Foreword by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London




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The control of dust and emissions

from construction and demolition

Best Practice Guidance


Produced in partnership by London Councils and the Greater London Authority

with valuable assistance from the Building Research Establishment and the PRECIS Working Group

(Partnership in Reducing


November 2006 Emissions from Construction Industry Sites)

Greater London Authority

November 2006


Published by

Greater London Authority

City Hall

The Queen’s Walk

London SE1 2AA

www.london.gov.uk

enquiries 020 7983 4100

minicom 020 7983 4458


London Councils

591/2 Southwark Street

London SE1 0AL

www.londoncouncils.gov.uk

enquiries 020 7934 9999

email info@londoncouncils.gov.uk


ISBN 10: 1 85261 942 2

ISBN 13: 978 1 85261 942 8


This document is printed on recycled paper.

75 per cent post consumer waste.


Acknowledgements

The Mayor of London and Councillor Cockell would like to acknowledge the work of the following organisations in the development of this Best Practice Guidance.

BRE originally published five best practice documents in 2003, after years of research, and supports the use of their advice in this Guidance.

The APPLE (Air Pollution Planning and the Local Environment) working group was set up by London boroughs to work towards presenting clear air quality management options for planning issues across London. This group drafted the original Best Practice Guidance and requested that the Mayor adopt it, in partnership with London Councils as London wide Guidance to support the proposal in the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy.

Finally, the Partnership in Reducing Emissions from Construction Industry Sites (PRECIS) has been very supportive and has given plenty of advice in the drafting of this Guidance. As part of the work of PRECIS, the Energy Saving Trust (EST), Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) have collaborated on a guide to help ensure the fitting of pollution control devices to construction machinery is done to the highest standards. The EST is now developing a formal register of approval devices.

Foreword by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London

Dust and other air pollution from demolition and construction can impact greatly on the health and quality of life of people working on and living close to these sites if they are badly managed. This Best Practice Guidance consolidates existing best practice used in London, UK and other countries to reduce emissions from these activities. London’s local authorities will, for the first time, be able to apply advice from one source in a consistent way across the capital

I published my Air Quality Strategy in September 2002 and included a proposal to develop specific best practice guidance to reduce emissions from construction and demolition sites in London. Like other major cities in the World, London suffers from high levels of air pollution. Poor air quality damages peoples’ health and affects their quality of life. In 2005 it was predicted that approximately 1,000 accelerated deaths and 1,000 extra respiratory hospital admissions occurred in London as a result of PM10 air pollution. Demolition and construction sites can worsen local air quality locally, but through careful planning and good management, these impacts can be greatly reduced.

My London Plan and the associated Supplementary Planning Guidance provides the planning framework for London. They are used to manage the complex issues we now face to develop London - to absorb its expanding population, to provide adequate housing, employment, transport and leisure facilities, to develop the London Olympic facilities for 2012 and to develop the East Thames Corridor; and done with the minimal impact on London’s environment.

The capital faces decades of construction. I have written this Best Practice Guidance in conjunction with London Councils so that our environment is protected during construction, as well as from the provision of more energy efficient buildings. I urge local planning authorities and developers to use this document to agree methods to reduce dust and other emissions during demolition and construction, ensuring that as much as possible is done to mitigate these works and help to make London a greener and more sustainable city.

Extra controls on exhaust emissions from plant and other construction vehicles have been mandated for some major project - the Big Dig in Boston, USA and by some governments - Switzerland and Sweden.
I endorse the inclusion of similar controls in this BPG to complement my other strategies to reduce vehicle emissions, for example the Congestion Charging and proposed Low Emission Zone.

Foreword by Councillor Cockell

As part of the Government’s Air Quality Strategy, London local authorities have a responsibility regularly to review and assess air quality within their borough and work towards achieving the air quality objectives set for various pollutants. Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and fine particles are predicted to exceed their objectives across most of London. Consequently, the majority of London boroughs have declared Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) and developed action plans outlining how they will work towards meeting these air quality objectives.

This Best Practice Guidance has been developed in partnership with the Mayor in recognition of the impact that significant development, particularly in the Thames Gateway, can have on Londoners’ air quality. The aim is to assist developers, architects, environmental consultants, local authority officers and any parties involved in the construction process.

The Guidance outlines best practice and provides a consistent approach covering all aspects of dust control and emissions from construction and demolition activities. It will assist planners to incorporate appropriate conditions into planning permissions and assist developers in understanding the methods available to them and what might be expected of them by boroughs.

This Guidance builds on Building Research Establishment Guidance, and aims to replace or amend relevant parts of individual boroughs’ code of construction practice documents already in place.


1 Introduction

Like other major cities in the world, London suffers from high levels of air pollution. Poor air quality can damage health and impact upon quality of life. In 2005 it was predicted that approximately 1,000 accelerated deaths and 1,000 extra respiratory hospital admissions occurred in London as a result of PM10 air pollution.1 Dust and emissions from demolition and construction work can worsen air quality, but through careful planning and good management, these impacts can be reduced.

The Mayor of London produced his Air Quality Strategy in September 2002, which contains a number of policies and proposals to improve air quality in London towards the government’s health based air quality targets, which are set out in its National Air Quality Strategy2. Specifically, policy 22 and proposal 47 states that the Mayor will seek to develop specific best practice guidance to reduce emissions from construction and demolition sites in London.

As part of the Government’s Air Quality Strategy, local authorities have a responsibility to review and assess air quality within their borough and work towards achieving the air quality targets. Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particles (PM10) are predicted to be above these targets across most of London. Consequently, the majority of London authorities have declared Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) and developed action plans, outlining how they will work towards the targets.

Many London boroughs have developed their own Considerate Contractors’ schemes and these have been used successfully, along with the national scheme, to reduce the impact of demolition and construction sites. This guidance looks to build on existing best practice and new techniques, with particular regard to the issues below:

• undertaking Air Pollution Risk Assessments

• notification of works to local authorities

• emission standards for all off-road vehicle emission controls and information on after-treatment technologies

• approved lists of vehicles suitable to be fitted with pollution reduction technologies and which technologies are suitable (see www.est.org.uk)

• emission standards and the proposed London Low Emission Zone

• air quality monitoring protocol using a transect approach or monitoring at sensitive receptors

• requirement for no burning on any site

• demolition management

• waste and recycling management

• paving major haul routes used by HGVs

• training and identification of on-site staff responsible for
pollution issues.


1.1 Impacts of air pollution from construction and demolition sites on the environment

There are a number of sources of dust and emissions from construction activities that can release a range of particles. This document refers to the following particles in a standard format throughout:

Dust - defined as all particulate matter up to 75 m in diameter (according to BS6069) and comprising both suspended and deposited dust

PM10 - a mass fraction of airborne particles with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 microns or less. It is comprised of coarse particles (2.5-10 m in diameter), which are primarily from non-combustion sources and fine particles (less than 2.5 m), which includes combustion processes or are formed in the atmosphere through the chemical reaction of primary emissions of gases.

Particulate matter includes a wide range of sizes and types of particles and will vary in composition from place to place and time to time.

Most dust particles are too big to be inhaled but can cause eye, nose and throat irritation and lead to deposition on cars, windows and property. PM10 is of more concern to human health as the particles can enter the lungs, causing breathing and respiratory problems, with long-term health effects dominated by cardiovascular rather than respiratory problems3. The PM10 size fraction is associated with a range of effects on health including respiratory and cardiovascular systems (ie asthma) and mortality (deaths brought forward). Particles can also carry adhered carcinogenic compounds into the lungs. The most vulnerable people are the elderly, the very young and those with existing heart and lung conditions.

The detrimental health impacts of PM10 are not confined to the construction site. These particles can travel further than coarser dust and so can affect the health of people living and working in the surrounding area of the site.

Emissions of particles and dust from construction can also have an impact on indoor air quality in the neighbouring area. The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air pollution (COMEAP), a Department of Health expert group, has stated that it must be recognised that the indoor environment is not free of air pollutants with many pollutants generated outdoors penetrating indoors4.

Dust and PM10 emissions can arise from a number of sources. Not only do construction activities need to be considered, but also emissions from on-road vehicles associated with the construction site and on-site machinery (off-road emissions) - including both static and non-road mobile machinery (NRMM). Using low sulphur tax-exempt diesel on site will automatically reduce emissions of particles by 30 per cent from the exhaust. The additional use of exhaust filtration measures for high risk sites (see Section 4.2) will reduce the remaining particulate emissions by
a further 85 per cent.

The impacts of poor air quality can also be seen on flora and fauna. It is therefore important to consider the impact of dust on sensitive sites, such as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and non-statutory Wildlife Sites in the vicinity of a construction site. These site-specific issues are identified in the Air Quality Risk Assessment (Section 4) and must be considered prior to the planning process, this is in line with the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and Planning Policy Statement 9 (Biodiversity and Geological Conservation).

1.2 Benefits of London wide Best Practice

London’s population is expanding and is expected to further increase to 8.1 million by 2016. The London Plan sets out the Mayor’s vision to manage this increase, equivalent to absorbing the population of Leeds. London will experience the greatest amount of redevelopment of any UK city. The other demands for construction in London are for economic growth, investment in London’s physical infrastructure, and repairs and maintenance of existing homes and buildings5. It has been estimated that there are as many as 10,000 active construction sites at any one time6; this figure takes account of all scales of development, from the minor house renovation to the large area regeneration schemes that take years to be completed. The London Plan7, published by the Mayor in 2004, sets out the strategic plan for the continued spatial development of London over the next 15-20 years. This document identifies that continued growth in population will be seen and, as a result a continued programme of redevelopment, will need to continue with recent commitments to build new housing and major transport infrastructure projects include Heathrow Terminal 5, Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Thames Gateway Bridge, Crossrail, along with regeneration of brownfield sites such as the Lower Lee Valley, Greenwich Peninsula/Millennium Village and Thameside developments (including Bankside and MORE London).

This Best Practice Guidance complements the Mayor’s Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on Sustainable Design and Construction. It supports the implementation of the London Plan and is applicable to all building types and associated spaces. The SPG gives advice on designing buildings to reduce their impact on the environment and making them pleasant places for people to live or work. Advice includes reducing emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide, as well using spaces to benefit London’s flora and fauna.

Some local authorities already have their own Considerate Contractors’ Scheme, which tend to deal with the additional issues of noise, vibration and land contamination. As a result there are a number of different schemes currently in operation across London. It is envisaged that this London-wide Best Practice Guidance will provide much needed consistency of approach across all 33 boroughs.

Other commercial guidance is available to assist in the control of dust and other pollutant emissions specifically from construction, for example the following BRE Guidance offers good examples of current best practice:

• Control of dust from construction and demolition activity8

• Controlling particles, vapour and noise pollution from
construction sites9.


CIRIA also facilitate discussion on best practice through its construction stakeholder forum, which allows knowledge to be shared and disseminated. However, due to the issues that London faces, it is apparent that there is a need for a common and more specific guidance to control pollution.


2 Legislative Framework for the
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