H&R Block World Headquarters- Kansas City, MO


City of Kansas City, Missouri

Capital Improvement Management Office

414 East 12th Street

Kansas City, Missouri 64106

Family Environmental Compliance Services, Inc. (Family Environmental) provided all environmental site assessment, remediation management, and risk assessment services for the new H&R Block Center (World Headquarters).  The strikingly designed 17-story, high-rise, oval building is located in the approximate center of the new Power & Light Entertainment District (the District).  In addition to the aboveground buildings, including the 17-story “Tower” and multiple associated “low-rise” structures, a six-story underground parking garage providing over 800 spaces was constructed covering nearly 75 percent of the city block.

Redevelopment of this city block (Block 125) proceeded the remaining six blocks of the District with initial site clearing activities initiated in September 2004.  Family Environmental personnel began the extensive environmental scope-of-work in July 2004.  Following completion of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), the Phase II ESA (subsurface investigation) was performed in August to accommodate an accelerated mass excavation and construction schedule beginning the following month.  The Phase II ESA was designed to achieve three (3) primary objectives; 1) investigate and assess all potential subsurface contaminants identified in Phase I ESA studies, 2) characterize soil and groundwater in a manner to profile waste streams to reduce liability to the City of Kansas City, and 3) collect data to assess potential construction worker exposure concerns.  As initial site clearing and construction activities were conducted, Family Environmental also directed other City-contracted vendors for building demolition and buried foundation removal, contaminated groundwater handling, and asbestos-wrapped steam line removal from the property.

Once all prior above and underground structures were removed, Family Environmental conducted soil and groundwater sampling during building foundation (drilled piers) and extensive shoring wall system construction for the underground parking structure.  These responsibilities included evaluating all soil and rock removed from the project site during mass excavation activities conducted for over nine months (estimated at 165,000 cubic yards).  Over 5,000 tons of petroleum-affected soil was identified by Family Environmental and properly disposed to facilitate continuing mass excavation activities.  Residual petroleum-affected soil and groundwater inaccessible for removal or active mitigation because of construction requirements were evaluated using the State of Missouri Risk Based Corrective Action process (an environmental risk assessment approach) initially developed in 2004.  Even though the project location will be redeveloped as commercial property, Family Environmental completed the risk assessment using residential standards so the City could avoid future site use limitations.