AllWest Environmental
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Frequently Asked Questions

Prior to initiating a project, some clients require salient information and data about AllWest. Much of this pertinent information can be found here.

For more information, please contact Marc Cunningham at 415/391-2510.

   Where are your company headquarters?
   What are AllWest's primary areas of expertise?
   Who is the primary contact person?
   Who are the key employees of AllWest?
   Is AllWest a subsidiary or franchise or in any other way associated with any other firm?
   What types of projects were conducted in 2016?
   Name several large projects in the last three years and note where each project was located.
   How many years has AllWest been providing consulting services?
   Your office locations have been established how long?
   List recent and current major clients.
   What insurance coverage do you provide?
   How do you organize your staff to provide Environmental and Property Condition/Seismic Consulting and ALTA Surveys?
   How would you organizationally handle small, quick-response projects?
   What is AllWest's capability to perform follow-up physical testing of the property if such testing is recommend?
   What is AllWest's intended use of subcontractors or subconsultants in Phase I, Phase II, or engineering projects?
   How does AllWest calculate SUL/SEL values?
   What makes AllWest unique, and why do clients retain AllWest to provide comprehensive physical due diligence?
   What are AllWest's typical fees and project duration for due diligence reports?
   Why are AllWest's project fees sometimes more expensive than other firms?
   Whom does AllWest compete against?
   Please list your Firm's memberships in professional/industry organizations.
   How does AllWest address Quality Improvement Program issues?
   How does AllWest keep track of changes in environmental legislation?


   Where are your company headquarters?
Principal office located at:
2141 Mission Street, Suite 100, San Francisco CA 94110.
Our Southern California office is located at:
1520 Brookhollow Drive, Suite 30, Santa Ana, CA 92705

   What are AllWest's primary areas of expertise?
Environmental Due Diligence, Property Condition/Seismic Reports, Asbestos and Lead-Based Paint Consulting, ALTA Surveys and Remedial Services such as Seismic Upgrades, Asbestos/Mold abatement oversite, Soil, Soil Vapor, and Ground Water remediation.

   Who is the primary contact person?
Marc Cunningham, President; 415/391-2510 (San Francisco office);
email: Marc@allwest1.com

Chris Marinescu, Vice-President; 714/541-5303 (Santa Ana office);
email: Chris@allwest1.com

   Who are the key employees of AllWest?
(see Staff)

   Is AllWest a subsidiary or franchise or in any other way associated with any other firm?
No

   What types of projects were conducted in 2016?

# of
Projects
Environmental Phase I's/Updates81
Peer Reviews96
Soil & Groundwater Investigations18
Soil & Groundwater Remediation 2
Seismic PML Assessments/Updates53
Property Condition Assessments/Updates81
Asbestos/ Lead Paint Survey18
ALTA Surveys/Updates25


   Name several large projects in the last three years and note where each project was located.

2016
Sleepy Hollow Investments: Real Property Disposition Assessments, ESA/PCA/Seismic/ALTAs for 12 building suburban office portfolio $250,835
Mid-Term Balance Sheet Lender DD Peer Reviews: $82,773
Remedial Assessment: former dry cleaner, Campbell, CA $76,453
Remedial Assessment: former UST site, Emeryville, CA $56,442
Remedial Assessment: former dry cleaner, Fountain Valley, CA $49,704

2015
Garaventa Porfolio: Real Property Disposition Assessments ESA/PCA/PMI/ALTAs for 21 Bldgs in Northern California $175,757
Residential Development Site: Maher Zone Assessment: San Francisco, CA $88,752
Los Angeles based Lender Peer Reviews: ESA and PCAs$84,337
Subsurface Assessment/ALTAs-Residential Development Site: Santa Clara, CA $74,166
Facility Site Characterization & Closure: Orange County, CA$71,297

2014
Residential Development Site: Soil and Groundwater Assessments, Campbell, CA $89,804
Hotel and Conference Complex: Acquisition Due Diligence, Sunnyvale, CA $72,586
Office Development Site: Remedial Investigation, San Francisco, CA$53,334
Asbestos Abatement Project Monitoring: Long Beach, CA $53,063
Municipal Buildings: Property Condition Assessment, Santa Clara, CA$42,050


   How many years has AllWest been in business?
AllWest incorporated in December 1989. We are celebrating our 28th Anniversary year in 2017.

   Your office locations have been established how long?
San Francisco office: 27 years
Santa Ana office: 20 years

   List recent and current major clients. For each client, include a reference and that person's telephone number, and briefly describe the services provided, the number, type and scope of projects. Please provide reference letters from a minimum of three of your existing clients.
(see HIGHLIGHTS and REFERENCES)

   What insurance coverage do you provide?
Deductibles$25,000 for combined E & O/Contractors Policy.
CarriersAdmiral Insurance Company, Hartford Insurance Co. of CT
Carriers ratingAAA
(For a discussion of AllWest's general liability and E & O policies, please see INSURANCE.)

   How do you organize your staff to provide Environmental and Property Condition/PML Consulting services? Who are your key personnel that would be assigned to the account and what are their areas on responsibility within your Firm? Describe how services would be provided and continuity would be maintained for multiple projects and locations. Are computerized report summaries available?
Marc Cunningham is typically AllWest's primary client contact and organizes the project. Senior personnel are assigned to work on various aspects of the project. Len Niles is our Senior Project Manager for soil, soil vapor and groundwater related issues. Chris Marinescu is our Vice President for Engineering/Construction projects. Greg Lossing is our Senior Project Manager for PCAs. Kevin Reeve oversees our asbestos/lead paint/mold consulting efforts.
AllWest has two office locations to serve California and the West Coast. For multiple site projects, work is assigned based on geographical and deadline considerations. Using AllWest's comparative advantage as a small firm, continuity is maintained through frequent communication between AllWest offices and our clients. Client communication is also advanced through our website via our secure PROJECT STATUS area.

   How would you organizationally handle small, quick-response projects? What are your proposed turnaround times?
Small, quick response projects are AllWest's specialty. We can mobilize within 24 hours to staff any type of Due Diligence project. Fast track assignments can typically be completed within 10 working days. AllWest is committed to providing our clients with the necessary quantitative and qualitative data to complete their underwriting process in a timely manner.

   What is AllWest's capability to perform follow-on physical testing of the property if such testing is recommend?
AllWest routinely conducts follow up assessment work such as underground utility searches (for abandoned USTs) soil-gas vapor surveys (to assess human health risk) subsurface investigations via soil borings, grab samples or permanent groundwater monitoring wells.
AllWest also regularly conducts comprehensive asbestos, lead and mold testing as a result of the site assessment's initial findings or as a stand-alone assessment. AllWest can expeditiously mobilize and initiate these projects. Our clients realize however there are other bureaucratic impediments (permits) and subcontractor scheduling issues that must be addressed in follow up work.
Lastly, AllWest has been retained on several occasions to provide engineering solutions to building condition issues such as spalling expansion joints, slab settlement and seismic upgrades.
See the NEW AND NOTABLE section of our web site for additional project descriptions.

   What is AllWest's intended use of subcontractors or subconsultants in Phase I, Phase II, or engineering projects?
AllWest has a staff of seven professionals between the San Francisco and Santa Ana offices. To supplement our base staff AllWest employs professional subcontractors to perform environmental and other engineering assessments. This is an industry standard practice and we reserve the right to use professional subcontractors on all projects. We are not averse to informing our clients prior to the start of a project when outsourced staff will be employed.
AllWest has long standing relationships with our subcontractors, with most of them working with us for more than five years. We utilize our proprietary QA/QC review process on all their submittals, provide all graphics and sign off on the report. All reports are issued on AllWest letterhead and covered by AllWest's insurance policies. On Phase II projects AllWest utilizes subcontractors for utility clearances, laboratory and drilling tasks elements of the project.

   How does AllWest calculate SUL/SEL values?
AllWest provides seismic risk assessments using the ST-RISK computer software developed by RISK Engineering, Inc., Boulder, Colorado and Degenkolb Engineers of San Francisco, CA. The ST-RISK program references information provided by the United States Geological Service (USGS) on the rating and locations of active faults and building structural configuration. ST-RISK incorporates the effects of geologic hazards, such as surface fault rupture, soil liquefaction and earthquake-induced landslides in its proprietary algorithm predicated on the FEMA methodology.

The assessed building structural configuration and details are evaluated in accordance with FEMA 310 and ASCE 31-03 methodology. In assessing seismic risk AllWest typically performs a Level 3 Investigation as defined by ASTM E-2026-16 and ASTM E 2557-16. AllWest review makes every effort to obtain structural drawings, performs a field reconnaissance of the building or structure under investigation, reviews building permits available from Building Departments and contacts the Structural Engineers of Record when necessary. Building structural condition is evaluated by using true/false statements as well as numerical modifiers with different value ranges, such as 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, etc.

AllWest routinely performs seismic assessments conforming to Level 3 Investigation as defined by ASTM 2026. In special cases, such as high rise buildings in downtown San Francisco or elsewhere designed and constructed in the 1950s or 1960s or displaying structural irregularities the Level 3 Investigation is supplemented with more refined methods of analysis, such as pushover computer analysis. The Level of Investigation is related to the seismic assessment level of uncertainty. AllWest routinely provides a "low" level of uncertainty as defined by ASTM 2557 corresponding to Level 3 Investigation.

If a building utilizes one or more lateral force resisting systems in its structural configuration AllWest performs separate risk analyses for each system and estimates a loss value for the building based on the contribution to the loss of each analyzed system using engineering judgment. For properties including more than one building AllWest averages the loss values using appropriate averaging methods as well as engineering judgment.

Prior to 2007 the predicted loss due to earthquakes was commonly expressed as a PML or Probable Maximum Loss value. The PML value is determined for a 475-year ground motion and has a 10% probability of being exceeded or 90% confidence of damage estimate. This is synonymous to saying 9 out of 10 buildings of similar construction exposed to similar ground motion intensity will perform as well as, or better than predicted.

Other loss values such as Mean and Median are estimated along with the PML. Unlike the PML, the Mean and Median loss values have lower confidence levels. The Mean loss is an average value while the Median loss has a 50% confidence level or 50% probability of being exceeded. Only 5 out of 10 buildings will perform as well as, or better than predicted by the Median value during an earthquake of similar intensity. SEL is defined as a Mean loss value with 50% probability of being exceeded while SUL is defined as a loss with 10% probability of being exceeded.

The 2007 ASTM E-2026, Standard Guide for Seismic Risk Assessment of Buildings, suggested a new standard for estimating losses caused by earthquakes. Two new values were proposed for expressing seismic risk, Scenario Expected Loss (SEL) and Scenario Upper Loss (SUL). Although ASTM E-2026 recommended the use of PML be discontinued, PML values may be used provided they are explained in terms of SUL or SEL values.

Both SEL and SUL are determined based on a ground motion with 10% probability of exceedance over 50 years, which corresponds to a UBC-defined 475-year return period earthquake. This ground motion is known as design "basis earthquake (DBE)". Most new commercial and industrial buildings are designed to withstand DBE seismic forces.

The ST-RISK software program yields SEL and SUL values for DBE-level seismic events having a 475-year return period as well as different other probabilities of exceedance or return periods such as 10% in 30 years (285 year return period) or 2% in 50 year (2475 year return period). The SUL value is by definition equivalent to the pre-2007 PML value which is estimated for a 475-year ground motion and has a 10% probability of exceedance.
For the purpose of conclusion regarding a building damageability or its seismic risk exposure during a 475-year return period earthquake AllWest uses SUL values equivalent to PML90 (90% confidence level) values as well as SEL values corresponding to PML50 (50% confidence level) values.

The seismic risk assessment is performed for a ground motion that has a 10% probability of exceedance over 50 years (DBE earthquakes). This ground motion level corresponds to the UBC-defined 475-year return period earthquake used as a design basis for most new buildings and structures.

The four Levels of Investigation (0, 1, 2, and 3) correspond to the levels of information and detail used to assess the condition of different building elements performance during a seismic event. Level 0 is a screening investigation. Level 3 is a highly detailed technical investigation. Levels 1 and 2 are intermediate between Levels 0 and 3. The Types and Levels of Investigation are defined by ASTM E 2026-2007 and ASTM 2557-2007. No Contents Damageability (CD) or Business Interruption (BI) evaluation is performed.

   What makes AllWest unique, and why do clients retain AllWest to provide comprehensive physical due diligence?

  • AllWest has a twenty-seven year corporate history providing physical due diligence expertise. This track record, rare in the industry, is a testament to AllWest's salient advice and focus on client relationships.

  • AllWest conveniently provides turnkey physical due diligence services including Environmental Assessments, Property Condition/Seismic reports and ALTA surveys.

  • AllWest has developed proprietary QA/QC review forms for all projects.

  • AllWest emphasizes client service and focuses on client relationships.

  • AllWest conducts business with our client's best interest in mind. We have been very successful in reducing scopes of work and tailoring projects to strictly address our client's goals.

  • AllWest's reports are written in a user friendly, non-table oriented, two column format and make recommendations without the proverbial CYA motivation.

  • AllWest is very responsive toward our client's requirements, on both report completion rates and changing scopes of service.

  • AllWest services are always performed by a licensed engineer/architect/environmental professional to insure optimal quality and accuracy.

    (See also, ADVANTAGES.)


       What are AllWest's typical fees and project duration for due diligence reports?
    1. Phase I Environmental Assessments range from $3500 t0 $5500 plus reimbursable expenses for hazardous waste database searches and aerial photographs.

    2. Property Condition Assessment fees range from $5500 to $30,000+ depending on the asset's characteristics. AllWest has developed a short form PCA suitable for smaller properties. Fees range from $3,800 to $4,800.

    3. Seismic Risk Assessments range from $4000 - $8000+ depending on the asset characteristics.

    4. ALTA Surveys range from $4500 - $30,000+ depending on the asset characteristics.

    5. Soil, Soil Vapor and Groundwater investigations range from $10,000 to $40,000 depending on site specific factors.

    6. All pricing is impacted by the number, size and construction dates of site buildings as well the time frame allotted to complete the assessment(s).

    7. Most single building assessments can be completed within 10-12 working days . Twenty working days should be allotted for Phase II environmental investigations

       Why are AllWest's project fees sometimes more expensive than other firms?

    1. AllWest's fees are predicated on the seniority of our staff that conducts and QAQC reviews our reports. Our professionals are typically registered engineers, architects, geologists or environmental assessors including certified asbestos and lead inspectors.

    2. We take pride in the depth of our due diligence reports: They always include a Tier 1 Vapor Intrusion Assessment, visual assessments for mold, asbestos and lead based paints, regulatory and building department file reviews, an evaluation of accessibility compliance with local (not Federal) regulations , Tier 2 & 3 seismic assessments. No issues involving paper documentation are left unresolved. Comprehensive quality risk evaluation reports are not inexpensive. They should not be viewed as a cost nor expense but part of the investment.

    3. AllWest maintains full-time offices in San Francisco and Orange County, California. The cost of doing business in these locales is reflected in our fees. Many of our competitors use the business model of outsourced staff working out of their homes. AllWest maintains fulltime offices.

    4. AllWest's physical and environmental due diligence reports are the "best in class." We are not interested in making fast nickels. We make slow dimes.

       Who does AllWest compete against?

    The physical due diligence industry is primarily composed of companies that have achieved scale by providing assessments on a bulk or commodity basis. These firms are well known by their alphabet soup names such as EMG, EBI, AEI, etc. Other firms have shunned scale and focused their professional efforts educating clients that risk evaluation and assessment, whether environmental or building related, are not commodities only distinguishable by price. The latter category of firm typically works in aquisition or disposition orientated transactions. Commodity firms very often provide services in a lending context. For equity transactions where building condition assessments are needed AllWest's services are comparable to those provided by Marx-Okubo. On the environmental side, AllWest's reports are comparable to Erler-Kalinowski, AECOM, and Environ.

       Please list your Firm's memberships in professional/industry organizations.
    AllWest is a member of the:
       ASFE/The Association of Engineering Firms Practicing in the Geoscience
       National Groundwater Association
       Groundwater Resources Association of America
       ICBO

       How does AllWest address Quality Improvement Program issues?
    AllWest technical staff are required to maintain their professional certifications through annual refresher courses as well as attend two additional HAZMAT/Engineering courses during the calendar year.
    AllWest utilizes the QA/QC programs on each environmental and building condition assessment. QA/QC review sheets are also utilized for all sites with dry cleaners, where asbestos/lead is a concern and for Phase II projects.

       How does AllWest keep track of changes in environmental and building code legislation/regulation?
    AllWest tracks changes in environmental laws and building codes, policies and regulation by attending seminars, workshops and through reading various HAZMAT, Engineering and OSHA topic publications and through our membership and participation in professional organizations such as ASFE and SEAOC.




  • AllWest Environmental, Inc.
    Celebrating Over 27 Years in Business
    2141 Mission Street, Suite 100, San Francisco CA 94110
    1520 Brookhollow Drive, #30, Santa Ana, CA 92705

    tel: 415/391-2510; 714/541-5303; fax: 415/391-2008; email: info@allwest1.com

    ©2017 AllWest Environmental, Inc.
    Website maintained by Rockett Studios.