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Grenfell Tower: Fire risk in cladding

Nova, Inc., joins the rest of the world in mourning the victims of the tragic fire that occurred at London’s Grenfell Tower on June 14, 2017. At least 80 people were killed and many more injured. Nova is paying special attention to this devastating situation because it has been reported that the residential building’s cladding system played some part in the tragedy. Grenfell Tower had been recently renovated and re-clad with an aluminum composite material (ACM). This exterior cladding system has become popular ... Read more

Changes to HUD MAP Program

In recent months, there have been some changes in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) program. Revisions to the MAP Guide were posted on January 29, 2016, with some additional minor changes implemented in January 2017. Some of these changes include the new HEROS forms,  updated radon regulations for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), intrusive testing required for properties older than 30 years, and the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) e-Tool (to be launched in ... Read more

Case Study – A Solution for Site Closure

A regional bank client had foreclosed on a property impacted by petroleum contamination to the soil and groundwater. Working with another consultant, a cleanup had been underway for several years when the client received a shut-down notice from the local air regulatory agency saying that permit conditions had been violated. The client wanted Nova to review existing information and either take over the cleanup, come up with a better solution to get site closure, or manage the other existing consultant. Following review ... Read more

Commercial Real Estate Outlook with Ryan Severino

We have turned to Ryan Severino, Senior Economist and Director of Research at Reis, Inc., to opine upon the current market and offer some guidance and insight.  We always enjoy and value hearing Ryan's outlook and hope you appreciate his "cautious optimism." The New Year certainly has gotten off to an inauspicious beginning. With equity and commodity markets gyrating, fear has crept into the US economy and the real estate markets. However, as we look forward to what 2016 holds, we need to ... Read more

Petroleum Vapor Intrusion: What you need to know

This white paper was created by Nova Consulting Group, Inc. (Nova), for environmental due diligence users and environmental risk managers as a tool to assess petroleum vapor intrusion (PVI) risk to buildings that overlie or are near petroleum-contaminated soil and/or groundwater. In June 2015, the EPA produced a document titled Technical Guide For Addressing Petroleum Vapor Intrusion At Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites (EPA PVI Guide – EPA 510-R). This document states that  “in contrast to chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbons generally biodegrade ... Read more

Overview of Recent Changes at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

For both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 2014 was a banner year in terms of loan origination. In terms of total volume of loan dollars, the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) were neck and neck to the finish, with Fannie Mae providing $28.9 billion in financing to the multifamily market during the year and Freddie Mac providing $28.3 billion. In the past year, Nova prepared 450 Fannie Mae-scope Physical Needs Assessments and 360 Freddie Mac-scope Property Condition Reports, as well as commensurate ... Read more

EPA Compliance Requirements for Commercial and Retail Properties

It is fairly common knowledge that the EPA and state environmental agencies have numerous regulations that apply to large industrial facilities such as oil refineries, electrical power plants and manufacturing facilities to control air emissions, hazardous waste disposal and wastewater discharges.  However, EPA and state environmental regulations have increasingly been imposed on a much wider range of facilities including commercial and retail properties.  In addition, there has been an increasing trend of enforcement of these regulations on business sectors that have ... Read more

Second Act of Market Recovery Takes a Bow

NOTE TO READERS:  The article below was published in the December 2014 edition of Scotsman Guide, and was authored by EDR Insight's primary analyst, Dianne Crocker. It is republished here with permission. Commercial market barometers in 2014 point to continued growth in 2015 With 2014 coming to a close, an analysis of the year past reveals a commercial real estate market that is continuing its second act of recovery. The end of the year offers an opportunity to take a look at the current ... Read more

EPA Updates AAI Rule

On October 6, 2014, the EPA announced an amendment to AAI rule 40 CFR Part 312, updating the standards and practices for conducting all appropriate inquiries under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) to remove the reference to ASTM International’s E1527-05 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.” The rule will now include standard ASTM E1527-13.  This 2013 standard is the currently recognized industry consensus-based standard to conduct all appropriate inquiries as provided ... Read more

Multifamily Properties Now Eligible for Energy Star Certification

On September 16, 2014, Energy Star unveiled the new multifamily score in their online benchmarking software Portfolio Manager.  If your multifamily property receives a score of 75 or higher in Portfolio Manager, it may be eligible to be certified by Energy Star, signifying that it is among America’s top energy performers. Being certified with a multifamily Energy Star Certification identifies you as “Green.”  Green valuation benefits building owners and investors by reducing operating expenses, attracting better and higher rents, increasing occupancy and increasing resale value.   Nova Consulting Group ... Read more
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