Environmental Assessment Of School Following Fire Damage

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Environmental Assessment Of School Following Fire Damage

Posted on BY wme_admin

BACKGROUND

EnviroScience Solutions was engaged by the NSW Department of Education to undertake an environmental assessment of a regional primary school which was significantly damaged by fire.

Service Industry
  • Built Environment Services:
  • Contaminated Site Management
  • Asbestos & Hazardous Materials Registers
  • Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI)
  • Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) Sampling & Testing
  • Remediation Clearance Inspections
  • Remediation Action Plans
  • Validation Sampling and Reporting
  • Insurance
  • Government and Public Sectors
  • Education and Training

SOLUTION

EnviroScience Solution’s assessment found the building had sustained extensive resultant smoke and odour damage, from a series of spot fires and burnt construction and plastic materials. A series of rooms on the ground and first storey of the school, were particularly affected by the blaze.

Due to time sensitive nature of the project, EnviroScience developed a method for post-fire validation, enabling a suitable on-site assessment to assess the effectiveness of the remediation works. The assessment was based on visual and human olfactory observations coupled with Ringelmann residue swabs and instantaneous air monitoring of specific parameters based on laboratory simulation and external quality control (external background) results.

The visual assessment after the final remediation works found the area had been effectively cleaned by air scrubbers fitted with HEPA and charcoal filters. While non-porous materials that couldn’t be effectively cleaned, were removed from site. Hard surfaces were physically steamed and scrubbed with cleaning agents, ensuring no physical residues were found.

The olfactory observations found no odour to be present, or detected, while the Ringelmann Residue Swabs found some minor detailing works were still required in the foyer of the building.

Meanwhile, air monitoring was used as an “exposure measurement” to ensure the remediation methods were effective for the works undertaken and the risk of exposure to third parties had been minimised. The results found elevated carbon dioxide levels in the foyer area, with further remediation works recommended in the area around the entry foyer. As well as in adjoining areas, where there was considerable smoke damage, for the area to be sealed completely following the re-remediation of the foyer.

OUTCOME

It was a priority for EnviroScience that the assessment was conducted quickly, ensuring students could safely return to the classroom with minimal disruption to the school.

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