NHBC publishes hazardous ground gas guidance for housebuilders

The National House Building Council’s (NHBC) Hazardous ground gas – an essential guide for housebuilders, which offers guidance on everything from what constitutes a hazardous ground gas to gas protective measures, has been published.

Developed in partnership with Buro Happold and Environmental Protection Group Ltd (EPG), the advice detailed is applicable to all sites, whether large or small, and all development types.

The guidance will help housebuilders to:

  • Recognise high risk sites and the appropriate action to take
  • Avoid unnecessary gas protection on low/minimal risk sites
  • Appoint appropriate competent professionals at the right stage
  • Complete the process of assessment, design, implementation and verification
  • And implement monitoring strategies suitable for the size, complexity and gas risk of sites.

The report guidance also addresses the current gap between the conclusions and recommendations of ground investigation reports and the structural design of buildings where gas protection measures are not always included.

Hugh Mallett, director ground engineering at Buro Happold, said: “This new NHBC guide on hazardous ground gas will help housebuilders and their advisors to better assess and manage gas risk and ensure the efficient building of new homes. Buro Happold, EPG and NHBC have worked hard to ensure the guide delivers current good practice and that the advice is practical and relevant to all housebuilders.

“Following the six-stage process and recognising the importance of competence at each stage will help housebuilders get it right first time and avoid potential pitfalls, saving time and money, whilst delivering homes safe from the potential risks of hazardous ground gas.”

Richard Smith, head of standards, research and technical competency at NHBC Foundation, added: “Adoption of the good practice procedures described in this report will lead to better quality practice, cost savings and a greater understanding of specific issues around detailing, construction and verification.

“Early consideration of the risks of hazardous ground gas is essential for all developments and we are pleased to be able to guide housebuilders through this potentially complex process.”

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