor bathroom“This is an area of work in which we are very experienced,” said Operations Manager, Paul Phillips. “Our team of surveyors will be able to work through the properties efficiently and effectively but obviously subsequent work will be dependent upon what we find there.”

“I understand that two more full-scale schemes will be released in September as the programme goes into full swing and that will increase our survey quota considerably. The long-term success of these working relationships relies on a collaborative approach and is something we are very determined to make work.”

Global Environmental has previously provided asbestos management for social housing in Harlow via contractor Keepmoat.

Specialist asbestos training

A bespoke seminar at LHC took on the challenges that occur when managing asbestos in social housing

Global Environmental teamed up with removals contractor Clifford Devlin on 19 March to deliver a bespoke seminar at LHC in Uxbridge on the specific issues and challenges that occur when managing asbestos during the maintenance and refurbishment of social housing.

Read on…