DESIGNATED SUBSTANCE SURVEY OF A COMMUNITY CENTRE
We were commissioned by a municipal government to conduct a quantitative asbestos survey as well as a Designated Substance Survey of a community centre that was built more than 50 years ago. Because asbestos was widely used in construction materials such as insulation, spray-on fireproofing, some cement products, acoustical ceiling tiles, roofing felts and shingles, vinyl tiles, and caulking that were in vogue at the time of the building’s construction, we were asked to determine the location, condition, quantity, and type of hazardous materials present.
These regulations require that all designated substances be identified and removed before a demolition or renovation and enables contractors to take the steps necessary to control exposure.
We were hired because of our expertise in the design phase of building renovations, infrastructure upgrades, and demolition projects to prevent additional costs and project delays where designated substances might be found.
This work was necessary to comply with Ontario regulations concerning asbestos as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Act to identify potentially harmful substances that may be present in a building. These regulations require that all designated substances be identified and removed before a demolition or renovation and enables contractors to take the steps necessary to control exposure.
Our Designated Substance Survey determined the presence, location, and concentration of any of the eleven designated substances, including asbestos and lead, that are deemed toxic and of particular concern under Ontario regulations.
CM3 personnel used a methodical room-by-room inspection to observe all building components for potential contamination referring to diagrams provided by surveyors of building structural components, finishes, and mechanical and electrical systems. Suspect materials were primarily assessed by visual inspection. On the basis of this, select samples were collected from discrete locations using industry-accepted, safe sampling techniques that included the pre-wetting and concealment of materials after collection. All suspect asbestos samples were submitted for analysis by polarized light microscopy with dispersion staining. We sent suspect lead-containing paint chips that we collected from painted surfaces within the building to a lab for analysis.
We used the information collected during our site reconnaissance and collection of analytical data to prepare a comprehensive Designated Substance Survey report that included all of our methodology, lab results, and findings.
We found no immediate concerns, but recommended that prior to renovation or demolition, all asbestos should be removed from the building and materials containing lead should be handled according to Ministry of Labour guidelines. We recommended further investigation to determine if radon was a concern in this building.
Expert on this Case Study