Guidelines for managing asbestos in soil


BRANZ has launched the new industry guidelines for assessing and managing asbestos in soil.

The discovery of asbestos in the soil around the testing laboratories on the BRANZ Judgeford site highlighted that there were no New Zealand guidelines for the levels of asbestos contaminant in soil.

While the process for assessing, removing and remediating asbestos in buildings is well documented, there was little information about safety or safe levels of asbestos in contaminated soil.

Working alongside the Australasian Land & Groundwater Association (ALGA), New Zealand industry and government, BRANZ developed the guidelines specifically for New Zealand.

The New Zealand Guidelines for Assessing and Managing Asbestos in Soil direct industry step-by-step through the process of identifying, assessing and managing asbestos in soil.

This includes the regulatory obligations, the testing and analysis options, the remediation options and completion of the work to a point where the site can be used for its intended purpose.

“This issue is important for New Zealand given the extensive use of asbestos in all forms of buildings.

“Our personal experience of dealing with asbestos in soil without clear information added risk and stress to the already complicated issue of asbestos assessment and remediation,” says BRANZ chief executive Chelydra Percy.

“With potential health implications for our industry and the public, we could not let the opportunity to improve the knowledge base pass.”

The guidelines will be referenced in information through Worksafe and the Ministry of Health.

The report was co-authored by Lee Bint, BRANZ; Simon Hunt, Jacobs New Zealand Ltd; David Dangerfield, Greencap Ltd; Mike Mechaelis, Hill Laboratories.

The work was funded through the Building Research Levy and will be referenced in information through Worksafe and the Ministry of Health..

A copy of the guidelines may be downloaded from



BRANZ (Building Research Association of New Zealand) is New Zealand’s independent and impartial research, testing and consulting organisation.   BRANZ works with the building and construction industry to provide better buildings for New Zealanders.  The BRANZ Incorporated Society is a non-profitable investor in industry good research and knowledge transfer.  It invests in research and information to achieve benefits for New Zealanders by improving the knowledge base of the building and construction industry