Meet the company: Summit Environmental

 

What do we do?

We are a consultancy specialising in surveys for hazardous materials such as asbestos, anthrax and lead, Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’’s) including retrofit assessments, fire risk assessments, water testing and water risk assessments.

 

How did we come up with our company name?

Our managing director Mark Elwell has a background of environmental studies and ecology with hobbies of rock climbing and the name that combined the two, just stuck. To summit implies the topmost level attainable, which is what we aim for all our customers.

 

When was the company started and why?

August 2018. A company I was working for was bought out, therefore the future of the company I was working at looked to be at risk. Having worked for several companies previously and working all over the country at the drop of a hat, with the birth of my daughter, I wanted more autonomy and flexibility in my working life. We wanted to decide on what we did and how we did it and clients we wanted to work with.

 

What makes us different?

Anyone manging or buying and selling commercial or residential premises will need an asbestos survey, fire risk assessment, energy performance certificate and legionella testing. We are a one stop shop for our clients giving time and cost savings sending one consultant rather than using four different companies.

 

What has been your best or favourite job/project to date?

So many to mention from a one bed flat that needs asbestos testing and EPC, all the way to an oil rig and marine vessel, where we complete inventories of hazardous materials, we love them all. No two jobs are the same, we love to assist clients with compliance and managing hazardous materials when buying and selling properties or when planning refurbishment works. Several clients have us on speed dial…..

 

The Summit Mantra!

What – Reduce risks to life, improve the built environment and protect the natural world.

Why – We do it right… because it matters.

How – We provide solutions that solve our clients’ problems.

 

 

Contact Details:

☎️ Phone – T.  0203 874 9530, 01342 835 140, 01424 612288, 01444 812 388

📧 Email – [email protected]

🌐 Website – www.Summitenvironmental.co.uk

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/summitenv2018

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/summit_environmental/

Linked-in – https://www.linkedin.com/company/summit-environmental-ltd

Summit Environmental

Summit Environmental

2022 current press releases from the HSE (health and Safety Executive) relating to Asbestos

On 24 November 1999, the use of asbestos was banned in the UK. While the ban was the first step to safeguarding communities from the

Asbestos rock

effects of asbestos and getting justice for asbestos victims, unfortunately, the battle is still ongoing.

The following are updates on recent prosecutions relating to the state of the asbestos industry in 2022.

18th February 2022

Asbestos removal company fined for failing to protect workers

An asbestos management company director has been jailed after failures to protect workers from asbestos exposure during a major refurbishment project in Plymouth.

Asbestos the hidden killer 

In February 2017, concerns were raised by workers at Ensure Asbestos Management Limited who believed they were being put in danger whilst carrying out refurbishment work at a department store.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found irregularities in the asbestos surveys and clearance certificates, with some found to be fraudulent. Ensure Asbestos Management Limited had been contracted to carry out an asbestos survey, remove all identified asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) from the building and then carry out the initial strip-out of the building before it was refurbished. However, the company was found to have deliberately cut corners in managing the danger of asbestos exposure putting workers at risk.

  • Ensure Asbestos Management Limited of Station Road, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £100,000 . Because the company is in liquidation, there is no prospect of a payment being made and so no order for costs was made.

Director of Ensure Asbestos Management Billy Hopwood of Swanstead, Basildon, Essex pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He has been sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, immediate concurrent on each charge. He has also been disqualified as a director for five years

Contracts Manager at Ensure Asbestos Management Phillip Hopwood of Churchgate Street, Harlow, Essex pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1), 3(1) and 33(1)(m) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.  His sentencing was adjourned until a later date.

“Ensure Asbestos Management Limited – a previously licensed asbestos removal contractor – failed to work within the law despite having a wealth of knowledge on the risks associated with exposure to asbestos and the necessary training to have done so safely.  They deliberately falsified documents and cut corners.

25th January 2022

Builder prosecuted for exposing employees to asbestos during unsafe removal

Kieran Lynch has been prosecuted after his employees were exposed to asbestos while refurbishing domestic premises in Barnsdale Road, Reading.

Reading Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Lynch, trading as Lynch and Co, was contracted to carry out a largescale refurbishment for his client who had recently purchased the property from their local council. Prior to the project commencing, the owner of the property informed Mr Lynch that the ceiling boards in the garage contained asbestos.

Mr Lynch instructed two employees, who had no experience in asbestos removal, to take down the boards with no protective measures in place. Once they had taken down the boards, they stored them inside the house for a further three months before they were moved into the front garden to be disposed of. Subsequent examination of these boards identified them as Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB) – a high risk product which requires an asbestos removal licence to remove.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Lynch was made aware that asbestos was present in the property, and yet he failed to make adequate enquiries as to where the asbestos was, its type and the condition it was in, prior to carrying out the removal.  He also instructed his employees, who lacked the necessary competence, to carry out the removal with no control measures in place.

Mr Kieran Lynch of 9 Old Barn Close, Emmer Green, Reading pleaded guilty to breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 Regulations 5 (1)(a), 8(1), 11 (1) and received a Community Order for a period of 12 months with a Rehabilitation Requirement of 25 days and Unpaid Work of 100 hours. Mr Lynch was also ordered to pay £5,000 in costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

“Refurbishment work, even in domestic premises, is liable to expose people to asbestos and adequate steps must be taken to find out if asbestos is present.  If so, appropriate measures must be taken to ensure people are not exposed to asbestos fibres.”

24th January 2022

Company sentenced after fatal fall through fragile asbestos roof

A company has been sentenced after an employee of a Powys construction company was fatally injured in Liverpool when he fell six metres through a roof whilst working on a replacement roof project.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that on 22 May 2017, roofer Marius Andrus was completing snagging work on a replacement roof. The worker had accessed a part of the old roof made of fragile asbestos cement sheets, which gave way. He fell through the sheets to the ground below sustaining fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the area accessed did not have safety nets fitted and that the employer failed to take reasonably practicable measures to reduce the risk to those working on the roof.

AJM Services (Midlands) Ltd of Llanfihangel, Llanfyllin, Powys pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £51,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andy McGrory said: “This was a tragic incident, which resulted in a needless loss of life and could have easily been avoided by properly planning the work and ensuring appropriate safeguards were in place.

“Those in control of work at height have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working, which should include providing clear and comprehensive information for their workers and ensuring that they are adequately supervised.”

Owners of the building Pearsons Glass of Maddrell Street, Liverpool pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, section 3, at an earlier hearing and were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court in February 2021. The company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,656.

18th January 2022

Directors fined for unlicensed asbestos removal

The managing director and the director of a printing company, have been fined for safety breaches after organising the removal of asbestos insulation board by untrained personnel.

Asbestos the hidden killer

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, between August 2016 and December 2016, Charles Dunn and Jeremy Mills, respectively the managing director and director of D&M Heritage Limited, consented to work taking place at the company’s premises which failed to use adequate measures to prevent the spread of asbestos.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company rented space in a warehouse at Red Doles Lane in Huddersfield and had been given notice to leave by the new owners. Prior to leaving, the company agreed to remove some free-standing cupboards. A licensed removal company, who had carried out work previously at the site, had told the directors of D&M Heritage Ltd that the rear of a cupboard was broken and was likely to be asbestos.

The cupboards comprised of doors made with asbestos insulation board (AIB) and the rear of the cupboards also contained AIB. The cupboards were broken up during removal, releasing asbestos fibres. Some pieces were placed in bags, others placed in a nearby skip.

Charles Dunn of Mill Lane, Mixenden, Halifax pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act (due to Reg 11 of Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012) and a second charge of breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act (due to Reg 16 of Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012). He was fined £916 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs.

Jeremy Mills of Occupation Road, Linley, Huddersfield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act (due to Reg 11 of Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012) and a second charge of breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act (due to Reg 16 of Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012). He was fined £1,600 and ordered to pay £10,000 in costs.

“Asbestos is a killer. Companies need to recognise the dangers of removing asbestos by themselves both to their employees and others. Asbestos removal should only be carried out by trained personnel who understand the risks and know how to control them.”

 

Summit Environmental 

The four recent cases show satisfactory asbestos refurbishment and asbestos demolition surveys are not being undertaken, licenced asbestos

Asbestos survey

Need an asbestos survey or asbestos removal

removal works are not being undertaken by licenced asbestos removal companies, works are being undertake without due care, attention, and planning. The outcome of this is people are being exposed to asbestos needlessly.

Asbestos refurbishment and demolition surveys provide accurate information on the location, amount, and condition of asbestos-containing materials within a property and are a legal requirement prior to starting refurbishment or demolition works.

Licensed asbestos removal contractors with appropriate training, knowledge and insurance are required to undertake asbestos removal works.

If you breech the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, prosecutions can lead to exposure to asbestos, death, and imprisonment. Need advice relating to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, asbestos surveys, asbestos removal and asbestos management. Contact us at

 

Asbestos

Why do I need an asbestos survey when buying a commercial property?

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a heat-resistant, chemical resistant, strength binding naturally fibrous mineral that was commonly added to manufacture building materials. It was found to be a durable material with fire and heat resistant properties. That is why it works so well as a fire proofing & insulating material.

Any building constructed between the 1800’s and 1999 will likely have asbestos-containing materials within the property. However, during the 1970’s & 1980s, health experts determined that asbestos was responsible for negatively impact the health of anyone who is exposed to it.

The greatest exposure to asbestos occurs when asbestos-containing materials are damaged because this action releases fibres into the air which can be readily inhaled and cause severe health consequences. Some of the most significant health consequences include lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.

What is an Asbestos Survey?Asbestos Surveys

Any man-made structure, commercial building, residential building, or house constructed prior to 1999 can pose a risk of asbestos to the occupants or workers that reside within them. UK Regulations require you to conduct asbestos surveys on buildings constructed prior to 1999. Asbestos surveys are required if you are occupying, buying, selling, or demolishing such a building. If there are tenants or people living inside the building, then asbestos surveys are also performed as a health and safety check.

The job of an asbestos surveyor is to inspect your building and identify potential asbestos-containing materials. The asbestos fibres themselves cannot always be identified directly because they are microscopic, however an asbestos surveyor is familiar with the types of building materials that might have asbestos in them, such as roofing materials, Wall panels, insulating materials and flooring materials.

Once the surveyor has located an asbestos containing material a small sample will be taken of each suspect material which will then be analysed at the laboratory for further in-depth analysis. The laboratory will identify the type or types of asbestos present with sample(s) a bulk certificate of analysis is produced detailing the laboratory results.

Asbestos survey types

We undertake four different types of asbestos survey in Kent, Sussex, Surrey London and nationally.

  • Asbestos Management Surveys (Previously known as a Type 2 survey) A Management Survey aims to ensure that: Nobody is harmed by the continuing presence of ACM in the premises or equipment; That the ACM remain in good condition; and That nobody disturbs it accidentally. More details below.
  • Asbestos Refurbishment Surveys (Previously known as a Type 3 survey) The asbestos refurbishment survey is required where the premises, or part of it, need upgrading, refurbishment or there are planned intrusive works. More details below.
  • Asbestos Demolition Surveys (Previously known as a Type 3 survey) The refurbishment / demolition survey is required where the premises, or part of it is due to be demolished. These surveys are fully intrusive to the fabric of the building. More details below.
  • Asbestos Re-inspection Surveys also known as an annual asbestos inspection. The re-inspection allows the duty holder to monitor and record the condition of any previously identified asbestos products within a building. Asbestos-containing materials are subject to potential damage and degradation, hence why annual inspections are recommended to ensure they remain in a safe state. More details below.

Asbestos Management Surveys

What are asbestos management surveys?

Asbestos Management Survey

Is an asbestos survey required and if so, what type of survey?

Management asbestos surveys are standard inspection surveys to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 for all commercial and industrial property and for those buying or selling property. This type of inspection is non-intrusive but does include sampling of suspect materials which are then sent to the laboratory to report on whether asbestos is present and if so, what types of asbestos.

If you are a business whether leaseholder or freeholder this survey will identify what asbestos containing materials are in place within your demise, their condition and what your legal obligations are to comply with the regulations. If you have been asked to carry out an asbestos survey for management purposes and provide an asbestos register for insurance or compliance purposes, including visits from either HSE or Environmental Health this is the survey type which includes the information set out in Regulation 4 “Duty to Manage” All commercial & industrial property ( some residential properties are also covered) built prior to the year 2000 are included in the regulation, regardless of size.

Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys

Asbestos refurbishment survey

Floor investigation in asbestos refurbishment survey

What is an R and D Survey?

The aim of this survey type is to survey the property in question for asbestos containing materials so as these can be managed safely or as is usually the case removed safely in line with the regulations before the strip-out and re-fit. All property types are covered regardless of size or class of use – residential, commercial, industrial, or mixed.

Asbestos refurbishment surveys and asbestos demotion surveys must be undertaken on properties which are due to be refurbished or demolished.

Professionals, occupiers, and management agents involved in minor and major fit-outs and strip-out will need to commission such a survey prior to beginning the works. As well as the requirements for this type of survey covered under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and HSG264, further stipulations and requirements are contained in the CDM Regulations 2015.

Refurbishment and Demolition (R and D Survey) asbestos surveys are highly intrusive, and damage will occur to elements of the property to inspect the fabric of the building, as such this type of survey can only usually be undertaken in a vacant property and one which is owned by the person or company commissioning the survey.

Asbestos Re-inspection Surveys

What is an asbestos re-inspection survey?

An asbestos re-inspection survey (also referred to as an annual asbestos re-inspection survey) is designed to allow the duty holder to monitor and record the condition of any previously identified asbestos products within a building.

Like any building material, asbestos-containing materials are also subject to potential damage and degradation. As an asbestos product degrades it can be more likely to become a hazard to health, therefore should be inspected at regular intervals to ensure its condition has not deteriorated.

Asbestos in Commercial Premises?

Asbestos Management

Asbestos management in commercial premises.

If you are the owner of a commercial property, or you are in the process of buying a commercial property, you may be the person legally responsible for managing any asbestos present at the property. Therefore, should you be considering selling a commercial property at some point in the future, you should have an asbestos survey conducted.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 clearly sets out these responsibilities for any property that is non-domestic. Exposure to asbestos can be fatal, causing serious illnesses that can take decades to manifest and produce symptoms. Since asbestos was banned in construction in the UK in 1999 there is no need for concern in any commercial building constructed after this date.

It is important that you understand the location and potential danger of ACMs (Asbestos Containing Materials) if you own a commercial property, you are a tenant or manager of a building with responsibilities that include managing asbestos.

If you are planning to sell a commercial property, a recent asbestos survey and/or asbestos removal project completion pack, is more likely to highlight previous good asbestos management processes and strategy.

So why would you got get an asbestos survey prior to buying a commercial premises?  Those in control of buildings and

Asbestos insulation encapsulated and labelled and inspected annually.

planned works have a responsibility to manage the risks from asbestos in non-domestic premises. To achieve this the duty holder must ensure that a suitable and sufficient assessment is carried out as to whether asbestos is or is liable to be present in the premises. You can and will get prosecuted if you do not undertake a sufficient assessment to assess for asbestos or do not protect employees and visitors to a building from the risks of asbestos.

Your duty under the law is laid out in Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. You must protect anyone from exposure to the asbestos in your property. This would include completing all the following:

  • Find out if there is asbestos in the building, where it is, how much there is and its condition (undertake a survey)
  • Make a presumption that there may be asbestos in some materials if you are not sure (presume present until proved by a survey)
  • Keep up to date records on the state of the materials that contain asbestos or those that you presume contain asbestos (keep and maintain an asbestos register)
  • Complete a risk assessment on how likely it is that anyone could be exposed to asbestos fibres and prepare a plan about how you will manage the identified risks (implement an asbestos management plan, include how you are going to manage the risks)
  • Put the plan into action (this may include training, implementing who is responsible and working on a plan for remediation if required)
  • Review the plan and amend it if necessary (annual re-inspections, review the asbestos management plan and ensure the plan is working.
  • Talk to anyone who may need to work on the materials or agitate them and provide them with all the details they need to be safe (this includes communications with staff, contractors and building users)

If you need an asbestos management survey or asbestos refurbishment survey in Sussex, Surrey, Kent, and London, please contact us, we will be happy to discuss your requirements. Our asbestos survey reports contain material assessments, risk ratings for materials with recommendations on materials found including photographs and highlighted floor plans. This information can then be used by those involved in the refurbishment and or demolition works.

Do you need more information on an annual re-inspection or an need an asbestos management plan to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012?? Contact us on [email protected] and

Iceberg

Insulation…Winter is coming!

Clearly Global Warming is what everyone is talking about, the effect upon our environment and the World that we may leave for our Children’s Children. There has been much written about the situation that mankind has made and if there is away forward, or have we responded too slowly and now looking at a lost cause?

Regarding the insulating of our homes, you may say, if the environment is that much warmer what is the need to insulate in a country like the United Kingdom where severe weather is less common and the likelihood of snow during the winter less likely and frosty mornings something that may become memories from our past?

The answer must be this, that most fuels that we use will have a negative effect upon The Earth and most fuels that are available to us are increasing in cost, with shortages potentially the case. It therefore makes good sense to look after the heat that we have produced and to retain it in the properties where we live and work.

Post pandemic the World has stirred and the economy’s which have laid dormant for months are using and absorbing all the natural resources which are available. Therefore, demand and prices are high, and resources available low. The UK store less gas than any other country in Europe. As a youngster I recall seeing the green gas storage tanks in virtually every town that I drove through, where are they now?

Please remember that properties that are well insulated do get a double bonus of good insulation, the first being warmer in the winter and the second cooler in the summer, which when you consider the cost and effect of air conditioning is a tremendous plus point.

Insulating your home doesn’t just make it more energy efficient, it is also one of the best things you can do to reduce your energy bills remember to look for cheaper energy deals that may be available and that you may be able to switch to. Insulating your home will make your house warmer and more comfortable, while also reducing its impact on the environment in the process.

What does insulation do?

Insulation – and draught proofing – protects your home against cold in winter and excess heat in the summer and can even reduce noise pollution (like the sound from a road or passing aircraft). What’s more, some key insulation measures are ‘low cost’, in that they pay for themselves in less than five years.

Other than low energy lighting, these measures have the best returns of all energy efficiency investments. Furthermore, if you decide to sell or rent your home, the rating that your home receives on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will be improved.

How does the heat escape from my house and the cold get in?

There are five ways that heat can escape:

  1. Conduction – that’s heat moving through solids like metal or brick.
  2. Radiation – this is the heat you directly feel when you stand near a heat source. It is in fact infra-red radiation, and just another form of ‘electromagnetic radiation’ like radio waves, visible light, ultra-violet and x-rays – which all travel at the speed of light. If you take infra-red photos of your house on a cold, still night you can help see where heat is being lost.
  3. Convection – this is the natural tendency of warm air or water or other gases and liquids to rise, while cold air and water falls downwards. This often results in circulation of air and is the main principle behind central heating radiators.
  4. Air movement – draughts are a common form of heat loss, taking warm air from within the home and letting it out into the outside (and typically replacing it with cold air coming in). Another example is a wind blowing past a house, which will generally have a cooling effect on it. Water movement has the same effect upon your property.
  5. Evaporation – not a process that we naturally associate with heat loss, but if it rains on a hot summer day, after the rain stops, some of it may evaporate from the roof and walls, and this will cool the home considerably.

Where do I need to insulate in my home to protect myself from heat loss?

On a cold day, heat can escape from your home in all directions, – up, down and sideways. So, you should think about insulating the whole property and not just concentrating on one element.

  • The roof
  • The walls
  • The floor
  • The windows and doors

Many people make the mistake of assuming that heat only goes up – but only one form of heat transfer (convection) primarily moves up. Heat will travel in all directions. It is also known that heat will always travel towards cold.

If you adjoin another home, either through shared walls or through a floor that is in effect another household’s ceiling, or vice versa, you are fortunate as you will not suffer from heat loss, assuming the other side is heated as well. However, you will still need to heat your home, as you will not have heat gain either. The general rule is that the bigger the temperature difference, the greater the flow of heat. So, the colder it is outside, the greater the heat loss from your home.

How much heat is being lost from different parts of my home?

This depends on the type of house that you live in, whether it’s detached or semi-detached, or if it’s a terrace property, and if so, if it is mid or end terrace. When an EPC is being completed on a property, the heat loss perimeter is a significant calculation and will hugely affect the outcome. The larger, or longer the heat loss perimeter is, the more heat you will lose from it. If you live in a flat, the losses will be different again, and will depend on whether your flat is in the middle, at the top or at ground floor level.

For a typical house the walls will lose most heat, around 30% and up to 40%. The roof will be next at around 25%, probably followed by windows and doors at around 20%, and the floor (of your lowest storey) at around 10%. Quite a large loss will occur because of draughts and a lack of airtightness. Of course, draughts can also be attributed to floors, doors and windows, the walls or roof. It should also be known that some controlled ventilation is essential for reducing the risk of stale or damp air.

Do I need planning permission for insulation work?

In most cases, insulation work does not require planning permission from your local council. The exceptions may include external wall insulation and, in areas where there are conservation schemes, glazing.

Even if you don’t need planning permission, building regulations could apply, so check with your local council’s building control department.

What types of insulation are there?

Good insulation types

Good insulators include many products that typically have a structure similar to wool. In effect a good insulator will trap tiny pockets of air within a material which itself is also a good insulator. These include the very common mineral and glass wools, which come on rolls in blanket form, or in a somewhat denser form as batts or slabs.

Sheep’s wool is of course a great insulator, as are other natural fabrics like hemp and cotton  so curtains are good insulation products. Some mineral and glass wool style products are ‘higher density’ and therefore have greater insulation effect, typically about 25% greater.

Most wood and wood- based products, for example, MDF, plywood, and hardboard, are also generally quite good insulators – so wooden doors and wooden loft boards help keep warmth in the home.

Not surprisingly, paper is another a good insulator, including recycled paper, and cellulose from other sources such as crop wastes. Although flammable in its untreated form, it is treated to make it fire resistant for use as insulation. This is supplied in sealed sacks, but once opened is in loose form, which makes it suitable for installing in circumstances where blankets or batts won’t fit.

Polystyrene and similar products are generally good insulators. Polystyrene is sometimes referred to as EPS (expanded or extruded polystyrene slab) form. These products are also usually fire resistant, and much denser and heavier than the sort of polystyrene that is used for packaging. EPS is typically 50% more effective, for the same depth, as a standard mineral or glass wool product.

Closely related are spray foam solutions, which are typically polyurethane based. The foam forms on the mixing of two chemicals and it hardens, trapping tiny pockets of air. Because the foam fills crevices and gaps, it can also eliminate draughts and provide strengthening to existing building structures, for example roof tiles. Other foam solutions include adhesive strips for insulating around windows, doors, or loft hatches.

Some ‘insulators’ work by stopping the flow of air (draughts) through cracks and gaps, such as sealants (mastics). One of the cheapest sealants is papier-Mache, which you can make yourself from torn-up paper and wallpaper glue.

Another method of insulation is reflection. There are now multi-foil products, which are generally a sandwich of metal foils and plastic style insulators. These can be used to reflect radiated heat and are designed to insulate where there is not the space for wool, batt and EPS type products. Some polystyrene and other products are also coated with foils.

Good insulation material doesn’t just slow the process of heat loss, depending on its specific use, there are other properties that are important too, such as physical strength, fire resistance, resistance to mould, and non-toxicity; cost is another important consideration too.

Poor insulation types

Unfortunately, many materials with physical strength and which are therefore used in building construction, including metals (such as copper, steel, and aluminium), stone, brick, tiles, and concrete, are good conductors and have limited ability to insulate. However, some more modern versions of these materials have been designed to have construction strength but lower heat transmission than in the past, for example, modern breeze blocks.

Water is also a bad insulator, which means that anything that soaks up moisture will usually conduct heat away quite quickly. Moving air also takes heat away quickly even though air that is prevented from moving, generally when trapped in tiny pockets, makes a good insulator.

Here are some of your quick wins that will not break the bank.

These are the type of small tasks that any of us could do at home with little or no cost and a minimal amount of experience.

1. A digital thermometer

Digital thermometers that record the maximum and minimum temperature since last being reset can show you just how warm or cold different parts of your home are. This is basic tool that will help you to identify specific rooms in your home that need attention. Working on the basis ‘if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it’, thermometers are a good investment.

2. A plug-in thermostat

If you use an electric heater without thermostatic controls, your heater will continue to generate heat and use electricity even after a room is warm enough, which is a waste of energy and money. A plug-in thermostat can solve this. You plug the heater into the plug-in thermostat, which is in turn plugged into a power socket, rather like plugging an electrical device into a time switch. You can then set the temperature you want on the plug-in thermostat and once it hits that temperature, it cuts off power to the heater.

3. An electric blanket

Electric blankets can be a way of compensating for a chilly bedroom. Most electric blankets are designed to fit below the bottom sheet, they are typically used to pre-warm a bed. During this pre-warming phase they have a relatively high -power consumption, around 100 watts for a double sized bed. Once you are in bed, an electric blanket must be turned down to the sleep setting. This setting uses about a quarter of the electricity, typically around 25 watts, which is equivalent to a couple of mid-power low energy light bulbs. However, many people turn the blanket off altogether once they get into bed.

One alternative to an electric blanket is a hot water bottle, although this is not necessarily more energy efficient, especially if you do turn the blanket off once you get into bed – which is a good habit to get into. Neither option should be a substitute for sufficient bedding, or an appropriately warmed bedroom. It’s important to ensure that any bedroom is not too cold, especially if the sleeper is elderly, unwell or a young child.

4. A brass radiator key

A brass radiator key is a useful investment for bleeding your radiators, which releases the gases caught in a radiator causing it to be cold towards the top and reducing its efficiency. It is worth paying extra to invest in a brass key, rather than buying a pressed steel one, as the latter tend to be easily broken. Many modern radiators don’t have the standard square valve head — if that’s the case you’ll need a screwdriver as well.

5. A radiator shelf.

A radiator shelf just above a radiator helps to throw heat forward from the radiator into the room, rather than letting it raise up to the ceiling. You can buy purpose-made radiator shelves, which clip easily onto most radiators.

6. Radiator reflector panels

Radiator reflector panels can stop heat being wasted from the back of a radiator into an external wall. They are especially useful in older homes where the walls are solid, which rules out the option of cavity wall insulation. You can buy radiator reflector panels or radiator foil, or you can make your own by cutting a piece of cardboard to size and covering it in the type of kitchen tin foil you use for cooking. You’ll need a long stick and double-sided tape to attach them to the wall behind the radiator.

8. A carbon monoxide alarm

Getting rid of draughts and unnecessary ventilation is a major way of reducing wasted heat, saving money on your energy bills in the process.

A carbon monoxide alarm is not energy-saving but you need to invest in one before you make any changes to reduce draughts or alter the ventilation in your home. This is in case you block a source of essential ventilation by mistake, such as for a fuel burning device that doesn’t have a balanced flue, for example, an old boiler. It’s a good idea to have an alarm anyway; carbon monoxide (CO) is highly toxic, but impossible to detect without an alarm because it is colourless, odourless and tasteless.

9. Expanding foam

There are some simple solutions to draughts. Expanding foam, which comes in an aerosol can, is useful for filling holes in brickwork. If you upgrade your boiler, for example, any new boiler will have a balanced flue, meaning you no longer need an air ventilation in an external wall in the area where the boiler is sited. So, the obsolete airbrick could be filled with expanding foam. One word of caution though: many gas fires still don’t have balanced flues, so don’t assume you can block up a room vent just because you are upgrading a gas fire. It’s also important to keep clear any ventilation in roof spaces or under the level of floorboards.

10. Papier-Mache

Another heat saving measure is to fill medium-sized gaps in floorboards with papier-Mache – this is easy to make, you just mix wet wallpaper paste with torn newspaper – which is easy to press into the gaps. It’s a very effective and inexpensive solution, assuming you’re not intending to expose the floorboards as a feature.

11. Sealant

Smaller gaps that allow draughts can be filled using a tube of sealant. You may need a simple steel caulking gun, or the sealant may be packaged so you can use it without one. It works well to fill gaps around doors and window frames.

12. A letterbox flap

A letterbox flap to keep out draughts at your front door is another inexpensive investment, especially useful if the outer flap doesn’t fit or return to its position very well.

13. Draught seals

Ill-fitting doors and windows can be a source of draughts. There are a variety of draught seals or sealing strips that can be used around doors and windows in order to reduce draughts and stop the unnecessary loss of warm air.

14. Curtains

Windows and doors will also benefit from heavy or lined curtains, especially if they are only single glazed.

15. A chimney balloon

A chimney balloon blocks the cold air that falls down a chimney, as well as preventing internal warm air from being drawn up the chimney when it is not in use. The balloon can be deflated and taken out of the fireplace as and when you need to use it. If you are looking for a more permanent solution, and don’t have plans to use your fireplace at all, it is best to get a qualified tradesman to cap the chimney at the top and shut it off at the bottom, as this will be more energy-efficient.

Summit Environmental become TrustMark Approved.

What is TrustMark?

TrustMark is the UK’s only Government Endorsed Quality Scheme

The whole ethos of TrustMark is their passion for quality – it underpins what TrustMark stands for – continual improvement, best practice, excellent customer service and protection.

Trustmark provide a high level of assurance, certainty and protection to homeowners looking to have work done in and around their homes. TrustMark Registered Businesses are thoroughly vetted and continually monitored to ensure they meet required standards in technical competence, customer service and trading practices, so homeowners can be sure they’re making the right choice.

Peace of mind about quality of work and customer service

Whether you are looking for an electrician, a plumber or a landscape gardener, the TrustMark logo is a reassuring sign of the quality and standards they are required to uphold. TrustMark Registered Businesses are required to adhere to high standards of technical competence, customer service and trading practices, all of which are underpinned by our Customer Charter, the Code of Conduct and the Framework Operating Requirements.

Why use Summit Environmental?

For exactly the reasons above, we care about quality and customer service.

To find out more about Trustmark visit

https://www.trustmark.org.uk/
TrustMark Logo

Retrofit assessments to improve energy performance in Sussex

Summit Environmental are accredited by TrustMark for our Retrofit assessments. TrustMark is a government endorsed quality scheme for trades in and around the home. 

What are retrofit assessments? What is PAS 2035?

From 1st July 2021, all ECO3 funded Retro-fit work will have to adhere to PAS 2035 standards, which will require fully trained and TrustMark approved retro-fit professionals such as Summit Environmental.

A Retro-fit assessor will complete more than just an EPC, which we all know is needed for the sale or rent of existing UK housing stock. The role of the retrofit assessor will complete an occupancy assessment, a condition report and to convert Rd SAP assessments to SAP assessments to comply with the requirements of a retrofit assessment.

The Process of Retrofit assessments

Part 1) The Occupancy Assessment.

The Occupancy Assessment will be used to generate a professional report which outlines how the occupant uses the energy of the property. With this assessment you can use the Rd SAP data and create an accurate report based on the household’s overall energy usage.

This is achieved by entering information such as the number of occupants in the property, the actual water usage per week, which rooms are heated by which heating systems etc. as well as the use of white goods within the property and information provided from household bills.

Part 2) The Condition Report.

This flexible reporting process will allow a create a room- by- room report of a house, entries may be multiple ‘items’ within a room and can provide a brief description of their condition. A star rating will be attached to each room to represent its overall condition. In addition to this, pictures will be taken and attached as evidence for each part of the report. With the information the Condition Report Survey will generate a PDF file with all the information entered in a clear and professional format. 

Part 3) Rd SAP to SAP Converter.

This conversion tool allows users to Rd SAP data, to create a Design SAP input file which can be passed to Retrofit Coordinator, who will be the project manager for the conversion project.

The history of the Retro fit process is covered by the following paragraphs which is driven by the countries target to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Government Targets.

This relates to the governments targets which were originally set, based upon the greenhouse emissions as of 1990. The initial figures have been changed, and the target is now for the UK to be carbon neutral by 2050. To meet this goal by 2050, there needs to be significant improvements to the UK’s 27million domestic dwellings. Domestic dwellings account for a substantial proportion of our greenhouse emissions, considered to be around 25% of the problem.

Each Home Counts.

The Each Home Counts report was published in 2016 and outlined 27 recommendations, including the establishment of a quality mark, now known as TrustMark, for domestic retrofit supported by a framework of technical standards.

The aim of the report was to restore confidence of consumers and the government in the retrofit industry, to facilitate new central and local government policies whilst promoting a national programme of domestic retrofit.

What is PAS 2035?

PAS 2035 is the specification for the energy retrofit of domestic buildings and was developed as part of the Each Home Counts process. The Retrofit Standards Framework is the standard that any holders of the Trustmark Standard, is required to comply with when carrying out domestic retrofit work.

When considering the government’s target to not only reduce carbon emissions, but to also end fuel poverty, it became evident that more needed to be done to improve the UK’s housing stock. The Each Home Counts introduces a better process for the retrofit of energy efficiency and renewable energy. As a result of this review the introduction of the Pas2035 framework document was introduced for the end- to -end delivery of the domestic retrofit work.

When does PAS 2035 apply?

The government have made it clear that any funding they provide for energy efficiency measures will need to go through the PAS 2035 process.

Where does PAS 2035 apply?

PAS 2035 requires that every dwelling that is to be subjected to energy retrofit work is to be firstly assessed by a retrofit assessor who will provide information about the dwelling for use by a retrofit coordinator.

PAS 2035 may be applied to all domestic retrofit activity that is covered in the following categories:

  • Funded by national or local government schemes,
  • Retrofit promoted/funded by landlords, including RSL’s and private landlords,
  • Individual buildings by their owners or occupants.
  • Retrofit that is integrated with and forms part of a broader repair.

Have questions on improving your energy performance, retrofit assessments and EPC’s contact us https://summitenvironmental.co.uk/contact/

Tank Insulation in poor condition

“Asbestos In Commercial Premises, What You Need To Know”

Who is responsible for managing asbestos in a commercial property?

This is a question that crops up time and time again when granting leases. Tenants will usually insist on seeing an asbestos survey and landlords are keen to wash their hands of it (literally).

Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (Regulations) imposes a duty to manage asbestos risk in non-domestic premises. This requires the ‘duty holder’ to determine whether asbestos is present in a building or likely to be present, and to manage any asbestos that is or is likely to be present.

So what does this actually mean?

Firstly, a landlord does not have to arrange an asbestos survey in order to let a property. This is a common misconception. Many tenants seem to think that this is a mandatory requirement (like an EPC) but this is simply not the case. A landlord’s only requirement is to comply with its obligations as ‘duty holder’ under the Regulations. This is not a pre-requisite to letting the property to a tenant.

A landlord must keep in place its own records and a written plan to manage asbestos and they are required to provide information about the location and condition of the asbestos to anybody who is liable to disturb it. This would typically include tenants, contractors and employees. However, tenants who believe that they can force a landlord to carry out an asbestos survey are mistaken.

Secondly, a ‘duty holder’ is any person who has an obligation to maintain or repair a commercial premises or exercises some element of control over the whole or part of it or has a means of access to and from the premises. In broad terms, therefore, it captures anybody with an interest in the property (under a tenancy or not). This means that there can be more than one person at any one time who is a duty holder. In the typical landlord and tenant scenario, the landlord is the duty holder before the lease is granted, and both the landlord and tenant are duty holders after the lease is granted.

So, is the landlord ‘off the hook’ as soon as they grant a lease?

No, not quite. The landlord cannot shift the obligations of duty holder to a tenant, but as soon as the tenant signs the lease it will become a duty holder in its own right.

Where there is more than one duty holder, the contributions to be made by each party in complying with the Regulations are determined by the nature and extent of the maintenance and repair obligations owed by each party to the other. In other words, a carefully drafted lease can place most (if not all) of the obligations on to the tenant.

The situation is slightly different in a multi-let building where the responsibility for maintenance of the common parts, services, external fabric and main structure of the building will generally lie with the landlord. Here, the landlord will be required under the Regulations to arrange for asbestos surveys and for copies of asbestos registers to be produced for each tenant – although a properly drafted lease will ensure that these costs are recovered from the tenants under the service charge.

Finally, it is worth remembering that:

  1. ‘Managing’ asbestos does not necessarily mean removing it. The only requirement is to have an action plan and a system in place for managing the risk. In many cases the best decision may be to leave the asbestos in place because it is contained and ‘safe’.
  2. Even where the landlord has passed the responsibility on to the tenant, the landlord will still have to step in and carry out work in the event of the tenant’s default – so this is always something to monitor and keep on top of.

Asbestos management is definitely something to discuss and agree from the outset of any lease.

The Regulations apply to both landlords and tenants, so it is in everybody’s interest to reach a mutual understanding.

Need help, contact us to discuss your requirements on [email protected]

Online Health and Safety Training goes live on Summit Environmental

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) marks its World Day for Safety and Health at Work on or around 28th April each year. World Day is an international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work around the globe.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created uncertain times and businesses are trying to deal with the situation in the best way they can. We wanted to let you know that we have implemented remote working solutions and online training all from the safety of your office or home.

Managing Health and Safety doesn’t have to be complicated, costly or time-consuming. In fact it’s easier than you think. If you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees. Its never been easier  with our range of RoSPAIATPCPDIIRSMIFELaserILM & ETA approved courses

 

Who are they for?

Some of your staff may have particular health and safety training needs, for example:

  • new recruits;
  • people changing jobs or taking on extra responsibilities;
  • young employees, who are particularly vulnerable to accidents;
  • health and safety representatives.

 

What course?

If you need training why not check out https://summitenvironmental.co.uk/online-training/  for a range of our courses including

Asbestos Awareness

Assessing Display Screen Equipment

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

CDM Awareness

Introduction to Risk Assessment

Slips, Trips and Falls

Working at Height

Fire Extinguisher

Basic Fire Safety Awareness

Basic Legionella Awareness

https://summitenvironmental.co.uk/online-training/#asb1

How can online training help you?

EPC

Why do we have EPC’s on our homes?

Did you know that in the U.K. between 25% and 30% of CO2 pollution comes from our homes, that is indeed a great deal of pollution, and when you review your domestic energy performance certificate, not only will it tell you the environmental changes you could make to your property, it also calculates the quantity of CO2, that you are puffing into the air and also how you could reduce the effect upon the environment by reducing the tonnage of CO2 that your property is emitting  and potentially saving you money too.

 

Virtually every day on the National News, and certainly International News there are stories of how Mother Earth is reacting to what we do to it. However just in case you do not have the news on:

Ice caps Retreating,

Artic Sea Ice Thinning,

Global Sea Levels Raising by 1-2mm per year,

Global Snow Cover Decrease By 10% in Fifty Years,

Weather Related Economic Losses Have Increased Ten Times in Forty Years,

The Huge Bush Fires That We Have Seen in Australia, And The USA,

In the U.K. Since 2000, We Have Had Some of The Warmest Summers Ever.

 

It is now even more critical to monitor what we are doing far more accurately and formulate plans so as to change what we have done for so long and to find a new normal. This new normal will be zero CO2 emissions, and with a target date of 2050.

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and goodbye 2020, what a year its been! We thought we would start with a brief review of our year.

Asbestos

We have been pleased to help so many clients with asbestos surveys, asbestos testing, asbestos remediation management across London and the South East including Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Surrey, as far as Plymouth, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and even a couple of local works in Ashurst Wood. With the Pandemic a lot of new asbestos survey companies have started up driving prices and quality down. With our bespoke software and highly trained staff we refined our service offering and it has been a good solid year for Summit Environmental.

Fire and EWS1

EWS1 forms and external cladding works have been in the news all year. Summit Environmental has undertaken wall cladding services including combustibility testing, external cladding remediation and EWS1. The works have kept us busy throughout the year, we have a number of large cladding remediation projects pencilled in for next year.

Hazardous Materials

We have undertaken a number of Inventories of Hazardous Materials (IHM’s) on Vessels this year within the UK and involved in a number of exciting tenders, watch this space… other hazardous material surveys have included contaminated land projects, sulphate testing in concrete and  Isocyanate testing

EPC’s

This year we have completed commercial EPC’s alongside our asbetsos surveys for many of our clients. Next year we are increasing our service offering to residential EPC’s. More information coming in January 2021.

Online Training

With our clients speeding more time at home, we provided an online training module, which is now live on our website, offering online training from the comfort of your home or office, the training covers, basic fire training, asbestos awareness, asbestos awareness for architects, manual handling and noise and many more, check out our full list here https://summitenvironmental.co.uk/online-training/

Other Matters –

A year of Zoom – Not much else needs to be said other than who ever bought shares in zoom, will be having a Ho Ho Ho to themselves.

Christmas opening times – Asbestos and Hazardous materials unfortunately don’t disappear at Christmas, so see below our Christmas and New Year opening hours, however if you need us, call us.

  • Wednesday 23rd December, 9 am – 5pm

  • Thursday 24th December, 9 am – 1pm

  • Friday 25th December, Closed

  • Saturday 26th December, Closed

  • Sunday 27th December, Closed

  • Monday 28th December, Closed

  • Tuesday 29th December, 9 am – 5pm

  • Wednesday 30th December, 9 am – 5pm

  • Thursday 31st December, 9 am – 1pm

  • Friday 1st January, Closed 

  • Saturday 2nd January, 9 am – 5pm

  • Sunday 3rd January, Closed
  • Monday 4th January, 9 am – 5pm

Lastly – we would like to say thankyou for your continued support to us during 2020.  We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope that you are able to celebrate in some form, even with the latest Covid Restrictions. Wishing you a great Christmas and a healthy, prosperous new year in 2021.