The goal of the Dutch Council of State 2019 ruling on the Approach to Nitrogen Programme (PAS) is for the Netherlands to become green and climate-proof. And it’s not only the agricultural industry that has to take measures, the construction industry also needs to submit calculations in order to obtain building permits. This doesn’t just apply to newbuild projects and factories, but also to large-scale renovation works. Companies must be able to demonstrate that the extra nitrogen released in nitrogen-causing work has zero negative effect on so-called Natura 2000 areas.
Nitrogen within the construction and user phase
During every construction project, more nitrogen is released into the air from the use of construction machinery and the supply of materials, among other things. Nitrogen damage may also occur in completed projects. Residents in the built environment will cause an increase in traffic, while operating the machinery in production plants can influence emission levels. That is why calculations are needed for the construction phase as well as the use phase, proving that emissions stay within the nitrogen limit to warrant a permit.
But where do you start?
The AERIUS Calculator is used to make calculations. The calculation programme of the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) uses models to calculate which emissions are released and subsequently the what the deposition level of nitrogen is in surrounding Natura 2000 areas. What are the nitrogen effects of a new residential development project, for example, including traffic movements during construction? What is the difference between a company’s or factory’s current situation compared to the newbuild or renovation plans? The results of the nitrogen calculation can then be exported and included in the permit application.
It all sounds quite simple, but reality proves otherwise. Starting with the AERIUS user guide, which has over a hundred pages and it requires expertise to work through it. The type of project also determines what specific data is required. In construction projects, for example, you may need an inventory of the mobile equipment that is used, including all the technical data and the estimated number of movements they will perform. But traffic to and from the construction site also plays a role. Other information might be needed elsewhere, such as the exit temperature, velocity and source diameter in industrial plants where forced thermal plume is released in the atmosphere. These are just two simple examples of the numerous different situations that can occur, each with their specific characteristics and parameters. In other words, every project requires a tailored approach. Vicoma Consultancy & Engineering guides companies through the complex procedures, so they can stay focused on their core business.
More than nitrogen calculations
Vicoma provides reports that make both the construction phase and the use phase of the project transparent. After making the calculation model, the results and substantiation of the figures are submitted to the municipal or provincial authorities. After showing that the nitrogen level remains within the threshold value, a permit for the work in the zoning plan can be issued.
Vicoma’s strength is that it doesn’t just do the calculations. It also uses its vast technical knowledge and engineering expertise to help customers move forward. In the event that the nitrogen calculations are unfavourable, for instance because the site is against or in a Natura 2000 area, we investigate further options that may not yet have been exploited. Vicoma’s multidisciplinary team has a wealth of experience and knowledge in industries where nitrogen emissions are high. This allows it to think in terms of solutions and thus ensure that the threshold conditions can still be met using internal and external balancing. Whether you need calculations for a production facility, a major housing development project or other work that releases nitrogen, the experts at Vicoma are ready to help.
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