Melbourne’s Most Experienced Environmental Consultants

Are you a builder, developer or government agency requiring the services of environmental consultants, contaminated land consultants or HAZMAT consulting to facilitate the sale, purchase or development of land? If you are, then the information on this page could save you tens, and possibly even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why?

Because environmental investigations are one of the most elastic expense variables in property development. Most people don’t realise this. But apart from the conditions on a site, the biggest determinant of the total costs of obtaining environmental or development approvals is the capability and experience of your environmental consultants. Which is why Melbourne’s most savvy developers chose Atma Environmental as their environmental consultancy of choice.

Our sole focus is to ensure that your development and compliance approvals are obtained in the most timely and cost-effective manner possible.

Recent Client Testimonials:

Survey completed and as per usual, the level of communication from the start to finish from ATMA was exceptional with no following up required. This level of communication is by far the best of any sub-consultants we deal with.

I really enjoy working with the team at Atma Environmental. You are all really professional, efficient and highly skilled. I look forward to continuing our working relationship this year.
Sustainable Project Management

Thank you for your efforts with the desktop analysis…We are all very grateful for the quick turnaround of your advice as this has allowed us to hit the ground running with our discussions with Council.
Victorian School Building Authority

Cite these testimonials and many more here, or check out the 25/25 5 star reviews we have on Google.

Here’s how our 37 years of environmental consulting in Melbourne saved one client $172,000 on their residential development.

Invest a few minutes now to watch our videos and read the case study details on this page, and you’ll learn how we saved one client $172,000 off the total cost of their residential development. You’ll also learn how, by applying similar principles, and our superior consulting methodology, we could save you tens and possibly even hundreds of thousands off the cost of your next development. Watch Video 1 (below) now.

Our Experience Saves Developer’s Money When Getting Environmental Approvals.

Can my choice of environmental consultant really cause a 5 to 6 figure saving on the cost of obtaining development approvals?

As someone not expert in environmental science, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that all environmental,  hazmat and contaminated land consultants are the same. But the truth is they aren’t. And thinking they are could be as harmful to achieving your best outcome, as it would be to assume that all lawyers are the same heading into critical litigation.

Everyone recognises that the experience and quality of legal advisers differs and that the experience of your lawyer can make or break your case. But very few people realise the same principle holds true in obtaining environmental approvals for a development.

Just as there is no simple cookie cutter approach to winning a court case, there is no simple cookie cutter approach to obtaining an environmental approval. The issues involved are as unique and complex as the history of the property (case), and added to that, environmental compliance regulations are complex, ever-changing and intricate (just like the law).

That means on any given piece of land there are a myriad of variables and approaches to be assessed and considered; and your environmental consultant’s ability to choose the most informed and cost-effective strategy can make tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars difference to the bottom line on your project.

You might be wondering – why is decision-making so critical to the process of obtaining development approvals? How can it make that much difference to the bottom line on a development?

Here’s the answer.  In most cases, it’s the disbursements i.e. the costs of any site remediation works that need to be done to achieve compliance, (like drilling, removal of contaminated soils, etc.) that make up the bulk of environmental assessment costs; NOT the consulting fees charged by your environmental consultants.

 So, here’s the crux of the issue.  When an environmental consultant’s approach, decision making and project management skills are the most vital inputs in determining your best (i.e. most cost-efficient) result, your environmental consultant’s EXPERTISE & EXPERIENCE becomes the most critical issue in determining the overall costs on your project.

That’s why Atma Environmental are the go-to environmental consultancy for so many builders, government departments and property developers in Melbourne. We manage site testing and clean up issues second to none. Our Directors Rory McPhillips and Glenn Berry oversee every job undertaken by Atma Environmental. Glenn has over 30 years experience in contaminated land management and Rory has 17 years experience as a senior environmental consultant. Together, their commitment is that your job is managed like it was their own; which is why very few companies match us for effective planning and decision making.

This extra care and the direct involvement of senior environmental consulting personnel on every job makes a HUGE difference to your bottom line cost, and if you watch Video 2 now (below), you’ll see a real life example of how we go about ensuring your project is closed-out in the timeliest and most cost-effective manner. You can then read on to see real figures showing how our superior consulting methodologies created a six-figure cost saving for our client.

Our Environmental Consulting Experience Saves Developer’s Money When Getting Development Approvals.

Here’s how our environmental consulting experience could save you six figures on a typical residential development.

Imagine you’re a property developer considering the purchase of land that you’d like to create residential housing on. Understanding the importance of environmental due diligence, you engage Atma Environmental to check the land prior to purchase.  We do soil testing and find a hidden environmental liability in the form of high levels of arsenic in the soil (see a similar real-life situation as this in Video 1 on this page).  Soil contamination is a potentially expensive issue on development sites (because site clean-up may be required by the environmental auditor to satisfy the permit condition and can add considerable expense to any proposed development).  In fact, sometimes these costs can be so substancial, they can be the difference between a profitable and a non-viable investment!

But armed with a comprehensive due diligence assessment from Atma Environmental, you have all the critical information about environmental issues that may affect your project, protecting you from loss through ignorance.  Factoring in the likely cost of site remediation required to manage the arsenic clean-up (see video 2), you realise that if the vendor won’t compromise on price, you need to walk away from this deal.  So, using our due diligence report as evidence, you negotiate an $85,000 discount on the price of the land because of the known soil contamination.

Great!  Next, you’ll need to clean-up the arsenic contamination in the most cost-effective manner. This is an area where Atma Environmental excels.  We consider all possible options when we plan a site clean-up so you achieve compliance in the least expensive way possible.

We are also renowned for our fast job turnaround and responsive customer service, which has saved many of our clients tens of thousands of dollars, because time is money on land deals – even more so on building sites (e.g. downtime, interest paid on loans, site security, etc).  So, our faster than average job turnaround creates an additional saving. Finally, add to that the savings we create through better onsite decision making and planning (e.g. controlled soil disposal costs – (again see Video 2 for real life examples of how we did this), and you’re beginning to understand how our environmental consulting can add massive value to your land deal. Bottom line, faster, less expensive environmental compliance outcomes, means a more profitable development. Our Environmental consultancy delivers these benefits to clients routinely.  In fact, the savings created in the example we have just walked you through would easily run into six figures!

Here’s the figures showing how our environmental consulting caused the six-figure cost savings in our example above.

Savings on Land Purchase: Negotiated discount on land as a result of identifying arsenic on site: $85,000

Savings on Holding & Other Costs: Completing ahead of schedule, our faster job turnaround created savings on the bridging finance and the total costs of the loan: $18,000

 Reduced Soil Disposal Costs Because of Our Superior Soil Sampling Methodology: 150 m3 of soil needed to be disposed. The minimum requirement of six soil samples are taken, one indicating the soil is ‘Category B’, the other five indicate ‘Category C Prescribed Industrial Waste’.  Based on the highest result the soil must be classed as ‘Category B’ and the cost to dispose of the soil would be 150 m3 x $700/ m3 = $105,000.

However, because our standard operating procedure is to collect at least ten samples, we were able to test four additional samples and re-evaluate the categorisation based on an average value as ‘Category C’. The cost to dispose is now 150 m3 x $240/m3 = $36,000 (as Category C).  The difference in soil disposal alone is: $69,000


This case may seem extraordinary to readers who don’t understand the potential elasticity of development approval costs caused by the many variables involved in the investigation and remediation of contaminated land, but be assured, our environmental consulting regularly saves developers tens and even hundreds of thousands in site clean-up costs. It’s results like this that make us the leading environmental consultancy in Melbourne for developers ‘in the know’ who are seeking building approvals.