Environmental due diligence is a crucial step in understanding and managing risk during property transactions

Unidentified environmental liabilities can result in significant costs and even criminal convictions of parties involved in the transaction. Conversely, investment opportunities can be missed if environmental liabilities such as contamination and flood risk are overstated or changes to planning policy or environmental legislation are not identified.

Buro Happold brings together the necessary expertise to assess and prioritise the constraints, assets and redevelopment opportunities of a site to help a potential acquirer understand what really matters. Our aim is to provide a concise, focused rapid response to our clients through a well-defined risk management framework.

We have a sound understanding of the type risks that may affect our clients with regard to the liabilities attached to ownership, occupation, redevelopment and future resale. This may range from market demand and planning policy to ground conditions, the availability of local utilities and existing infrastructure, transport access, flood risk, site contamination and other environmental and planning consent challenges.

Accurately assessing the severity and likelihood of risks, and the potential costs of risk mitigation, including compliance with current and forthcoming regulations, helps our clients to negotiate the right purchase price.

We provide a range of services that can be tailored to address the specific issues of each site and that will ultimately provide a level of comfort to the client that a comprehensive due diligence exercise has been undertaken.

Our Environmental Due Diligence and Site Appraisal services include:


  • Data search and existing information review
  • Planning policy and legislatory review
  • Environmental audits of facilities and operations
  • Phase 1 and 2 site investigations
  • Environmental risk assessment
  • Preliminary ecological assessment / Phase 1 habitat assessments
  • Flood risk assessment
  • Air quality and noise assessments
  • Building condition surveys
  • Infrastructure and utility appraisal
  • Transport assessment
  • Identification of costs of environmental liability

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