Methane Mitigation Construction

Methane Mitigation Construction is a specialized field that requires a professionally trained team to implement the Mitigation requirements as outlined on the Methane Mitigation Design. All Methane Mitigation Construction requires a Methane Mitigation Design which must be prepared by a licensed Professional Engineer. The installation techniques for Mitigation Systems are non-standardized procedures that commonly vary between projects and require certification and licensure. Sway Features is fully licensed and certified to construct Methane Mitigation Systems.

Methane Ventilation System Construction

The basis of all Methane Mitigation Systems require sub-slab passive ventilation. The sub-slab ventilation system prevents the accumulation of methane gas beneath structures, and ensures that the vapor gas can easily be rerouted to an area for which the explosive risks are mitigated. The extensive experience of the Sway Features construction team has assisted with the development of proper and efficient installation methods while implementing materials that are approved by the local Building Departments for Methane Ventilation application.

The dangers of improperly installing ventilation systems can lead to high concentrations of methane within structures, which can cause health and safety issues for the public. Sway Features’ team sets the standard for installation procedures, and inspection approaches to ensure that every design is properly installed per the Methane Mitigation Engineer’s requirements.

Methane Barrier Construction

In addition to the methane ventilation system, a common mitigation feature is the methane barrier. The methane barrier is proprietary material that is installed below the slab of structures to act as a sealant for the structures’s foundation. This sealant creates an impenetrable membrane to prevent the intrusion of methane into structures, while allowing the sub slab ventilation system to properly reroute methane vapors.

The installation techniques of the Methane barriers require a certification which includes an extensive training and approval process. Due to to the complexity of methane barrier installations, this certification has been provided to a select few contractors within the Southern California area.

Sway Features is an approved applicator of Methane Barriers, and our expert crew ensures proper and efficient installation for all of our jobs.

Methane Ventilation System
Methane Mitigation Design

Methane Detection and Alarm Construction

In some cases for which the sub surface conditions of a property contain high concentrations of methane, the department of building and safety requires the installation of methane detectors and methane alarm systems within your building. The Methane Detection system can monitor the concentrations of methane in the lowest space as well as the subsurface conditions. If elevated levels of methane are detected, the Methane Alarm System will be activated, and your local fire department will be notified.

The installation of Methane Sensors and Detectors require expert level electrical engineers and electricians. These comprehensive methane detectors and methane ventilation systems provide an additional measure of safety for structures that are more prone to Methane Vapor Gas intrusion.

Install an effective and efficient system

To install an effective and efficient system, there are Methane Mitigation Construction Requirements that must be conducted and executed by a specialty methane mitigation contractor who is certified to install Methane barriers. This is especially needed if the project is located in the methane zone or methane buffer zone and includes a subterranean feature where methane can easily migrate into. Construction must be in line with the LADBS Methane Mitigation requirements to ensure safety for the occupants.

The Methane barrier is one of the most important components in Methane Mitigation Construction. Methane barriers are usually spray-applied asphalt emulsions. This material significantly increases the total cost of the methane mitigation construction because the highly sensitive application requires significant skill, knowledge, and equipment. But if properly applied, this material ensures a reliable methane barrier that will likely last longer.

Methane Mitigation Construction

 Aside from the methane barrier, another essential element in a Methane Mitigation Construction is the sub-slab vent system. The purpose of this system is for the depressurization in the subfloor, which becomes necessary due to the accumulation of methane gas leading to high concentrations.

To achieve this purpose, exhaust fans and/or blowers, a perforated pipe, and a gravel blanket will be installed below ground level. Despite these efforts, methane might still unnoticeably and gradually migrate into the building, so methane concentrations must be continuously monitored. For this, LADBS standards also require the installation of Methane Alarms and Methane Sensors in the lowest area of the building, which will be triggered if a certain methane concentration level is reached. If the Methane Mitigation Contractor is licensed, these standards will be strictly followed in the construction and the foundation seal’s security will be tested.

Often, to save on construction costs, property owners and general contractors take it upon themselves to prepare Methane mitigation systems. For certain projects, this is possible and is recommended if the contractor is familiar with the Methane Mitigation construction process and with ensuring that all required inspections and practices are done according to the LADBS code.

It is likely that you could save a lot of money with this approach. But if the scope of the project requires the installation of an actual Methane barrier, this aspect of the Methane Mitigation Construction Requirements must be installed by a certified applicator who’ll observe the directions of the corresponding Methane barrier manufacturer. If this approach is not taken, the material warranty typically provided by the manufacturer and labor warranty will not be upheld. In the case of any failures that’ll likely occur due to the sensitivity of methane mitigation construction, it is guaranteed that there will be insurance coverage issues.

Why is my waterproof contractor installing my methane barriers?

Often, in the Los Angeles area, new construction projects feature subterranean garages which are used for parking or subterranean basements that are used as livable spaces. If these projects are located in the methane zone, special Methane Mitigation Construction and Programs must be implemented to ensure that the horizontal migration of methane into the structures is not taking place.

In these cases, a special Methane barrier needs to be installed on the walls of the structures. Fortunately, for budget concerns, these walls require Waterproofing regardless. Often, the project manager for this type of construction will include a waterproofing budget. So long as your methane mitigation consultant is one who correctly specifies the methane barrier to be used for the project, the membrane can also act as a waterproofing material.

If we look at the historical background of methane barriers, most methane barriers are approved as waterproofing materials, or most Methane barrier manufacturers produce materials that are also approved for waterproofing. Due to this reason, you will often find that your waterproofing contractor can install a methane barrier in its entirety. They may not be familiar with the other Methane Mitigation Construction 

Requirements such as the methane mitigation sub-slab system, methane mitigation detection or alarm system, or the methane barrier gravel blanket. These scopes could be conducted and executed by the general contractor due to their simplicity and construction-related approaches. On the other hand, the waterproofing contractor can take on the scope of installing the methane barrier on the slab, on methane barrier retaining walls, and on methane barrier shoring walls.

If a project is located within the water table, the design and construction approach would really lean toward a different direction. If this is the case, the consultant and Contractor need to ensure that the methane barrier can withstand the hydrostatic pressure forces of the water from the ground. The methane barrier is typically boat-styled, usually installed via a mat slab foundation and the waterproofing barrier construction.

What to know before hiring a Methane Mitigation Contractor!

The Methane Zone and Methane Buffer Zone only consist of a small percentage of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety’s Building Jurisdiction. These areas are mostly based on Historical Oil Wells or other methane producing sites. Other neighboring building jurisdiction also enforce the Methane Mitigation Code including Long Beach, Orange County Fire Authority, LA County Environmental Programs Divisions and more.

As a General Contractor, Building Owner or Developer, it is important to stay update to date on the latest Methane Mitigation approaches.

Methane vapor or methane mitigation systems will at minimum include an underground ventilation system and a barrier. The Sub Slab Vent System is designed to reduce the subsurface pressure to prevent the migration of gasses into the buildings The methane barrier is design to prevent the diffusion of gasses into a structure by acting as a sealant at the slab level.

Often when General Contractors that are inexperienced with the Methane Vapor Mitigation trade are thrown off and believe that the corresponding requirements that are specified in the Vapor Mitigation Design are not necessary. Based on the historical events including the explosion of the Ross Superstore, it is diligent and responsible to reduce the risks associated with both Methane Gas Vapor Mitigation and the prevention of other contaminates as defined by DTSC that could cause Vapor migration issues.

Once the mitigation system is seen in the project plan set, be sure to track down at least 3 qualified Methane Mitigation Contractors. This industry is new so finding contractors may be a bit difficult compared to other trades. After requesting the bid, be sure to thoroughly review the bid and scope of work that is covered on the methane mitigation construction bid.

The vapor mitigation contractor must provide submittals that outline the compliance of the specifications that are outlined in the Methane Mitigation Design. This is a very important aspect of construction management, often times, Methane Mitigation Contractors will implement lower quality barriers in order to win that project. This can cause problems come time for inspection that may lead to high costs and delays. Therefore, the Methane Mitigation design must be thoroughly reviewed and verified that the Construction bid for the Methane Mitigation System has an outline scope of work that matches what is being specified on the LADBS approved methane mitigation design.

It’s likely that any substitutions that are not code abiding will be flagged. LADBS requires a licensed LA Methane Deputy Inspector to be on site during the entire Methane Mitigation Plan construction. This ensures that there are no short cuts or exceptions that could be detrimental to the design of the mitigation system.

Often, you’ll find out the LADBS standard plans are used for Methane Mitigation Designs. The LADBS standard plans were specifically prepared to provide a generic instruction for engineers and contractors to refer to for methane mitigation systems. To save on costs clients and architects can take on the design of the mitigation system using the standard plans as a reference. The LADBS plan checker will often approve this design approach and will simply accept the standard plans without any additional details on them.

Although, this is a more cost-effective route during the design phase, it is not recommended to have only the LADBS Methane Mitigation Standard Plans within your Plan Set. Come time for construction, there’s no specific instructions for the contractor to build off of for the sub slab then system in Methane Barrier or vent risers. This creates confusion, ultimately leading to cost implications for the construction of the Methane Mitigation System. Due to the LADBS redundant Design, Construction and Inspection Process, if your Standard Methane plans make it through the Plan Check process, your LADBS Plan Checker will not accept the plans due to the lack of information available for inspection. This will lead to time consuming supplemental Methane Mitigation

Design and Construction Permits and inspection. The best course of action would be to hire a consultant to prepare a methane mitigation design that is specific to your project that will outline everything that a contractor and inspector will need to know. This ensures that both LADBS who is required to plan check the project as well as your Contractor are both on the same page with your inspector regarding what the scope of work for your project is. It will also help with budgeting, allowing you to get a Head start with the cost implications of a Methane Mitigation System for your specific project.