Climate & environmental risks can negatively impact value & delay projects

Developers of brownfield land should be informed and commercially aware of the contaminated land risks that may be attached to a site during the planning and construction stages of a project.

ESG reporting requirements for institutional investors has increased the requirements on developers to be aware of the Climate Risks that could impact their development over long time periods.

Contaminated Land Risk

Contaminated land risk can arise from a range of current and legacy land use and activities.  In urban regeneration areas, historic infill can have a range of potential contaminants and historic activities on and surrounding the site can also contribute to ground contamination.

Prior to development, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of ground conditions so that:

  • Waste management implications can be considered and valued against the cost benefit of creating underground void spaces for car parking.
  • Risks to human health from the presence of contamination can be evaluated to develop cost effective remediation strategies.

EU Taxonomy & Climate Risk

Developers seeking green finance and alignment with the EU Taxonomy will require projects to complete a Climate Risk & Vulnerability Assessment to ensure that potential climate hazards have been rigorously assessed according to IPCC climate predictions and guidance, specifically:

  • Identifying climate change hazards that could cause harm to the development (e.g. increased storm rainfall intensity).
  • Aspects of the development that are exposed to the hazard (e.g. property basement and ground floor levels).
  • The vulnerability of the development to the hazard (e.g. pluvial flooding and whether its drainage system can be adapted to cope with extreme rainfall events).

The Taxonomy also requires that Do No Significant Harm (DNSH) and Social Safeguarding requirements are also satisfied:

  • Climate change mitigation & adaptation
  • Circular economy
  • Pollution prevention
  • Water conservation and protection
  • Protection of ecosystems
  • Protection of human rights

Examples where we have added value

Contaminated Land Risk

  • Port of Cork – constraints and opportunities study for the Tivoli brownfield landbank extending over 60 hectares.
  • Brownfield development projects in Dublin where a range of contaminants were assessed in relation to human health risk and waste management.
  • NAMA – due diligence during the sale of brownfield development sites.
  • Environmental Insurance Underwriters – strategic environmental risk assessment for brownfield redevelopment projects across the UK, Europe, Australia & Canada.

EU Taxonomy & Climate Risk

  • OPW – Climate risk & vulnerability assessment for office refurbishment for the HQ of Dept of Environment, Climate & Communications.
  • Bartra – EU Taxonomy and climate risk assessment for large office campus.