Top three environmental issues in commercial real estate
Environmental contamination can be one of the costliest liabilities associated with a commercial real estate (CRE) asset. Three important environmental concerns to be aware of involve radon gas, vapor intrusion from soil or groundwater contamination, and the emergence of PFAS contamination. 1. Radon Gas Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally-occurring radioactive gas that cannot be detected by the human eye but can be present in any type of building and can penetrate many types of surfaces. Radon exposure over time is extremely dangerous, and can cause lung cancer. Radon sampling is an essential component of real estate transactional due diligence, accounting for 75% of all radon tests performed today. Be aware that some states require special licensing or certifications to provide radon services (testing, laboratory analysis, mitigation solutions). Others have strict “chain of custody” enforcement between sample collection and delivery to certified laboratories. In some states, such as Ohio, radon sampling must be performed on all ground units in multifamily properties, which can greatly impact cost.