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Partner Engineering and Science, Inc.
Partner Engineering and Science, Inc.
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Oakland, California

Partner has a strong presence throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The Oakland team provides Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), Phase II Subsurface Investigations, Property Condition Assessments (PCAs), Asbestos Surveys, Lead Testing, Seismic Evaluations, and Zoning Services in support of local and nationwide commercial and multifamily real estate transactions. The Partner Oakland office is led by Sau San, who has more than 15 years of environmental consulting.


Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
Partner provides both local and nationwide Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. Our reports are performed to meet the standards of ASTM E1527-21 or customized to meet individual client or agency lenders' (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) requirements. The Oakland staff are familiar with the blend of dense metropolitan areas, industrial areas, suburbs and agricultural areas that make the Bay Area unique.
Property Condition Assessment Reports
Partner provides lenders and real estate investors with Property Condition Assessments. Partner architects, engineers, and commercial building inspectors inspect the subject property in order to gain an understanding of the condition of the building. Most Partner reports meet ASTM E2018-08 guidelines.
Seismic Assessments
Partner provides probabilistic, Level 1 Seismic Risk Assessment (SRA) with Probable Maximum Loss Report (PML) estimation in accordance with ASTM E2026-07 (Standard Guide for Seismic Risk Assessment of Buildings) and ASTM E2557-07 (Standard Practice for Probable Maximum Loss (PML) Evaluations for Earthquake Due-Diligence Assessments). While Partner offers PMLs to every seismic zone in the United States, Bay Area residents, or those that do commercial or multifamily transactions in the Bay Area, truly understand the importance of an accurate PML report. Understanding the local geology and correctly reflecting the math in a PML report is most important to those that purchase or lend on a commercial or multifamily property in the Bay Area.
Phase II Environmental Testing
Partner performs Phase II Environmental Testing either in support of a financing decision or to meet the requirements of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set by ASTM E1903-97(2002) and may include soil and groundwater assessments, tank removals, soil vapor studies, and geophysical surveys. Our Oakland staff understand the highly variable local geology of the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as regulatory agencies including the Regional Water Quality Control Board and County CUPAs which provide oversight of Phase II assessments and tank removals/cleanup.
Asbestos, Lead-Based Paint, and other Industrial Hygiene services
As an add-on to a Phase I ESA or Property Condition Report or as a separate service, Partner offers assessments and solutions to address the risks of asbestos, lead paint and mold. While conducting a Phase I ESA, Partner is able to complete a visual evaluation of accessible areas for the presence of Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACMs) and Lead-Based Paint (LBP). If desired, or as part of a property due diligence assessment as required by a lender, sampling of suspect ACM and LBP can be conducted to determine if proper abatement should be conducted as part of project renovation and demolition. Partner offers a variety of Lead-Based Paint services including Inspection, Testing, Risk Assessments and Clearance Inspections. Moisture and Mold issues can escalate quickly if not addressed promptly. We offer mold testing, assessments, and remediation to help owners address and mitigate this concern.
ALTA Land Title Surveys and Zoning Services
Partner is a coordinator and preparer of ALTA/NSPS Surveys, Boundary Surveys, Topographic Surveys, and Zoning Reports across the United States for use in commercial transactions. We effectively handle and facilitate the coordination of land surveyors, title, ordering, process, product, and delivery. We manage the entire process of acquiring your survey and can effectively manage single-site or multi-site transactions. Our extensive network allows us the flexibility to provide a registered professional land surveyor for any site location—nationwide—with competitive pricing. We will coordinate all questions and comments from all transaction parties with the site surveyor and furnish reliable timely surveys all from one point of contact. A Zoning Report is a necessary part of many real property transactions because the current owner is responsible for existing zoning violations. Partner’s Zoning Reports take usage regulations into consideration, as well as local and municipality provisions and other regulations such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Digging Deeper

4 Reasons why Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are different in California.

1) Regional Water Quality Control Boards: In most states the regulations are statewide rules with maybe some variations for cities and counties. In California, the State Water Board grants a lot of power and autonomy to the Regional Water Quality Control Boards. The regional water boards are organized generally by watershed and may split counties. Water boards may have very different regulations. For example, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board developed Environmental Screening Levels (ESLs) for soil and groundwater contamination, whereas the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board uses different screening levels including Soil Screening Levels, CHHSLs for soil-gas (see below) and Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for groundwater.

3) CHHSLs: The California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the California Human Health Screening Levels (CHHSLs) in 2005. The CHHSLs provide the user with a chemical-specific look-up table for what levels of soil gas or indoor air concentrations represent a threat to human health. CHHSLs are not intended to be regulatory numbers but are often treated as such. CHHSLs are also famously conservative. You need an environmental consultant doing your Phase I ESA that knows how to interpret soil gas and indoor air data in relation to CHHSLs and this requires a lot of California experience.

4) CUPAs: Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) have a lot of power in California. CUPAs are city or county agencies that have been more or less deputized by CalEPA to handle certain regulatory functions such as oversight for hazardous waste and hazardous materials standards as well as releases from underground storage tanks (USTs), termed leaking USTs or LUSTs. In Alameda County alone, there are seven different CUPAs. To do proper regulatory due diligence during a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment your environmental professional must understand the California CUPAs.

5) CEQA: The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California’s equivalent of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment sometimes has to deal with CEQA/NEPA issues like wetlands, endangered species and/or historical resources as additional scope items.

Northern California Experience

Some recent projects and experience that provide insight into our robust Northern California consulting practice include:

PMLs for a Portfolio of Historic Buildings, San Francisco, CA
Partner completed 16 PMLs on multifamily properties in San Francisco. The buildings were built in the early 1900s and had several seismic risk concerns.

Phase I ESAs, Phase IIs and PCAs for a 42-site Newspaper Portfolio Nationwide

Partner completed a 42-site portfolio of Phase I ESAs and PCAs for newspaper companies located across the United States.  About half of these sites were located in Northern California. Partner subsequently completed the Phase II investigations for the sites to address the recognized environmental conditions.

Equity Phase I ESAs, PCAs, and PMLs for a 24-site Portfolio in California
Partner completed a 24-site portfolio of equity-level Phase I ESAs, PCAs, and PMLs on office properties throughout California.

Phase I ESAs, PCAs, and PMLs for 30-site Portfolio Nationwide
Partner completed a 30-site portfolio located throughout the country, including Phase I ESAs, PCAs, and PMLs. The Phase I ESAs, PCAs, and PMLs were conducted for an equity client.

Energy Efficiency Projects Throughout the Country
Our sister company, Partner Energy, secured $13 million of ARRA grants and loans implementation of energy efficiency projects at low-income multifamily projects across the country.

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