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Real Estate

Due Diligence.

From pre-acquisition real estate due diligence to services that help prioritize capital expenditures and minimize operating costs, Nova is a trusted partner throughout the total ownership cycle. An environmental assessment is conducted to identify potential environmental conditions related to on-site and off-site activities. A phased approach allows the client to maximize information obtained while minimizing costs. Property Condition Assessments (PCA) are often completed to evaluate the remaining useful life of building systems. By doing so, Nova can assist its clients with preserving capital expenditures, while at the same time extending the useful life of critical building components and systems.

Nova's Expertise

Nova field professionals and team leaders have extensive experience conducting and managing Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) for private clients, banks, and government agencies all over the country. Nova employees are trained to conduct or review Phase I investigations in accordance with ASTM E1527-13, the EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI), Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae DUS, and HUD guidelines or specific lender requirements. Projects range from vacant land to industrial manufacturing, brownfield sites, petroleum facilities, oil/gas properties, and telecommunications sites. Nova’s staff has a strong understanding of facility operating systems, state and federal regulations, and fate and transport of chemicals through air, soil, surface water, and groundwater.  Additionally, Nova has staff trained in specific areas of expertise who are available to consult as needed.



Environmental Site Assessments

An Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is conducted to identify potential environmental concerns related to on-site and off-site activities. A phased approach allows clients to maximize information obtained while minimizing costs.


Nova begins with routine research and on-site reconnaissance.  Subsequent phases of investigation further define areas of concern and evaluate corrective actions.

Typical ESA activities include...

  • Review of topographic/geological/hydrogeologic information pertaining to the site and surrounding area

  • Review of historical land use activities at the site

  • Review of regulatory information

  • Site reconnaissance

  • Surrounding property observation

This information is then compiled into a report that summarizes the findings and outlines recommendations with regard to items of environmental interest or concern.


Many clients require scopes of work specifically tailored to meet their needs. Nova staff is familiar with the specific requirements of ASTM E1527-13 Phase I Environmental Assessment, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), and HUD, as well as other lender-specific requirements.

  • Lead-Based Paint

  • Asbestos

  • Historic Preservation

  • Floodplain Management

  • Wetlands Protection

  • Endangered Species

  • Noise Analysis

  • Explosive/Flammable Hazards/Hazardous Industrial Operations

  • Sole Source Aquifers

  • Airport Clear Zones

  • Additional Hazards and Nuisances (covers, pipelines, etc.)

  • Wild and Scenic Rivers/Unique Natural Features

  • Environmental Justice

  • Soil Stability, Erosion and Drainage

  • Zoning

  • Water Supply/Sanitary Sewers and Solid Waste Disposal

  • Schools/Parks/Social Services

  • Emergency Health Care, Fire and Police Services

  • Commercial/Retail and Transportation

  • Water Quality/Clean Water Act

  • Vapor Intrusion


Ray Hutchison | Senior Vice President, New York, NY

Email | 201-391-0520


Phase II Subsurface Investigations

Upon identifying environmental concerns related to on-site and off-site activities at a given property, Nova will often recommend a subsurface investigation to further evaluate the effect of identified environmental concerns to subsurface soil, soil vapor, and/or groundwater and any resulting risks to human health or the environment.  All investigations are implemented in accordance with applicable local regulatory requirements.

Nova's Expertise

Nova’s technical staff includes on-site, project managers, and Professional Geologists and Engineers with extensive experience in performing real estate due diligence and site redevelopment investigations.

This information is then compiled into a report that summarizes the findings and outlines recommendations with regard to items of environmental interest or concern.



Health and Safety

Health and safety are always a concern, so Nova prepares a Site Health and Safety Plan (SHSP) prior to conducting a subsurface investigation. The SHSP identifies health and safety risks and sets up in advance any emergency procedures and response protocols that may be necessary.

NG Drilling

Nova Group, GBC (NG Drilling), has provided subsurface soil, soil vapor, and groundwater sampling services to its clients on more than 500 project sites, using hydraulic direct-push probing/drilling applications. Nova employs the use of a track-mounted 6620 Geoprobe® and a truck-mounted 5400 Geoprobe® utilizing Macro-Core, dual tube, and auger drilling technologies. Nova’s equipment is used for soil and groundwater sampling, groundwater monitoring well installations, vapor point installations and sampling, sub-slab permanent vapor point installations, and pilot tests. Nova’s track-mounted unit offers unique capabilities, including specialized maneuverability in areas with limited access or available space where conventional equipment would not be able to operate.

  • Subsurface Drilling/Probing

  • Soil, Soil Vapor and Groundwater Sampling

  • Groundwater Monitoring Well Installations

  • Ground Water Modeling

  • Remedial Investigation

  • Regulatory Compliance Reporting


Mark Perry | Environmental Assessment & Remediation Group

Email | 612-275-1997


Property Condition Assessments

Nova provides Property Condition Assessment services to numerous mortgage and construction lenders across the country. Many projects involve Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, and rating agency guidelines.  Services are provided for multifamily residential, commercial, hospitality, new construction, and industrial facilities.

Property Condition Assessment Services

Property Condition Assessments are often required as part of pre-purchase, owner-commissioned, or refinance transactions. Nova services include a site visit to evaluate the general condition and maintenance history of the property and to assess the overall design and construction of structures.  All available on-site project and construction documentation is reviewed, and interviews with property managers, tenants, and local officials are conducted.

Nova’s Property Condition Report offers a narrative on the condition and adequacy of all site and building improvements and includes forms and information, including items of deferred maintenance, estimates of immediate and annual replacement reserves, and comments on the buildings’ conformance with code, ADA, unfinished work, and FHA compliance.

Third-Party Review

Third-party review of reports, reserve tables, and other property evaluations are conducted to inform clients of existing reports’ completeness and compliance with ASTM and lender standards. Deficiencies are identified, and recommended solutions are provided.


Ray Hutchison | Senior Vice President, New York, NY

Email | 201-391-0520

Expanded Property Condition Assessment Services - For Equity Clients

When performing due diligence prior to acquisition, Nova is aware that buyers’ risk tolerance may vary. Its Equity Markets Group provides expanded due diligence services beyond that provided by the ASTM’s baseline standard. Within the Equity Markets Group, clients will find experienced architects, engineers, certified roof and building envelope professionals, and construction specialists who can provide expanded assessments of building structure, enclosure systems, internal operating, and life safety systems. Nova can assemble an assessment team to meet client expectations and to provide property information sufficient to better understand acquisition risk. Nova reports are well documented with photographs and include Opinions of Probable Costs to remedy physical deficiencies observed and to aid in assignment of capital allocations during ownership.


  • Expanded Equity Level Property Condition Assessment and Report

  • Seller Disclosure Property Condition Assessment Report

  • Structural Condition Assessment

  • Seismic Risk Assessment

  • Building Envelope (Roof and Exterior) Assessment

  • Parking Garage Assessment

  • Forensic Analysis and Remedial Design

  • Roof Replacement Design

  • Facade Consulting, Design and Construction Oversight

  • BOMA Area Measurements

  • ADA Compliance Audits


Doug Knight | Equity Group Director

Email | 614-704-8766


Agency Small Loans

The Agency Services Small Loan Division within Nova conducts on-site inspections to evaluate the general condition and structural elements of the Property buildings. Document reviews are also conducted to review planned capital expenditures. Nova’s Physical Risk Report (PRR) for Small Balance Loans (SBLs) and Streamlined Physical Condition Assessment for Small Mortgage Loans (SMLs) complies with the associated Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae Guidelines and offers a narrative on the condition and adequacy of the site and building improvements, including the required forms and
information. Nova’s Environmental Screen also complies with Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae Guidelines. The Transaction Screens are conducted to identify Potential Environmental Concerns (PECs) for on-site activities, off-site activities, and compliance with federal, state, and local agencies.

Nova's Expertise

Nova’s team members have extensive experience performing and managing high quality, thorough, and timely reports. Our staff includes Registered Architects, Professional Engineers, and Construction Specialists. Nova’s Physical Assessment employees have a robust understanding of facility operating systems, MEP systems, architectural finishes, structural systems, life safety systems, and ADA accessibility compliance. Nova’s ESA employees are trained in facility operating systems, federal, local, and state regulatory requirements, and transport of chemicals through air, soil, soil vapor, surface water, and groundwater. Additionally, Nova may consult with staff located nationwide when needed, who are specialists and leaders in their field.


  • Freddie Mac Small Balance Loan (SBL) Physical Risk Report (Form 1104)

  • Freddie Mac Fast, Reliable, Easy Decision (FRED) Physical Risk Report (Form 1108) with Environmental Screen Plus Radon

  • Fannie Mae Streamlined Physical Condition Assessment and Environmental Screen for Small Mortgage Loan Program

What is the Nova Small Balance Difference?

Freddie Mac SBL (Form 1104)


Nova has created a Freddie Mac compliant Small Balance Loan Physical Risk and Transaction Screen Report that summarizes the physical risk items identified in Form 1104. The report evaluates items such as deferred maintenance, critical and priority repairs, operational repairs, and the capital needs over the term of the mortgage, all in one succinct summary. In addition, the Potential Environmental Concerns (PECs) identified in the Transaction Screen and the overall condition of the Property which establishes the required replacement reserve are described within the summary. This report allows clients to understand at a quick glance the findings of Form 1104.


Angela Scott | National Account Manager

Email | 214-236-9981

Ask Us.

Feel free to ask us about our full range of environmental products and services.

Call: 855-440-9393


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