The Environment: Q&A with Robert Carvalho, CEO, EAI Inc.

Robert Carvalho holds a Bachelor of Science in geology from Hofstra University and is a Certified Professional Geologist. He has over 25 years of experience managing and directing a wide range of environmental projects. 

Carvalho is responsible for overseeing the technical aspects of all projects and operations of EAI. He manages a staff of skilled tradesmen and professionals and regularly meets with all project managers to ensure each project milestone is met and clients are satisfied with the quality, technical capabilities and responsiveness of the EAI staff.

Environmental firms work in a large number of areas; give us 3-4 skills that you specialize in.

EAI specializes in gas vapor barriers, venting systems and installation of other unique environmental solutions designed to make it safe for builders and municipalities to repurpose land for retail, housing and other buildings. We can also excavate and clean up soil that was contaminated by oil tanks or other previous usage. 

For retrofits of existing buildings, we can remove asbestos to maintain air quality and install interior waterproofing to prevent leaks. EAI also is capable of monitoring air quality while work is taking place on an existing structure to ensure all workers are safe.

Give an example of a time when you helped a project stay on time or saved your clients a lot of money (or both) because of your work.

The Liquid Boot membrane is a spray-applied vapor barrier that makes it possible to install up to 15,000 square feet at a time. In many cases, we’ve run two crews simultaneously, so we can bang out a large box store footprint with the membrane in a record time. Our clients are always grateful that we put our best teams on the work. 

In addition to installing 100,000 square feet of vapor barrier within the deadline, we also offer a proprietary on-site quality control test, called a smoke test, to ensure the membrane is completely sealed off from leaking gases before the concrete is poured. 

When most people think of remediation issues, they think of the cleanup of Superfund sites. Give examples of how you are used on smaller projects.

There are a wide range of sites that require environmental work to ensure proper building function and safety. Sites include everything from the use of a gas vapor barrier to cover the footprint of a large box retail building, such as a Home Depot, that has naturally occurring methane gas in the soil. Footprints also can be smaller, like a bank branch or fast-food restaurant that requires the removal of soil impacted from gasoline or oil tanks. 

In order to make the land reusable, EAI will remove the contamination from the soil and then fill it in with clean soil or gravel. Then a vapor barrier such as spray-applied Liquid Boot is applied to the new foundation to prevent unwanted vapors from entering the structure. It often is paired with a venting system — pipes set in a gravel base — designed to move vapors to the exterior air where it becomes harmless. 

At what point during a potential sale or project is it best to bring in your company for an evaluation?

It’s best to bring the EAI team in the early planning phases, so we can recommend a proper remediation approach. We also work with specifying engineers and can bid on the installation of venting systems and vapor barriers once the specification is complete. If you’re in need of improving a site with environmental issues, please don’t hesitate to give the EAI team a call at 201-395-0010. 

Tell us one more thing we don’t know.

EAI is the preferred installer of the Liquid Boot vapor barrier for the Northeast region and has been so for more than two decades. We’ve also expanded and created a division of our organization called EAI South that handles projects across the southern region of the U.S., including major markets like Florida and Texas. The quality of our product lineup and our reputation for a stellar installation has allowed us to grow our company into these new markets with specialty environmental contracting solutions.