PCB_brick wall_1447x667-1
Case Study

Unexpected Hazardous Materials Necessitate Remediation Before Demolition

100-Year-Old University Building Posed an EHS Risk

The Challenge

Ready to demolish a century-old university building, a Cambridge-based real estate company had to pump the brakes on the project. An employee who had worked in the building voiced concerns of potentially hazardous materials present within the structure. As a result, the company needed to investigate to determine whether (and what) hazards were present and remediate before demolition could occur to avoid hazardous exposure and to comply with state and federal regulations. Concerned that PCBs were present, they contacted Triumvirate Environmental to scope the project and conduct the subsequent required work.

Investigating the Unknown

To begin the project, our Triumvirate Environmental team needed to identify whether the atmosphere and environment within the building presented any hazards. Our experts and key employees of the real estate company conducted a walkthrough to assess the facility. During the walkthrough, we discovered that the building had structural integrity issues, which would require a civil engineer to be on site during the project. The challenges didn’t end there.

Test, Remediate, Test

To determine what, if any, hazardous materials were present, we developed a testing plan for our engineering team to sample the building materials. Following the testing and analysis, we identified the presence of PCBs and RCRA-listed metals. The data indicated that levels were well above regulatory thresholds, thus requiring remediation before any demolition activities could take place.

Coordinating with the company, we mapped out a remediation plan that involved our field service team working alongside our engineers throughout the project’s duration. Our thorough process involved rounds of testing, remediating, and testing again to ensure hazardous levels were below the permissible limits. The remediation involved frequent large waste disposal shipments of roll-off cans as well as drum shipments. Given the deficiencies identified during the walkthrough, our civil engineer performed a structural assessment each time our remediation team moved into a new area to ensure the safety of the work environment.

As we remediated known hazards, we also uncovered additional contaminants that required further removal and disposal. In response, we modified the plan and continued our work. Despite needing to revise the plan as we discovered unforeseen hazards, the remediation went smoothly and without incident.

Why Triumvirate?

This was the first building remediation in which this real estate company had been involved, and they trusted us from the start. They appreciated the time our knowledgeable team took to thoroughly explain the process, answer questions, and alleviate concerns. Our dedicated experts worked tirelessly to complete the project. The company chose to work with us for several reasons, including our:

  • Reputation for performing high-quality remediation work for other clients
  • Ability to provide a broad portfolio of turnkey services, including remediation, engineering services, and waste removal, transportation, and disposal
  • Commitment to exceeding customer expectations
  • Ability to complete the work within a stringent timeline
  • Understanding of the need to test and remediate to ensure the building could be demolished safely

Preventing Present and Future Hazards

The comprehensive remediation ensured a safe environment in which no one would be exposed to hazardous materials. Confident that the hazards were eliminated, the company demolished the structure. A new building now stands in its place. 

For information about our PCB Testing & Remediation Services, click on the button below. If you’re considering a remediation project, you can fill out the form for a free assessment.


Request a Free Assessment