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Pollution and demolition as well as restoration and remediation

Investigating contaminated sites and managing demolition or remediation

Purchasing property can involve significant subsequent costs if the soil contains contamination, and existing buildings require demolition or remediation of pollutants. We investigate, evaluate and remediate your contamination and assist you with demolition or remediation, with analysis, organisation and monitoring.


Contamination and deconstruction: Our services

Contamination, oil tank found underground

Contamination – old oil tank found underground

We investigate  whether contamination is present on your property. Thus, we investigate exactly which pollutants are occuring, and whether these are classified, among other things, under LAGA classification values. The contamination captured in the pollutant field books under the Federal Soil Protection Law (BBodSchG) and areas suspected of having contamination are included in our investigations. Should threshold values be exceeded, we develop a disposal concept for you for all contaminated areas, developing classifications in waste categories. The waste is subdivided into waste for recycling and waste for disposal. Thus, contaminated materials must be kept away from material circulation. In principle it is forbidden to mix contaminated and uncontaminated building materials. If there is contamination, specific, statutory threshold values may not be exceeded. After classification, the waste must be disposed of in approved waste disposal facilities. Unprocessed rubble is classified as waste. All demolition measures require a separation of polluted and unpolluted.





Contamination services overview:

  • Explore and investigate contaminated sites
  • Assessment and classification of contamination, e.g. in accordance with LAGA
  • Remediation and making safe, in the case of damage
  • Creating disposal concepts
  • Threshold value monitoring in conjunction with removal of contamination

Important areas and topics related to contamination

The topic of contamination is affected by a variety of statutory rules and topics. The following gives you an overview of the most important topics:

Federal Soil Protection Law

According to the Federal Soil Protection Law (BBodSchG), Sect. 2, para. 1, soil as per the statutory definition is the upper level of the earth’s crust, to the extent that it is a support in the sense of the soil functions set forth in para. 2, including the liquid components (soil solution) and gaseous components (soil air), and in any case not including groundwater and channels.

LAGA, LAGA classification values

In our investigations and assessments, we take samples from suspicious areas, test them in a laboratory, and then classify them into waste groups as per the LAGA (State Working Group for Waste).

The goal of the LAGA is to ensure an enforcement of waste law in the Federal Republic of Germany which is as uniform as possible across states. Recommendations are published in LAGA notifications in order to implement this.

The decisions of the LAGA are taken into consideration for construction and remediation activities. In its 1997 notification, the LAGA established various classification categories in which, for example, the handling and removal of excavated soil and rubble is regulated. In 2004, this notification was updated for, among other things, soil. Those sections of LAGA M 20 relating to construction rubble are from 1997; as of 2007, there has been no new update. The application of LAGA M 20 has been inconsistent across the various states, especially regarding the classification and use of building rubble.

The samples we take are tested to determine to which category the material belongs. The chemical composition of materials is detected by testing these samples. A targeted search is undertaken for hazardous materials such as heavy metals, PCBs, PAHs and other materials in solids and eluates. After this, the analytical results are compared to the assignment criteria contained in LAGA M 20. Depending on the concentration of contamination found, the material is classified within an LAGA integration class, which further stipulates the opportunities for the further use of the material.

The following landfill classes are applied:

Z0 Unrestricted integration
Z1 Restricted open integration, subdivided again into Z1.1 and Z1.2
Z2 Restricted integration with defined technical safety measures
Z3 Landfill class I
Z4 Landfill class II
Z5 Hazardous waste landfill

Contamination field book

All areas with contamination and suspicion of contamination are recorded in the contamination field book. The environmental officials of the state and local authorities capture all relevant areas. These have been systematically captured in a database since the entry into law of Sect. 9 of the BBodSchG. Among other things, the old topographic maps are recorded, assessed with regard to factory areas, mine areas, military barracks and waste disposal sites.

According to the Federal Soil Protection Law (BBodSchG), Sect. 2, para. 1, soil as per the statutory definition is the upper level of the earth’s crust, to the extent that it is a support in the sense of the soil functions set forth in para. 2, including the liquid components (soil solution) and gaseous components (soil air), and in any case not including groundwater and channels.

The following options for remediation are considered to restore contaminated soils and recreate a legally compliant status:

  • Administrative actions: This involves surfaces being classified to a less sensitive use (see building regulations).
  • Safety actions: For example, construction of an engineered block against the effects of contaminants.
  • Relocation: Removal of the contaminated material and placement at another place, such as at a landfill site.
  • Decontamination: Technical removal of the pollutants.
  • Remediation: No direct action is taken, though self-cleaning is monitored with regard to nature. The quality of the soil is improved through monitored natural attenuation (MNA). This includes the individual actions to monitor soil contaminants.


Threshold values

In classifying into landfill classes, specific threshold values of pollutants may not be exceeded. The higher the material contamination, the higher the landfill class classification, where Z5 marks the highest contamination level.


Simultaneously to and in connection with contamination removal the field of waste management is analysed.  The area of waste management is analysed with regard to contamination removal. Waste is dealt with by the waste management sector, whose tasks include the prevention, reduction, recycling and removal of waste, and therefore one must observe all guidelines of the sector regarding the removal of contamination.

Do you have questions about contaminated sites or clean-up?

Call us at:

Altlasten Ansprechpartner Volker Mechsner
Your contact:


Mr Volker Mechsner
Certified Geologist and Department Director, Environment/Contaminated Sites


49 years
in the market

KÜHN Geoconsulting® GmbH is an independent consulting firm that has been active in the fields of subsoil consulting and remediation of contaminated sites for more than 49 years.

engineering quota

With an engineering quota of 78 percent and a workforce of over 44 long-standing employees, we are in a position to serve even major projects reliably, on time and to the highest quality standards.

experience from 22.000 orders

With the experience from more than 22,000 orders, from single-family homes to high-rise office buildings, our employees develop professional, customer- and practice-oriented solutions.


Certifications and further training are an integral part of our corporate culture, so that you always receive the best state-of-the-art solutions from us.


Companies for which we have already completed projects and orders and who place their trust in us are HochTief, Deutsche Leasing, Vodafon or the city of Cologne. This is only a small selection. Feel free to ask us for further references.