Leaaf Environmental, LLC (Leaaf) provided asbestos and lead remediation services as part of the historic rehabilitation and renovation of the of the United Fruit Company Building and four neighboring properties for adaptive reuse into a single hospitality redevelopment. The five contiguous properties were constructed between 1850 to 1920, totaling approximately 80,000 square feet (sf) of existing building. The centerpiece of the redevelopment effort is the 10-story building located along St. Charles Avenue, whose façade features ornate fruit-themed friezes that signify its former life as the United Fruit Company’s Headquarters. The projects remaining four buildings range between 2 to 3 stories apiece and feature historic facades. As the properties are on the National Register of Historic Places official list, work is subject to review by the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation (SHPO) and the Nation Parks Service and special consideration, and procedures were required of Leaaf to not disturb the historical architecture of the buildings.
Leaaf’s Indoor Air Quality Team performed comprehensive surveys for asbestos containing materials (ACM) and lead-based paint (LBP) to identify and quantify environmental hazards present in each of the five buildings. Upon completion of the initial surveys, Leaaf developed scopes of work for the remediation asbestos and lead environmental hazards in each building. Leaaf coordinated with the owner and architect to develop remediation plans to meet historic renovation requirements, specifying necessary procedure required for abatement and preservation of historic windows on the exterior of the buildings, while adhering to Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) lead-based paint renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) rule. As phases of the renovations continue, Leaaf coordinates with the architect to provide revisions to the scopes of work as needed. Upcoming work for this project will include air monitoring and clearance sampling for asbestos and lead.